Genetic modification is a touchy subject, and always has been. Sort of… While being able to go in and mess with genetic code directly is a fairly new step for science, we, as humans, have been genetically modifying plants and animals since we began living an agrarian lifestyle. We have been picking and choosing which plants and animals to let thrive, which to let fend for themselves, and which to erase completely. Just look at breeds of dogs or common fruits and vegetables. Do you really think that Chihuahuas would have developed naturally? Or that bananas would naturally just stop having seeds? Humans have been modifying the natural world since we stopped having to chase down woolly mammoths for dinner.
The only difference between historic genetic modification and the way we do it now, is that instead of developing a desired trait over hundreds or thousands of generations, we can now do it in just a handful. This does increase the chance that we may miss a negative trait developing alongside the desired one until it is too late, but this is a matter of controlling the process. As we continue to get better at modifications, we will continue to develop better antibiotics, or more sustainable produce, or even tinier dogs.
I think that, as a society that benefits greatly from genetic modification, we should be supporting the scientists who make our way of life possible instead of trying to tie their hands with legislation and bureaucracy. The one area that worries me about all of these advances is accessibility. If we aren’t advancing society as a whole, we aren’t doing ourselves any favors.
Discussion Post 2
The topic of genetic engineering has always been a volatile topic, but with it being implemented more and more in our daily life it's a topic that needs to be thoroughly discussed. Genetic modification and genetic engineering have played important roles in preserving plant and animals, creating ways to treat medical problems, and enhancing the quality and quantity of our foods. Even though it provides significant benefits there are also sizable downfalls that tarnish its reputation. Examples include possible health risks that may come from genetically modified foods, long-term environmental effects, and deciding who has access to these resources just to name a few (Glenn, 2013). Altering the DNA of plants, creatures, and humans has always been an ethical gray area making people really reconsider theirs moral views. I personally feel that genetic modification can be overall beneficial to humans, animals, and plants.
I believe genetic modification is overall beneficial for the future, but only if it is strictly regulated, extensively studied and perfected before implementation, and fairly distributed. It could potentially lead to the end world hunger, curing of any disease, and longer, healthier lives of people. By engineering crops that can grow in harsh environments and that have enhanced nutrients people around the world suffering from hunger and malnutrition can be helped. Diseases and conditions that used to be fatal could be cure or completely eliminated. Species of animals, plants, and bugs that endangered can be preserved. These are the benefits or genetic engineering.
A lot of people are against genetic modification because of the possible risk factors such as changing of the environment and the claim of scientist "playing God". If genetic modification is studied thoroughly and perfected then we most likely wouldn't have to worry about it the possible negative affects. If we monitor the changes we created then they can be controlled. Also people have been "playing God" throughout the entirety of history which takes away from the merit of the claim. Anytime anybody has ever manipulated something to be used in a different way than before for their benefit or the benefit of others would in my opinion constitute as playing God. Why wouldn't God want his people to help others and benefit with the knowledge and tools he affords us?
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Both my colleagues and I have advertised on the positive side of trait picking. However, many genetic modifications didn't remain only in the original plant but were, through cross-pollination, transferred to many other species (against our plans) that were not intended for that trait....
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