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Our pursuit of science and our quest to delve deeper into the science of genetic engineering may yet

exact a price that is still beyond our conceptualization, w ith consequences unknown and not yet quantified. Genetic engineering, although still in its infancy, seems to offer a number of p otential advantages. Scientists suggest that with the advancement of genetic engineering, potentially infectious and incurable diseases may be minimized and perhaps ultimately cured . Genetic engineers are striving to implant specific genes that have been engine ered with antiviral proteins uniquely designed to eliminate and target correlati ng antigens. Similarly, genetic research may also be able to determine specific genes that co ntribute to hereditary diseases. The aim is then to proactively identify people who may have a predisposition to a particular disease or someone who may be more susceptible to the disease. Careful monitoring may lead to an early diagnosis a nd ultimately a more positive prognosis. This intensive scientific research may pave the way for the development of new d rugs that will target specific genes and address genetic mutations. The advantages of genetic engineering may further reverse or slow down cellular degeneration which may in turn culminate in a generally increased life expectanc y, quality of life and overall health and productivity. It has even been suggested that genetic engineers may one day be able to enginee r designer babies (made to order) with pre-determined physical characteristics a nd personality traits, resulting in what some may refer to as a"genetically supe rior" population. However, the potential to engineer a "genetically superior" population raises a number of questions, as yet unanswered ... questions construed by many to be pro blems with genetic engineering. Will genetic engineering result in genetic discrimination between those who have been genetically enhanced and those who have not? Will our natural resources and the economy of the world be able to sustain an ev er-growing population with an extended life expectancy? What are the long term consequences and the "butterfly effect" of introducing ge netically engineered genes into nature and all its complex evolutionary processe s? Morally and ethically, do scientists have the right to manipulate nature? Despite these very important and very real concerns, our pursuit of science is l ikely to progress and continue. Our hope is that the scientific research into genetic engineering will be respon sible, objective, morally grounded and in humanity's best interests.