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Genetic Engineering

            Genetic Engineering: The Frontier Science is a still somewhat obscure creature that continues to evolve, radically changing the face of mankind perhaps faster than it's creator. The magnificent world of science has witnessed many profound breakthroughs and advances in this past century, but none as noteworthy as genetic engineering. As a subset of the more general subject of biotechnology, genetic engineering is "the process of altering genetic material by purposeful manipulation of DNA (Wallace 339)." To some, this field illustrates malicious scientists "playing God," while to others it is a treasure chest of knowledge that holds the key to solving problems such as world hunger, cancer, and AIDS. "Scientists have already been able to turn microbes into millions of tiny factories producing drugs, alcohol, and chemicals, and astonishing forecasts are being made for genetic engineering's future contributions to health, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture (Sylvester 2)." By engineering the plants and other organisms that are the source for medications, possible defects that may occur due to mutations and genetic diseases can be avoided completely. This could not only produce a more effective medicine, but save lives as well. However, risks still remain in using genetic engineering to solve the world's problems. Questions arise concerning ethics, public safety, and misuse by the economically or politically powerful, but how can we as human beings know what is truly to come? Read Aldous Huxley's ,A Brave New World, or perhaps Asimov's, Foundation. Truthfully, there is no telling what the future holds, other than the ability to research and understand more about this incredible science of genetics. It is worth taking the risk to gain more knowledge and try to solve these problems that plague the world than shut it back up in Pandora's Box. As a student, I find biology, specifically genetics, extremely fascinating.

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