Week_6 Debates Instigated by Biotech By Gaurav Bansal

Biotechnology is a relatively new field and is advancing very fast. There are a lot of issues that surround the topic of Biotechnology, mainly ethical and moral. The applications of biotechnology in our modern lives are endless; it can be used from agricultural need all the way to genetic engineering. Most ethical issues deal with altering a living creature somehow.

Even though there are that would be people against eating “cloned” food, if there was a method developed that would perfectly clone corn or some or some other type of food, world hunger would be solved and eventually most people would be okay with it. However, if there was a perfected process of cloning a human, a lot of people would have a huge problem with it. Sounds a little hypocritical but I would probably take the same stance.

Biotech pertains with a lot more topic than cloning. Another major issue with biotechnology is the possibility of genetic enchantments. We would all love to be able to run sixty mile per hour, or jump over a building but society as a whole would turn into chaos. A good example of this is the movie “The Terminator.”

The Terminator

The Terminator

RoboCop

RoboCop

A more realistic future prediction of biotechnology would be the movie “Robocop.” The main character suffers a server accident, and the only way he could be saved was to implant his brain into a bionic suit. End ends up turning into a super cop. Both these movies essentially show the extreme pros and cons of genetic engineering; super cop that saves everybody, and violent “Terminators.”

Another issue with biotechnology and genetics is its affects on sports. The issue with steroids is already a very big deal, and some people get very offended when players use steroids, just off the fact that they are performing exceptionally well due to reasons aside from natural talent. Biotechnology offers a way that athletes can modify their own performance but it will be undetectable. As covered in this article I found called “Will Genetics Destroy Sports?” The article covers gene therapy and an experiment that shows the affects of it. The results from his experiment on mice were positive, and he had buff mice. The scientist makes a comment that I found very interesting,

“I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was actively setting up to do it right now,” he says. “It’s not that expensive, especially if you are just going to do it to a small population of athletes.”

This is where the ethical debate begins. In today’s society, gene doping is a very serious topic, as related with steroids. Gene doping is actually on the Olympic committee prohibited list. Whenever there is an ethical debate, there is usually money involved. It is not hard to image how much money would be in a business that could genetically alter athletes to be the best of the best. Whether the real reason people push for genetic engineering is money or just to see how far the human body can go, it is a path that has many road blocks placed by society.

http://discovermagazine.com/2004/jul/will-genetics-destroy-sports

Biotechnology is a very touchy topic. The moral and ethical debates that can be derived from this field of study are endless. It seems that the major debates in this field seem to be a mainstream topic of discussion, in one way or another. I think this may be the case because people can relate to this field the most since they are living creatures and they all interact with technology.

By Gaurav Bansal

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