A Cautious, Yet Open, Mind

Jacob - Chesterfield, Missouri
Entered on May 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: science
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Sometimes I feel as if science and technology are moving faster that I can keep up with. However, it is such a prevalent part of my life that I feel as if it is my duty to remain informed and educated in advances in such fields. As I frequently hear news reports of cloning sheep and stem cell research, I am realizing that Genetic Engineering is a fast moving field that seems to be offering a surplus of positive attributes, while posing possible disaster. I am forced to ask myself how I feel about this new, and foreign field of research. After a great deal of consideration I have concluded that the field of Genetic Engineering must be approached with a cautious, yet open, mind.

I find the possibilities endless in the field of Genetic Engineering. Treatments to cancer and diseases can be discovered and manufactured based on the research done by Genetic Engineers. Even babies can be insured to be born healthy and without complications. However, we must accept this new ability with caution. Personally, I have a great hope for a improved form of treatment for cancer. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2008. I saw the tasking effects of radiation treatment and the medications. In addition to this, in the winter of 2009 I had a fellow team mate on my swim team diagnosed with cancer. I supported, and tried to offer support to him through his chemotherapy and radiation. Both my team mate and mother struggled with cancer and I would be overwhelmingly over joyed to see a safer, more definite cure to this health complication. However, while Genetic Engineering offers many positive outcomes, it is important that we use caution with this new power. We must accept that not everything goes right the first time. In an attempt to alter the genes of a baby in order to insure healthy birth, it is important to acknowledge that complications may arise. And if so, what happens to the baby? Is it euthanized and deemed a failed experiment? This is an extreme example, but such questions must me addressed. In addition, in an attempt to clone a human being, if the first try fails to create a prefect clone, what should be done with the clone? By answering such questions we can slowly eliminate many of the ethical objections to Genetic Engineering.

I believe that Genetic Engineering offers a wide array of positive outcomes that should not be ignored on the basis that there are too many dangers associated with such research. Through proper legislation, many dangers of Genetic Engineering can be prevented, limiting research to areas prevalent to improving the health and safety of humankind. This new and foreign science should be allowed to be researched under continuous supervision. As I stated above, the key is retaining a sense of caution while upholding a mindset open to the great improvements that could come about from Genetic Engineering.