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What do you think about manipulating genes?


Jjangthekid
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I had this discussion in my past year apbio class.. and the question was "Is it right or wrong to change/manipulate our DNAs/Gene?" and also "Is it ethnically right or wrong..blablablah."..

 

because of the stem cell research, scientists are one step closer to knowing more about our genetic make up and to having the ability to change everything in a human being.

you guys probably know..this but for example,,what sex you want the baby..the IQ,, hair color,, how tall,,..and etc.

 

so what do you guys think??

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Scientists already know about our genetic make up because of the Human Genome Project, not stem cell research.

 

But I am for manipulating genes, not necessarily to hand pick our progeny, but to root our debilitating diseases. Ofcourse all this is A LOT harder than it seems and it will a LONG LONG time before it can ever be used like this. Definitely not in our life times.

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Scientists already know about our genetic make up because of the Human Genome Project, not stem cell research.

 

But I am for manipulating genes, not necessarily to hand pick our progeny, but to root our debilitating diseases. Ofcourse all this is A LOT harder than it seems and it will a LONG LONG time before it can ever be used like this. Definitely not in our life times.

sorry..my bad on the mix up..

 

yea with changing genes there is so many good things that can be done but at the same time..it could be used against ourselves....

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I just think it could turn out to be a really bad idea - the kind of problem I like to call "the Roman Plumbing Syndrome". The idea is that the Romans developed indoor plumbing which on the surface seemed like an excellent idea, so they got all behind it, building plumbing everywhere. The problem was they built all their pipes out of lead, and as we NOW know, drinking out of water contaminated by led is a BAAAD idea. It was one of the things which led to the decline of the roman empire.

My point is, this seems like a really great idea at the moment, and it seems like there are any number of potential benefits. The only problem is, right now we don't know the consequences.

(And don't think that the Roman Plumbing Syndrome was an isolated incident; oh no - think of asbestos, or thalidomide.)

Edited by random guy
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With the completion of the Human Genome Project, we are poised to make promising breakthroughs. However, the human genome fills the equivalent of 66 bibles, and we haven't deciphered what most of the genes actually do. This will be the most difficult and challenging work. In the present, certain traits like hair and eye color, and sex can be manipulated. But as far as the more subtle and highly valued traits, like intelligence, athletics, and creativity, we do not know what genes express them. Scientists are aware of certain genes that are markers for the potential for intelligence and athleticism etc but that's it.

 

As far as where I stand, I think it is inevitable that we will someday slide down the slippery slope and slowly the ethics of gene manipulation will erode (think Gattaca). I don't see a problem with screening for genetic birth defects, and curing them if possible. I just don't want to see us going beyond that to modify ourselves and something freakish happens. We have enough of that stuff going on in Hollywood with plastic surgery. Playing with genes is a whole other ball game.

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i dont think its impoosible..but maybe few thousand years later..we be living in cities that are floating and having babies with IQ over 200..  :huh:

Well yeah, we'll be long gone by the time something happens. Also you must remember that lots of genes code for and contribute to one factor. This is a safety mechanism our DNA has that protects against mutations and stuff like that. Suppose it one gene for producing ascorbic acid is flocked up, there are many others there that do the same job. This is what makes gene therapy so difficult. Another thing is that EACH cell (more a trillion) has the same copy (basically same, some are mutated) of DNA so all cells have to be dealt with. That's why the only reasonable way to manipulate genes is to do it in the earliest stages of life when there aren't that many cells.

 

It's all really complicated and there is no easy way to do it, that's for certain. :P Let our descendants deal with it. :(

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Oh and there's a principle in effect right now called the "Flynn effect" what that basically means is that each generation scores better on IQ tests than the previous generation. So theoretically (as long as the MTVs and the Homie-culture dies out soon) mankind will be getting IQs of over 200, naturally.

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