Human genetic engineering pertains to the practice of adding new DNAs to a person to give him certain traits that he would not naturally have. Due to its concept, it has gotten much attention lately, making it one of the hottest topics in debates all around the world. Curious of its story? Here are its main advantages and disadvantages:
List of Advantages of Human Genetic Engineering
1. It can eliminate diseases.
Though it may seem impossible now, but this technology can take diseases out of the equation. By detecting and removing bad genes inherited from parents, the next generation would be healthier. Any genetic mutations caused by environmental mutagens can be corrected, keeping mutations under control and making the human body less susceptible to infections.
2. It helps the pharmaceutical industry to advance.
Aside from paving the way for xenotransplantation or the process of transplanting living tissues or organs through biotechnology, genetic engineering also acts as an aid for genetics, enabling the pharmaceutical industry to develop highly graded products that can help fight health conditions.
3. It has the potential to increase human life span.
As human genetic engineering has the potential to make diseases a thing of the past, it can allow for a fuller and healthier life, not to mention a longer life span. As research suggests, it has the ability to increase the life span of humans anywhere between 100 and 150 years by slowing down the aging process through altering the genome of a healthy individual. This technology also pinpoints desirable traits of a certain person and then integrated them to others’ DNA.
List of Disadvantages of Human Genetic Engineering
1. It is surrounded with moral issues.
The initial reaction of people to the practice of genetic engineering is whether it is morally right or not. As many people religiously believe in God, they see the technology as playing God, and expressly forbid it to be performed on their on their children. Aside from the religious arguments, there are also ethical objections, where opponents believe that diseases exist for a reason. While many of these conditions are to be dealt with, illnesses are generally needed, or else we would soon face the problem of overpopulation.
2. It can limit genetic diversity.
Diversity is very important in all species of animals and the ecosystem, and human genetic engineering will a detrimental effect on people’s genetic diversity.
3. It poses possible irreversible effects and consequences.
Even among scientists and researchers, genetic engineering is believed to have irreversible side effects, especially in the aspect of hereditarily modified genes. As you can see, the process involves the use of viral factors to carry functional genes to the human body, and naturally, these viral genes will likely leave certain side effects. Moreover, placing functional genes in the genome still does not present definite effects, which means that they can replace other important genes, rather than the mutated ones, causing other forms of health conditions to develop.
Genetic engineering is one of the most controversial topics of today, and keeping yourself informed about all its aspects can help you form a well-informed opinion on the matter.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.