Projects / Academic / Genetic Engineering Essay
All the previously mentioned applications of genetic engineering have had clear benefits to the human species in spite of equally apparent risks. However, one of the perhaps most dangerous risks of the new advances is their undeniable potential for biological warfare. This potential for engineering deadlier and more resistant infections or diseases scares all nations. Weapons could now be directed at the water supply or even crops grown by the enemy. Strains of pathogens could be tailored to the enemies strain of livestock or crops, starving a nation into surrender. By changing other common diseases, an antidote could be found to vaccinate allied populations while only the enemy would suffer. The benefit to the inflicting power is removal of enemy population without destroying buildings and resources (as an atomic weapon would). Since all sides are likely to have some form of biological weapon, however, none would go unaffected, thereby causing large scale suffering. This problem would be worsened if fast spreading diseases were used - without treatment whole populations could disappear in very little time.
GENETIC ENGINEERING - The benefits and problems
Genetic engineering poses serious risks to human health. These include allergic reactions, increased toxicity, spread of genetic material from crops manipulated to produce pharmaceuticals and the problems associated with increased pesticide applications.
An example of another controversial but popentially beneficial form of genetic engineering is the alteration of pig DNA to suit human immunology. Recently the problem of organ donor shortage has become apparent due to increases in road safety and life saving technology. A simple solution is to use pig organs which function in similar ways and have a similar size to human organs. The immunology of pigs is also similar to that of humans but there is still the problem of organ rejection. Human antibodies would recognize the pig tissue as foreign and either destroy it or cause harm to the recipient.