7 Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering

On a cellular level, the human body is built up by different types of genes, where some are good and others are bad, with the latter causing certain types of disease and deformity. This is where genetic engineering is being developed for—to alter or manipulate genes and make the body healthier. While this technology is regarded as promising by many people, it does not come without some criticisms, particularly on the issue of altering life. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of genetic engineering:

List of Advantages of Genetic Engineering

1. It aids in the creation of better pharmaceutical products.
Acting as an aid for genetics, genetic engineering can help with creating highly graded and better products to help people fight against diseases and illnesses.

2. It presents a potential to increase human life span.
According to research, this technology can increase the life span between 100 to 150 years. When this method is used on a healthy individual, it would alter his genome in a way that it would slow down the process of aging.

3. It has the capacity to make diseases a thing of the past.
Normally, human beings are prone to contracting one type of disease and another. As per illness, it might often be the result of a bad gene that was inherited from a parent. Another cause is genetic mutation due to mutagens in the environment that can be the main culprits of conditions, such as heart disease, cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Also, these mutations can make our body susceptible to infections. Well, all of these can be fixed with genetic engineering.

List of Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering

1. It is believed to have uncertain effects that might be brought by genetically modified life forms.
One of the clearest and biggest disadvantages of this technology is its capacity to have uncertain effects on human health and the environment.

2. It borders on the issues of morality.
With a lot of people religiously believing in a divine being who designed the human body for a reason, genetic engineering may not be acceptable to them. Somehow, they are questioning what gives humans the right to manipulate the laws of God.

3. It can reduce or take away genetic diversity, which is essential to the ecosystem.
As defective genes are replaced with functional ones, then we can expect that genetic diversity will become a thing of the past. And if it happens that humans will have identical genomes, the entire population will become susceptible to just a single virus or illness, which can lead to our extinction.

4. It risks unknown consequences of viral genes for the body.
As this technology uses a viral vector that carries functional genes into the body, the consequences are still unknown. Even researchers do not have definite clues on where these genes are being placed, which presents the possibility that they would just substitute important genes, instead of those that have mutated.

The processes involved in genetic engineering still continue to be developed, where more research and experiments are required to be performed before we will have a true understanding of this potentially life-saving technology and its effects. Now that you have learned about its advantages and disadvantages, what would be your opinion about this controversial subject?

About the Blog Post Author
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.