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Steven Cromer

Yamileth Morales
Technology II
Mr. Hirsch
4 February 2016
Genetic Testing and Altering
Advancements in technology have made things like gene therapy and
genetic selection possible in the past decade. There are a lot of issues that arise
when genetically modifying embryos still in the womb. Ethical principles are
questioned when eugenics are a concern. Genetically altering an embryo is topic
to controversy between not only scientists, but expecting mothers as well. The
scientific community has made lots of advancements in the medical field within
the past decade, but genetic altering will have a global impact. Parents should not
be able to genetically modify their child unless they are protecting the embryo
from a potential disease.
Genetic altering occurs using in vitro fertilization (IVF).IVF has become an
increasingly common procedure to help couples with infertility problems
conceive children, and the practice of IVF confers the ability to pre-select
embryos before implantation. In vitro fertilization is when an egg is fertilized by
a sperm outside of the body. Genes are manipulated and then inseminated into a
host. ​
There are five basic steps in the IVF and embryo transfer process (IVF: Side
Effects and Risks).

1. Monitor and stimulate the development of healthy egg(s) in the
ovaries.
2. Collect the eggs.
3. Secure the sperm.
4. Combine the eggs and sperm together in the laboratory and provide
the appropriate environment for fertilization and early embryo
growth.
5. Transfer the embryos into the uterus.
In 2004 the term “designer baby” was added to the Oxford English
Dictionary. It is defined as “a baby whose genetic engineering combined with in
vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or
characteristics”. ​
One technology is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD),
currently used by some people at risk of passing serious genetic disorders on to
their children.
The drive to perfect the human species which has led human to take
drastic measures. A group of researchers shocked the world when they
discovered CRISPR, a tool used to modify the DNA of human embryos, in 2012.
CRISPR can find specific sections of genetic code and remove them, and can even
replaced the sections with a new desired section of DNA. It can be used to target a
virus, preventing the disease from developing in the human.
Though there are some positive things that can be obtained from the use of
genetic engineering on unborn babies it is often wondered if parents will have

the “right” reasons to genetically modify their baby, or if reasoning will become
more superficial. Genetic altering is what it seems, there are many harsh side
effects that can affect the embryo. ​
Since the technology isn’t 100% safe yet, if the
process is not done carefully, the embryo could be accidentally terminated. Also,
because the technology is so new, it is unknown whether genetically modifying
the babies will affect the gene pool; this could cause difficulties later on
throughout the baby’s family tree. Also, parents may use this technology for
superficial purposes such as purposely seeking out a blonde haired, blue eyed
baby for appearance concerns only. ​
Even though there are cons to genetically
engineering an embryo, a modified embryo can also be protected from receiving
a disease-prone gene. We could cure genetic disease by keeping broken genes
from getting passed on to children. This could potentially wipe out many genetic
diseases completely in a single generation.
There is a great deal of controversy over the idea of “designer babies.”
Some ethical concerns are related to the social implications of creating children
with preferred traits. The social argument against designer babies is that if this
technology becomes a realistic and accessible, then it would create a division
between those that can afford the service and those that cannot. A complaint
many people have is, the obvious, “but that isn’t the way your child was made.”
Many people see genetic altering as morally wrong because they view it as not
accepting your child the way it was. Another issue people have with “designer
babies” is the fact that it might set the parents up for disappointment.

Eugenics is basically trying to selectively breed a “Master Race.” Hitler and
the Third Reich used this concept to eliminate Jews from Europe. But, Hitler and
Nazi Germany had a bigger scheme in mind which would be to create the Aryan
race. The Aktion T-4 program allowed doctors and nurses to euthanize and/or
sterilize handicapped, homosexual, and mental patient. German nationalists
believed that those groups were inferior and needed to be exterminated (Nazi
Eugenics). This creation of a superior race was seen as a war crime. Now,
creating a superior race is seen as a scientific advancement.
In theory, genetic engineering seems like a great thing. But, with how
advanced we have become as a human race, it is dangerous to alter the human
genome in such a way that could further segregate us as a whole. With
advancements in genetic engineering it will be possible to essentially create a
superior race. People will live longer, be stronger, smarter, and who knows the
amount of genes a scientist could pool together to create a super designer baby.
Genetic engineering is not the way to go as population increases and resource
scarcity issues plague the world. Genetic engineering should be used to save lives
not prolong it longer than what is natural.
 
 
 
 

Works Cited
"Chapter 5 The Nazi Eugenics Programs." ​
Chapter 5 The Nazi Eugenics Programs​
.
Web.
"Effects of Genetic Engineering." ​
Disabled World​
. Web. 26 Feb. 2016.
"In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Side Effects and Risks." ​
American Pregnancy
Association​
. 24 Apr. 2012. Web.
Parry, By Wynne. "Designing Life: Should Babies Be Genetically Engineered?"
LiveScience​
. TechMedia Network, 18 Feb. 2013. Web.
"The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics." ​
History News Network​
. Web.
"THE PROS AND CONS OF “DESIGNER BABIES”." ​
The Ethics of Designer Babies​
. 28
Apr. 2013. Web.
"What Is Genetic Engineering?" ​
Union of Concerned Scientists​
. Web.