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Mackenzie Schondelmayer 3rd Hour 10/17/11 Gene Modification My views on gene modification are not very conventional.

I have a “middle of the road” view on this issue, one that lies between the stronger polar opposites. These opposite views are either in complete favor of the process, or are completely against the idea. I believe that gene modification is permissible in the areas of agriculture and domestic breeding. However, once gene modification is directly applied to a human life in any way, I view this as being unacceptable. A perfect example of this comes from a common household fruit, the banana. In the wild, bananas carry seeds and can reproduce. However, these bananas with seeds are nearly impossible to eat. Scientists are able to use chemicals or electro-shocks to create a third seed, forcing the banana to become dormant and edible. These bananas can then have their seeds cut out, and more “clones” of this newer banana can be created. If it were not for this technique or technology, this fruit that we have all become accustomed to would disappear (http://members.tripod.com/c_rader0/gemod.htm#banana). Another example of when gene modification is acceptable is the gene modification of livestock. Some animals can be genetically mutated to help with human diseases. For example, a certain needed protein can be developed through the milk of livestock. This protein helps humans’ immune systems and development. This has little to no affect on the animal, yet it can help to save human lives (http://www.bsas.org.uk/about_the_bsas/issue_papers/genetic_modifica tion_of_farm_animals/). These animals can also be engineered for medical research. They can be used by scientists to research how the animal itself functions, or to research treatments for diseases (http://cfhs.ca/info/genetic_modification_of_livestock/). Where I draw the line in gene modification is when people begin to use gene modification in humans. Many people argue for something called inheritable gene modification. They say that this practice can allow use to change our children, to make them stronger and faster and smarter. We can, in an essence, create the perfect child (http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=287). This practice is sick. We are, put frankly, playing God. It is not up to us to choose our children. While this practice does have some noble ideas, like curing diseases and other health problems, but this will soon become superficial. People would want to change the children to make them “look better.” Even taking away the religious aspect, this is still immoral. Children whose parents can’t afford this “beauty treatment”

would be harassed, and society would take on a newer and twisted view of what “beauty” really is. To summarize, gene modification is permissible in some occasions. Modifying livestock or food to help humans is acceptable. However, changing or mutilating the DNA of a human being or child is wrong, and something that I am strongly opposed to.

Works Cited http://cfhs.ca/info/genetic_modification_of_livestock/ http://members.tripod.com/c_rader0/gemod.htm#banana http://www.allaboutpopularissues.org/human-genetic-engineering.htm http://www.bsas.org.uk/about_the_bsas/issue_papers/genetic_modificat ion_of_farm_animals/ http://www.geneticsandsociety.org/article.php?id=287 http://www.udel.edu/physics/scen103/CGZ/cons.html