Genetic engineering

“How does my Christian Faith Contend with Genetic engineering?”
Religion-what does that mean to me? Do I believe in my religion, what has religion done for me lately? I would have to say religion has brought me hope for a better life and knowing that I can bring a better life to my family. I believe in God, I believe that god created humans and created the earth the water the moon and stars, and all creatures that exist on earth. What have I given back to religion? Generation after generation the emphasis on worshipping God in church has been on the decline in my family. My faith has not declined I just believe that God is everywhere and I feel that I can worship Him anywhere and at anytime. Does my faith in Him come into question when I look into the advancement of technology in science? Science of genetic engineering can sometimes heal and cure the ill. Genetic engineering can reproduce foods and recreate species of any kind. Makes me wonder if my faith can handle the concept that mankind can alter what God has created, and whether or not I want to be apart of a world that is not original but fake. I will contend with these two subjects and try to find if I want to belong to a society that is engineering a new world.

Genetic engineering of any organisms, is it possible? The scientists have genetically engineered some of the following:
The superpig engineered with human growth hormone gene …
The supersalmon engineered with grow-faster genes from another fish…
Clones of Dolly the Sheep ‘the big success story’…
A soybean with a Brazil nut gene…
It is possible to clone or reproduce organism, but what about the sick or the people dying from deceases can genetic engineering help those in need. If so, what price tag do you put on a medicine that can save lives? Who will control the special tool for sustain life? Will it be the wealthiest society or can it be available for the normal human being? When we heal the sick what is it we are risking in return? Keith Parkins states:
Genetic engineering may lead to a worsening in the rise of decease. In transferring a gene from one species to another we may also be transferring disease vulnerability, antibiotic resistance, cancer and a host of problems we may not yet be aware of. Three decades ago Legionnaire’s disease was unknown, two decades ago AIDS was unknown, one decade ago Mad Cow disease was unknown.
So I am left to wonder where do the new diseases and cures for the diseases come to a rest? Will new and more violent diseases appear after we find cures and treatments for the disease we have now. What does my religious background think about genetic engineering?
God is the creator of man, which was what I was taught and what I believe. Why do scientists want to re-create and prolong life? God will find other means to take life when the time comes for someone or something to pass away. I believe God wanted humans to advance their selves by faith, not to cheat life or to find shortcuts to sustaining life, genetic engineering for example. Ted Perry says, ”…man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
What does this phrase mean to myself, well man created cloning techniques and the consequences for humankind are coming from God. In Genesis, of the Old Testament, chapter one,
God tells us that He personally created all the various kinds of organisms individually and said that they were to reproduce according to their kind. When he saw that each kind was reproducing according to their own kind, he said that it was good.
The way I understood God was reproduction with your own kind is good and reproducing an identical of your own kind was wrong. God states, ” You shall keep my statutes. You shall not crossbreed two sorts of animals. You shall not sow your field with two sorts of seed.”This tells me God knew one-day humans would try to breed new life and God will not allow such a thing to happen. God commandments suggest if we disobey them we shall reap God’s curse,
But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

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Cursed shall your basket and your kneading bowl.

Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
My reaction to this paragraph is God is watching over us and knows what the human race is trying to do; God will punish those who defy His command.

Information is the key to this paper, and whether or not to justify science as a tool for the greater of mankind or to keep the faith as it was meant to be. I would like to think that genetic engineering can help the sick and the diseased but will the science stop there? Will my children fell the repercussions of today’s actions? God will find ways to take life and faith followers will succeed where scientists have failed. I will take my religion and destiny will determine my fate, not science.
1. Keith Parkins, Animal-to-Human Transplants.

“The Creation of Frankenstein’s Monster”. July 1999
2. Keith Parkins, Animal-to-Human Transplants.

“The Creation of Frankenstein’s Monster”. July 1999
3. Ted Perry, Speech Commonly Known Attributed to Chief Seattle, 1970.

4. Old Testament, Genesis 1:11-12, 20-21, 24-25
5. Leviticus 19:19
6. Deuteronomy 28:15-18

Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering What’s Genetic Engineering? Nowadays, scientists have learned a great deal about the chemical changes taking place inside living things. They have deciphered the code, DNA, by which animals and plants pass on their characteristics to their offspring. They have even leant how to alter that code to produce life forms with new characteristics. This new technology involving both chemical and biological science is known as genetic engineering. Through this new technology, we shall soon be able to provide much better treatments, and possibly even cures for certain serious diseases, especially those like inheriting diseases, which cannot presently be cured.

Besides, we shall be able to create new kinds of life, or altered version of existing animals and plants, for medical and industrial uses. Basic, Individual, Building Unit of Life All living things are built up by millions of millions of same fundamental working parts. These are called cells. Cells are microscopic, however there are many different kinds of cells with different properties for a particular task in a living things. For instances, a nerve cell is particularly used for carry messages to and from he brain and have a specific shape differs the others.

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Nucleus, the most important part of a cell, which directs the making of essential substances, called proteins, on which all life depends. However, each different organism has its own specific kind of proteins. How do they know which kind of protein are essentials? Inside the nucleus of the cell of each organism, has a special, complex chemical called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). These DNA contains the instruction and informations of what kind of proteins have to be made. DNA is shaped like a twisted rope ladder.

The rungs of the ladder are made up of four chemical bases, which are adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). Each of these bases has special shape that A can only attach with T and G can only attach with C. The sequences of how the bases arrange are the information of what proteins are made. A section of DNA that has the complete code for a single protein is called gene. That’s also what’s genetic engineering working on. Genes determine the type of proteins our bodies make. It controls a huge variety of factors that help make us unique individuals.

As this fact, nobody has exactly the same set of genes as you have, unless you have an identical twin, everyone is looks exactly like you. Genes are stored on long strands of DNA known as chromosomes inside the nuclei of our cells. Most of the cells in your body contain 46 chromosomes, arranged in 23 pairs. Each cell contains the complete set of DNA. Not every cell in the body uses every instruction on the DNA in its nucleus. Instead, it reads only those parts needed to manufacture certain proteins.

Inheriting Disease Most of our cells contain 46 chromosomes. However, two type of cells in human beings that have only half this number. These are the egg cells in females and the sperm cells in males. When fertilization takes place, a sperm joins with an egg, and the 23 chromosomes from each combine to make a new set of 46. That is, all genes in human come from two versions that are 23 chromosomes from your mother and 23 from you father. Although there is two version of the same type of gene, sometimes only one version is used, this gene is call dominant gene. The other is said to be recessive.

Inherited diseases or genetic diseases are of two types. The first are those resulting from a disease-causing dominant gene inherited from either the father or the mother. In this case, the parent who passes on the unhealthy gene must also be a sufferer of the disease. The second type appears when two recessive genes receive from both parents. Since there is no choice but for either one switched on. Huntington’s Disease One of the well-known genetic diseases is called Huntington’s Disease named after George Huntington, the doctor who first described it in 1872.

This inherited disease affects about 30,000 people in the United States. It causes depression, bursts of anger or violence, memory loss, confusion, and shaking movements that, as the disease advances, grow into a grotesque, writhing dance that never stops. All these effects result from destruction of small but vital areas of the brain called the basal ganglia, destruction masterminded by a single dominant gene. Huntington’s disease is one of about 4,000 human diseases had known to be inherited. There is no cure or even treatment for this relentless disease. Perhaps most tragic of all, signs of it usually do not appear until a person is 30 or 40 years old.

By then, many of its victims have had children. There is a 50-50 chance of passing it on to each offspring. Because the gene is dominant, anyone who inherits it will develop the disease. Scientists all over the world went through a several years of hard work to find where the disease-causing gene is located. It is significantly important to know where it located and discoveries how it produces certain proteins to distract the brain, in order to cure this disease. By this disease we can see how genetic engineering applies for medical uses.

Nancy Wexler If we talk about this disease, it is impossible not to mention about Nancy Wexler. When she was 23, she learned that her mother, Leonore, had Huntington’s disease. That means there is 50-50 chance that she has inherited the genetic mutation and will eventually die just as her mother finally did. She went from being dismal to being challenged and wanting to be a knight in shining amour going out to fight the devils, recalls her father, Milton Wexler. She didn’t devastated by the experience of her mother dying slowing by the disease that threatened her family, instead she is a fighter.

In 1969, Nancy Wexler became President of the Hereditary Disease Foundation, a clinic founded by her father. She received her doctor’s degree in 1974. She formed the Huntington’s Disease Collaborative Research Group, to hunt the location of the gene. She not only functioned as a scientist but as catalyst, keeping scientists from different nations doing the same research. Needle In A Genetic Haystack David Housman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) brought up an idea that the best thing they could do to combat Huntington’s would be to find the gene that caused it.

Such a discovery would produce a test for the disease, which would allow people to find out whether they carried the dangerous gene before they had children. It also could lead to a better understanding of the illness and, possibly, a treatment or even cure for it. Human has more than 100,000 genes, how can they find one gene among them? Housman suggested the use of restriction enzymes, the new technique developed by molecular biologists. Genes differ slightly in length and composition from person to person, a particular restriction enzyme did not snip everyone’s DNA into pieces of exactly the same size. They called them restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), pronounced riflips. Housman explained that RFLPs could be used as markers for other genes that were as yet unknown. If a particular form of RFLP was always or almost always inherited along with a certain gene, the gene was almost sure to lie very close to the RFLP on a chromosome.

If there is procedure without materials, work cannot proceed. Nancy Wexler had known about the Venezuelan family. Venezuelan family is a big Huntington’s family on the shores of a large lake called Maracaibo. But the members of the family living in three different villages. She returned to Venezuela to collect blood and skin samples members for DNA testing. In 1983, James Gusella, a graduate student of Housman’s, found a particular maker inherited with Huntington’s gene in Iowa, another big Huntington’s family.

He then turned to Venezuela, and comparing both. He then certain that that the maker of Huntington’s gene. The most immediate result of Gusella’s discovery was the creation of a test that showed with about 6 percent certainty whether a person would develop Huntington’s disease. The test began to be used in 1986. But this sparked out a controversy ethics issues. Twilight Zone of Genetics Although the maker of Huntington’s gene was found, but that’s not enough to develop a cure or treatment for the disease. Their next quest was to search for the Huntington’s gene itself.

Despite the collaborative research group’s best efforts, the Huntington’s gene remained elusive throughout the 1980s. By 1984, the group had learned that the maker RELP, and therefore the disease gene, was on the short arm of chromosome 4. For many years the Huntington’s group thought their quarry was almost at the end of the chromosome arm, a region so difficult to analyze that Wexler had called it the Twilight Zone of genetics. Then, just as the end region was finally sequenced, evidence began suggesting that the gene be in fact farther in on the chromosome. The sequencing had to begin all over again.

The group’s quest was finally successful early in 1993. Marcy MacDonald, a senior researcher working with James Gusella, was the one who sequenced the Huntington’s gene, and also learned what was wrong with it. Huntington’s Gene The Huntington’s gene that scientists search for many years was a sort of stutter, a repeating sequence of the bases C-A-G. The genes of people unaffected by the disease had between 11 and 34 of these repeats. In people who developed Huntington’s, however, the repeats numbered 42 or more.

Later, a research found out that the more repeats an affected person’s gene had the sooner in life the disease would appear and the more severe it would be. How Gene Leads to Huntington’s Four years after the discovery of the defective gene that causes Huntington’s disease, researchers have produced the first clues about how the gene causes the devastating disorder. Scientists found that genetic diseases share the same defect with Huntington’s which a genetic stutter that inserts from 30 to 150 copies of the amino acid glutamine into key proteins, altering their properties and causing the disease. They now developing drugs for treatment which delay the onset of symptoms. Genetic Ethics Since the genetic screening can only be used to predict whether a person might develop a genetic disease. It gives probabilities, not certainties.

However, as this becomes increasingly common, discrimination arises. For Huntington’s, if a person carried it, possibly he will not be hired. But we can also take advantage of this technology. For instance, if a woman, who knows she has inherited a tendency to develop breast cancer, might decide to have frequent mammograms so that tumor can be detected while they are still small and easily removable. The Future The new techniques of genetic engineering will solve some important problems while at the same time creating others.

Within 50 years, many of today’s most devastating illnesses may be not only treatable but also curable. If people use it in a right way, it will benefit us a lot. Or otherwise, may produce problems more than it be able to solve. Science Essays.


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