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(Fifteen-minute read) 

As if the world does not have enough problems regardless of the application, genetic engineering is a very controversial topic in our society.

According to most religious doctrines, life begins at conception, not anymore.

When digital technology took over the world, things we perceived as science fiction became reality. Today the same thing is happening with Genetic Engineering.

Life is made up of just four alphabets that give the instructions, and when we change the guide book we change the being carrying it. 

As we are seeing it does not matter what religious beliefs you have or otherwise, the current coronavirus is not fussy who it infects.

We are on the verge of being able to transform, manipulate, and create organisms for any number of productive purposes.

Human genetic engineering may soon be possible. It might well be in its infancy from changing the course of our lives. From medicine to agriculture, to construction and even computing, we are within reach of age when manipulating the genetic codes of various organisms, or engineering entirely new organisms, promises to alter the way we relate to the natural world.

Genetically engineered food is a divisive topic that is deeply embedded in the ongoing debate around climate change, sustainability, and food security.

There are many pros and cons regarding this topic and there are many powerful arguments for and against genetic engineering and gene therapy.

We already improve crops and animals. Why not humans?

Evolution is a change in the inherited characteristics of a population of organisms from one generation to the next.

This happens anyway and genetic enhancement is just speeding up this natural process.

We will have to make difficult decisions in the future on whether we want to play god in order to be able to fight deadly diseases and colonize another planet, grow enough food, replace exhausted resources. 

Of course, the big question is. 

Is it wrong to play god by effectively creating and changing life? 

Altering genes to improve strength, beauty or intelligence undermines the moral and legal idea that all humans are equal, creating further inequality in society – those who are genetically engineered and those who are not.

These individuals would have no say in this, but when they arrive at the pearly gates will they be allowed to enter. 

Genetical engineering is an extremely controversial issue without even considering the views of religions. The ethical question becomes even more daunting when we consider genetic engineering as it applies to animal life, particularly human life.

One could say that God has no say about any of this?

The Bible does not directly address the issue of genetic engineering, because genetic engineering was unknown at the time that the Bible was written, so there is a concern that a bold pursuit of advances in genetic engineering is motivated by defiance of God.

God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and overall the creatures that move along the ground.’

The gift of life is a product whether it comes from God or not and can be reproduced and modified to make a better product. So where are we with the artificial manipulation, modification, and recombination of DNA or other nucleic acid molecules in order to modify an organism or population of organisms.

It is my belief that genetic engineering has promised to better mankind, and it is our ethical obligation to research it but not exploit it.

Determine the genetic material of embryos in humans limiting the chances of children’s autonomy to determine their own destinies.

This means that the entire life of children is changed irrespective of their wish. This practice is immoral in nature because it is an unnatural way of molding the life of a human being to become what they themselves do not wish to be, resulting in social inequalities.

All raises a number of significant ethical issues. 

From genetically modified crops, using less water to speeding up the growth of plants to adapt to the global warming problem, to the overall life expectancy of animals and humans, to designer babies, to the development of new diseases, or to miscarriages, to resistance against antibiotics, to political decisions, to the uses of genetically modified bacteria for making biofuels, to the use of genetically modified seeds to increase yields and also make plants more resistant to pests, to the whole ecological system, to human behavior.

By treating the human embryo as mere ‘laboratory material’, the concept itself of human dignity is also subjected to alteration and discrimination. Dignity belongs equally to every single human being, irrespective of his parents’ desires, social condition, educational formation, or level of physical development. To create embryos with the intention of destroying them, even with the intention of helping the sick, is completely incompatible with human dignity.

Embryology is governed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.

Human embryos produced for research purposes cannot be implanted into any woman’s womb and must be discarded after 14 days.

In evaluating these concerns, we need to bear in mind that genetic engineering is still young. Some of the possibilities, such as creating new species of superhumans or subhumans, seem highly unlikely, at least for the foreseeable future.

However, there is a need to have morally correct legislation that guides the way science develops genetic engineering otherwise it will be a Pandora’s box of dangerous genetic modifications posing a threat to humanity with the rich in a society enjoying the fruits of genetic enhancements.  

chances and risks of genetic engineering

Ecological Engineering, the application of science to the optimum conversion of the resources of nature to the uses of humankind.

NATURE is being distilled—among many forms—into a network, where nodes represent species and links represent interactions between them.

Ecosystem engineering combined with genetic engineering not only impacts communities on ecological timescales but will profoundly shape the evolution of life on Earth. The complexity of an ecological community can be distilled into a network, where diverse interactions connect species in a web of dependencies.

The dynamical consequences of community structure is not yet a well-defined theory for the assembly of communities that incorporates multitype interactions.

The role of these ecosystem engineers has not been considered in ecological network models.

To unravel nature’s secrets we must simplify its abundant complexities and idiosyncrasies.

On the other hand, GENETIC engineering is entering a new phase as the available techniques become much more precise. Precise genetic editing opens up the opportunity for personalized medicine, with treatments tailored to our own unique DNA.

What is becoming possible and what will the implications be?

Just imagine a genetic engineering breakthrough that brings the dream of fixing everything from a deadly disease to environmental catastrophe into reach, simply by cutting and pasting bits of DNA. 

Primarily, as with any technology, once it becomes cheap and easy, it’s going to be used more and more – so we can expect an explosion of activity and innovation around genetic engineering in the coming years.

A lot of controversy surrounds “transgenic” genetically modified organisms, resulting in bureaucratic obstacles that mean GM crops are scarcely cultivated across much of the European Union, Africa, and Asia.

For example, if a gene from a pig was inserted into a banana, will people of the Muslim faith stop eating bananas and so on.

Did you know that over seventy percent of all processed foods on supermarket shelves contain at least one genetically engineered ingredient? If you are not eating 100% organic food, you are eating genetically modified foods. It is almost impossible to avoid eating GMO foods. Presently, over ninety percent of the soybeans, canola, sugar beets, and cottonseed oil are bioengineered. Seventy-two percent of the corn is genetically altered. And more and more food products are being altered every day.

Considering every five minutes, there is a new life and every eight minutes a death and none of us last forever. 

We all live for a short time in the fourth dimension of time so is any of this relevant. 

Leaving apart the ethical issues, let us be optimistic for a while.

Genetic engineering hasn’t, and won’t, stop it raises ethical and moral questions to which there are, as of yet, no clear answers.

How we as a species solve these problems will tell us not only something about the global landscape of moral decision-making but will define precisely where the human race will end up over the next few generations.

It’s not an exaggeration to say genetic engineering could totally alter the way we live – and these changes won’t necessarily be positive.

While we humans are gaining the powers of the gods, we aren’t at all ready to use them. We aren’t prepared to handle these Promethean technologies responsibly.

While the advance of genetic technologies is inevitable, how it plays out is anything but.

A first inkling of where we are heading can be seen in the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry.

When genetic Engineering reaches the mass, the change is going to be permanent.

The overlapping genomics and AI revolutions may seem like distant science fiction but are closer than you think. Because we are all one species. We will ultimately need to develop guidelines that can apply to all of us.

As a first step toward making this possible, we must urgently launch a global, species-wide education effort and inclusive dialogue on the future of human genetic engineering that can eventually inform global norms that will need to underpin international regulations. This process will not be easy, but the alternative of an unregulated genetic arms race would be far worse.

Scientists today have loftier ambitions than building a new app or social media companies.

All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.