Archive for the ‘Week 6_Biotechnology!’ Category

Week 6 Biotech meat making - Tung X. Dao

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

The nature of the act of eating meat is one that an interesting history and can provide some insight into biotechnology debate of food. On one hand, we are omnivores. Our digestive systems and needs have developed to incorporate both meat and vegetables. At one point, we lived in hunter-gatherer societies, where the collection of both sources of food was essential to our survival. As time progressed, we developed more technology, our population increased, and our need for meat increased, just as it did for vegetables. For the latter, new agricultural methods were developed such as irrigation, crop rotation, and fertilization1. For meat, however, it has sparked controversy. Organizations such as PETA advocate the humane treatment of animals and veganism2. There appears to have been a shift in the attitude towards eating meat sometime between the hunter-gatherer societies and today. But there should not be such a shift if we are designed for it. But, we must accommodate as many viewpoints as possible into our current society. Lucky for us, there is the In Vitro Meat Symposium, which is the culmination of the latest in biotechnology.

Food without soul?

Food without soul?

It turns out that researchers have utilized stem cells to grow meat in the laboratory. The method of growing meat in the laboratory is compared to growing vegetables in the farm since the meat never had a head3. The exact words used in the article were quite well chosen, actually, “[it’s] sort of like eating a meaty vegetable”. This method of growing meat in the lab sounds a lot like the agricultural enhancements that have been developed over past thousands of years, which is why a certain portion of PETA supports the idea completely3. It’s a very interesting idea to eat laboratorial grown meat at the dinner table. It is very reminiscent of something from a science fiction novel with a hint of Orwell’s 1984, in that it’s a bit of a dark future. On the other hand, the issues we are currently facing with meat cultivation such as cruelty and space would be gone. We would get our dose of protein without the moral ethics of killing other living things. But wait, we were designed to kill other things for consumption, though. It certainly is contradictory, but since we have a need to have a supply of meat for our diets, there must be a way of making meat, and in vitro meat making seems to be fitting the bill if they can make the meat indistinguishable from regular meat.

If this form of meat making can be successfully commercialized, that can have pretty cool implications for the culinary world. It would definitely start a new trend in restaurant themes and open a new world for chefs. Of course, the claim with the in vitro meat making is that the meat is indistinguishable from regular meat. Of course, the marketing department will change all of that with their powers of advertising. But besides that, in vitro meat making is something that could potentially end quite a few arguments if it is introduced correctly, otherwise, it will be a can of worms spilled upon our advancing society.

-Tung X. Dao

1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Agriculture

2: http://living.peta.org/

3: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/11/the-future-of-f.html

Week 6 The End of the World by Brendan Ryan

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

My sister is like the smartest person I know (it’s also her birthday! Well, not where she lives but it still is here) and she also happens to be, among other things, a biomedical and chemical engineer. One time the two of us were watching a show on discovery channel about the eight most probable ways that the human race is going to die. The second most likely way that everyone is going to die turned out to be a super disease engineered for bioterrorism. At the time my sister was working at either merck or genen-tech and she told me that it’s very possible to create a highly contagious incurable virus with a one hundred percent fatality rate at her lab. That is amazing. Bioengineering is so powerful that in the wrong hands it could end the world. The whole world.

Some time later while working in my father’s office one of the lens readers broke (for eyeglass prescriptions) and it was my job to go take it to the big company building thing to get it fixed. When I got there, there was some mild misunderstanding where the front desk wasn’t notified that I was coming or whatnot and so I had get a nametag and fill out some forms and find the person who knew what to do with my broken lens reader. When I was stumbling through the building I found a secured section that had a warning outside about what will happen in case of a blood borne pathogen outbreak. If you don’t know, that’s pretty much exactly the plot of resident evil, 28 days later, Sean of the dead and many other tales from the crypt.

Essentially what I’m getting at is that this is becoming less and less of a fantasy and more of a cautionary tale:

28 Weeks Later

I don’t mean to sound like I am not all in favor of genetic engineering, because I am all about genetic engineering. Genetic engineering has become such a powerful field that it has reached the point to where there can be potential danger of zombie apocalypses, and according to the discovery channel, is the second most likely way that human life will be destroyed (next to global warming, it was a totally lame ending). My question is, if we have already come this far, why are people so afraid to keep going? Stem cells are way less scary or evil than the above video. I think at this point legislation and funding would be wise to accept the awesome power of biotech because the point of no return has been reached. It is silly to restrict man from the countless benefits of cloning and other such biotech feats that are eschewed by the religious and the frightful as playing god or dangerous moral questions. Now that science has let the cat out of the bag on these previously sacred biological processes they are now fair game for manipulation. I just hate to see such amazing science restrained by the morality of others. Especially it can already end the world, I mean, what do we have to lose?

Week 6 - Biotechnology and ANDi by Jane Chen

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

In the recent years, the development of technology has led to widespread use of biotechnology in many aspects of daily life.  One of the most common uses of biotechnology is in agriculture.  Through the use of transgenic technology, many crops have increased yield, stay fresh longer, and are more resistant to pests.  For example, genetically engineered corn with the Bt toxin gene inserted is now widely planted as an alternative to spraying pesticides.  As a result, pesticides are not released into the environment, which would otherwise increase insect tolerance to the drug.  Consequently, genetically engineered plants may also have an adverse affect on the environment, leading to the evolution of superweeds, which become increasingly difficult to kill as the use of herbicides increase.  Additionally, almost every kind of produce that makes its way to our dinner table has been genetically altered in some way.  Tomatoes stay fresh longer, strawberries grow bigger, even bananas are genetically engineered so that their seeds are small and edible.

There are many uses of biotechnology, including cloning, the Human Genome Project, and development of new pharmaceutical drugs to cure certain diseases.  However, one of the topics I’m most interested in is the application of biotechnology in gene therapy.  Gene therapy can be used to potentially treat or cure genetically acquired diseases by using normal genes to replace the defective ones in the body.  Doing so also requires transgenic technology, in which the gene of an organism is inserted into another.  One of the earliest and now a very common application of this is through the use of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP).  In high school biology class, we were introduced to ANDi (which was “inserted DNA” written backwards), the first genetically modified monkey.  Out of the 40 fertilized rhesus eggs inserted into serrogate mothers, ANDi was the only liveborn monkey carrying the GFP gene.  Although he carried the gene, it was not expressed, meaning that he did not glow under a black light.  Interestingly, the two stillborn monkeys carried the green fluorescent protein and their hair and toenails glowed when examined under a fluorescent light.  The applications of this project are tremendous.  With the birth of ANDi, scientists were able to show that foreign genes may be inserted (and even incorporated) into other animals without killing the host animal.  This showed the potential of gene therapy in developing treatments for genetically acquired diseases.  With this information, I developed a science fair project using the GFP protein in mutated E. coli colonies and tested how the gene was incorporated into the mutants versus control groups. 

You can find an abstract of my experiment here:
http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/History/2007/Projects/S1409.pdf

Here is a picture of my GFP E. coli:

Although I find the applications of biotechnology very interesting and has great potential, I’m not so sure that using such processes on animals for art would be very ethical.  Even though some may argue that since scientists may use such experiments, artists can as well since art and science go hand in hand.  In light of Gigliotti’s article, I must also ask, “what does art contribute to the future of the ecosystem?”  For advances in medicine and research, animal experimentations are necessary to determine the effects of certain procedures on living organisms.  Such results cannot be duplicated using live tissue cultures in petri dishes.  However, applications of art can be taken to new levels without the use of animals as the medium in the masterpiece.  To end, I’d like to quote a section from Vesna’s introduction to genetic technologies and animals.

… this issue shows the importance of dialogue between media artists, scientists, critical theorists, and historians.  Indeed, if we are to creat work that will have serious impact on our culture at large, it is our responsibility to engage people from as many disciplines, with as many differing and even contradictory point of views, as we possibly can.  Our world is too complex, too problematic, and too overwhelming to be approached from one angle.

by Jane Chen

Week6_Biotechnology by Manuel Aleman

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

In Leonardo’s choice: the ethics of artists working with genetic technologies the issues of biotechnology comes up.  Biotechnology is the use of living organisms or other biological systems in the manufacture of drugs or other products or for environmental management.  One issue is genetically designing organisms for the purpose of art.  There are many areas in biotechnology, but one area that has been improving lately is green biotechnology, or biotechnology applied to agricultural processes.  However, there are issues within this field too. Some of these issues include the displacement of foreign exchange earning crops from developing countries, socio-economic impact resulting from the adoption of the technology, the dominance of technologically rich, but genetically poor industrialized countries over genetically rich, technologically poor developing countries.  Biotechnology can improve crops by improving the quantity as well as quality of the crop output. An example of green biotechnology is the selection and domestication of plants via micropropagation, or the practice of rapidly multiplying stock plant material to produce a large number of progeny plants. Another example is the designing of transgenic plants.  Biotechnology can help create plants that are able to grow in any season and in any soil conditions. Crops can be engineered to be resistant to pests, diseases, heat, frost, drought, and flooding. They can also be engineered to have better nutritional value and taste. The dependence of chemical fertilizers and pesticides can be reduced or removed. 

Another topic that was discussed in class was cloning.  Cloning involves the removal of the nucleus from one cell and its placement in an unfertilized egg cell whose nucleus has either been deactivated or removed.  Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments, cells, or organisms.  There are also issues that arise in cloning.  The biggest issue in cloning animals and possibly humans is that some believe it is unethical to use a human clone to save the life of another. Others have countered that people who exist today and have interpersonal relationships and personal histories should take precedence over never-conscious life at any stage of developmental maturity.  Another issue is whether cloned animals are safe to eat and whether or not cloned meat should be labeled as so.  Cloning can create possibilities.  Cloning can bring about new methods in other areas such as in medicine.  It can be used to study human development, create replacement organs, and possibly treat diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and even muscle damage.  Cloning has also affected society.  It is seen in film and literature and has added a new area in science fiction.  One source of information on cloning has come from movies and literature, and the way its portrayed has had a significant influence on public opinion.  One example of this is Jurassic Park.  In this movie dinosaurs are cloned, but they end up causing havoc.  Movies like this brought up other questions, such as if we were to clone extinct species, such as dinosaurs, what would the consequences be? And if cloning animals has the possibility of creating havoc, then what consequences will be brought about by cloning humans?   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcK-My1j9Hg

Manuel Aleman

Week 6: Biotechnology by zoo duck hwang

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

“[it] attempts both to critique the implications and outcomes of genetic technologies and to forge a new art practice involved in creating living beings using [biotechnology]”

- From Carol Gigliotti -

 

In agriculture, the first form of biotechnology was appeared when farmers tried to introduce new environments to their plants and also breed them with other plants. Even though such action ran counter to the course of nature, they welcomed this innovation because they knew that it would help to produce enough food for their wealth. In the same context, other early biotechnologies, brewing beer and making vaccines, were all welcomed because people knew that it would help them out.

Now, there is the controversial issue about the art using biotechnology, which is against the course of the nature. People define it as controversial because they are doubt about whether not that kind of art would improve their part of lives. Their position makes sense because people think the only function of art in our society as entertainment. Thus, simply, people are not ready to accept the fact that living things are used for their entertainment.

Then, does it just nowadays’ artists too go far? Well. Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr are the leading artists conducting Tissue Culture and Art (TC&A), an ongoing research and development project into the use of tissue culture and tissue engineering as a medium for artistic expression. They reason their artistic attempt by which art can fulfill another important function as “the optimal medium to generate a discussion and a debate dealing with the contradictions between…what we know about the world and…society’s values which are still based on outdated and traditional perceptions of the world”.

So, the acknowledgement about what the function of art is on the issue is the primary goal to understand this controversial issue and to seek for the answer to it. Personally, I object about creating such form of art for the purely entertaining purpose. That is the most barbarous act which cannot be justifiable ever. However, I support the function of art as ‘the optimal medium’ should be encouraged properly. In fact, like Carol Gigliotti wrote in her article, even the function of art as the optimal medium might rather “blind us to the more radical transformation of acknowledging that we have always been transgenic” than provide the stage for a serious discussion and debate. However, it is truly true that the proper optimal medium is required especially for such current situation where many innovative biotechnologies are being studied and actively implicated to the world, and art has the great potential to moderately, but effectively enlighten people about the justification of the radical, but much needed implication of biotechnology to life.

Things are changed a lot, and these changes will be more accelerated with the fast paced improvement of technology. The issues which we will confront with will be very hard to decide about which side is good, or bad, but one thing we do know for sure is we have to think about it seriously before it comes.  

 

*Tricky questions from TC & A  

  • Who is going to make the decision about the direction this technology is going to take us?
  • On what set of values are these decisions going to be based?
  • Do we have the tools to evaluate what is good or bad in regard to biological technologies and in regard to its ecological outcome and its culture/social aspect?
  • Are our values going to change as these technologies take over?
  • And if we are not sure about the answers for the questions above then can we generate a shift in cultural perception that will open a way to utilise biotechnology for a utopian future?

 Zoo Duck Hwang

Week 6 Biotechnology and Transgenic animals-Rocio Flores

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

As the age of technology progresses, so is the amount of products we consume that are altered by biotechnology. Biotechnology is seen in various areas of our environment. Just one quick Google search on biotechnology, will give you a vast amount of links to various products that are altered by biodiversity. Animal Biodiversity is the biodiversity which interests me the most. The reason being is I’m amused on the power that scientist have to alter the animals for the animals benefit as well as ours, humans.

You might ask, what I mean for the animals benefit. When the animal is kept captive for production means, it faces the possibility to take in several diseases. However, with the power of science many scientists have the ability to produce an antibiotic to fight diseases and bacteria. These antibiotics can help prevent foot and mouth disease as well as fever and rabies. As you can see Biodiversity helps improve the health of the animal.

Not only does biodiversity help in improving the health of the animal but also in the betterment of production, meaning lower production cost and better food quality, otherwise known as transgenic animals. Transgenic animals are animals that contain DNA alternation. This DNA alternation isn’t done naturally, it is done by humans. The alternation is done by inserting a new gene into a fertilized egg of the animal, which is desired for alternation. Then in the egg the gene connects to the genome before the egg begins to grow, so both will mature together.


This Gene alternation, in transgenic animals allows for enhanced muscle mass which gives a leaner and tender meat in beef and pork. Not only does it enhance the meat that we consume, but also increase the amount of protein that we human take in, which we might not necessarily get from other place. The protein increase can be seen in eggs, milk, blood, and urine, anything that we humans consume from the animals. The idea behind having an enhanced amount of protein in these items is to be used as pharmaceuticals, such as antibodies.

Although scientist tends to help human by creating an enhanced amount of proteins in the products produced by the animals, there is also risk to be found. Many animal rights activist vote against the alternation of the animal genome, for they believe that the animals develop health abnormalities. Health abnormalities are one of the risks that come with the alternation, but there are also hazards to the environment. You may ask. How an alternation in the animal’s genome can create a hazard to the environment? The answer arrives when the animal reaches outside his boundaries. Meaning if the animals run away from its production group and enters the wild; then he might create a risk for the environment, for it will reproduce in an area that shouldn’t be. However to keep us humans safe from the gene alternation the FDA, EPA, and the department of agriculture are required to examine the transgenic animals for they won’t harm the environment or human.

Biodiversity plays a key role in art, science and technology which opens doors for the betterment of humans and their environment.

~Rocio Flores

Maxwell Blanchard Transgenic morality

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Carol Gigliotti’s article was certainly a success in approaching this subject in its entirety. I found it especially interesting when she began delving into the irony of the idea of using biotechnology in art.  Many artists believe that the idea is nonconformist and modern.  However, in the idea that it only perpetuates anthropocentrism, it falls short of this nonconservative ideal they are so often aspiring to obtain, despite the fact that many people may find it shocking.  The article also discussed the idea that humans have been toying with genetics with “impunity” for one thousand years.   However, gigliotti’s article also asks, what are the purpose of these animals?  Genetic breeding for economic benefit and societal progress is one thing, genetic breeding for entertainment is another. 

This week was also successful in exposing the vehement positions people have taken as they so closely associate this subject with sciences such as stem cell research.  However i find it ridiculous that the two should even be compared.  One is in the interest of solving the incurable, such as cancer, blindness, alzheimer’s etc, while the other is in the interest of aesthetic progress.  That one should lump and vaguely categorize the two together is almost intolerable, however closely associated the two might be. People have also taken the position that by opposing transgenic art, you are impeding central progress by taking a “conservative” stance.  People have irrationally taken a machiavellian attitude towards animal testing, at least when it pertains to transgenic art.  The ends justifies the means may be arguably plausible in the name of medical science, but is, forgive me if i offend anyone, beyond pathetic haste  for the sake of simple agreement, as well as dense and ill-advised when referring to transgenic art. I’d have to agree with Taylor’s theory on deep ecology on this one.  Personally, i think that all animals, yes even non-human ones, possess instrinsic worth.  To say that those who disagree with transgenic art are dellusionally embedded in an aimless morality, or are misguided religious fanatics searching for a way to do good, is what’s really offensive.  It also reverts back to name calling rather than taking an intelligent stance and arguing a position.  One might ask ” why not save millions of lives?”  But what is transgenic art saving?  My unartistic soul? My unbroadened horizons? Not sure i’m swayed by that one. Maybe i’m just biased because i’m a math major, but i don’t think “art” in general is worth any amount of life.

Kac also contends that this genetic art for the sake of simple beauty, rather than any profitability is more conducive to discussions revolving around genetics, technology and science in general.  To be completely honest, i wholeheartedly agree.  However, this contention leaves out all moral responsibility thats  being delved into in gigliotti’s article.  Involuntary children testing, in certain aspects of the medical field, might also prove condusive to genetics, technology and science.  But its not ok is it? He’s also somewhat contradicting himself, since i highly doubt his exhibit was free from any financial obligations.  So the real question was profitable to who?   It really is impossible to adress the whole idea of anthropocentrism associated with animal testing in a five hundred word blog, so please keep in mind that my arguments pertain mostly to transgenic art.  To discuss the other topic would take much longer, and is still an on going issue.

I found the following site quite interesting in discussing this topic in a less pedantic and more colloquial manner. http://stefkofman.blogspot.com/

week 6 couple of applications of blue biotechnology by thomas yeung

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

I am going to blog about marine biotechnology. One application of marine biotechnology is cleaning up pollutants. I was reading an article about seaweeds having the capability “…to detoxify serious organic pollutants such as TNT or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons…”There was an interesting quote that caught my attention. Here it is: “’We found that certain red seaweeds had an intrinsic ability to detoxify TNT that was 5-10 times faster than any known terrestrial plant,’ said Greg Rorrer, a professor of chemical engineering at OSU”. It might be something worth looking into for a whole variety of people ranging from corporations that have pollutants to environmentalists. Another application of marine biotechnology that I found interesting is how marine diatoms can help with developing a new type of antibiotics. They found this protein from marine diatoms that can “fight a wide range of bacteria and fungi in the body and have the potential to be developed into powerful drugs to overcome infections that are resistant to conventional drugs”. These antibiotics are not ready because they get easily destroyed by the body. The next article I found interesting involves extracting metals through bacteria. The article is short. Here is the link http://www.biology-online.org/articles/extracting_metal_sea_quot.html. The title of the article is “extracting metal from the sea in an environmentally friendly way”. Another interesting article that is an application of marine biotechnology and concerns nanotechnology is this http://www.biology-online.org/articles/ancient-life-form-may-help.html. Instead of expensive lasers and high temperatures, nanostructures for electronic materials can be created cheaply through a singled celled marine life, Diatom. According to the article, Diatoms can “…take silicon from sea water and process it into intricate microstructures to form a tiny, rigid shell… The shell is composed of tiny silica nanospheres, and provides a ready made, natural system to create organized structures at the nano level… For use as electronic materials, the germanium oxides need to be in a certain form and order, and it appears the diatoms may produce that for us.” I read another article that also concerns nanotechnology and marine bio technology. This one talks about nano materials from marine sponges. Here is the link: http://www.biology-online.org/articles/marine_sponges_provide_model.html. Marine sponges can create glass needles and “the center of the sponge’s fine glass needles contains a filament of protein that controls the synthesis of the needles.”

Week6_Ethics of Biotechnology by nolan nishimura

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Carol Gigliotti’s article titled Leonardo’s Choice offers an explanation and argument against the recently popular art medium of biotechnology. She describes the ethical problems that the artists face as they genetically design organisms for their own purposes of “art.” For example the GFP bunny of Eduardo Kac and the tissue and culture arts of Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts. Artists similar to these use technology in order to create their art but are often faced with major ethical concerns. The recurring question seems to be “As humans, living creatures, is it right to produce biological creations and tamper with living creatures for our own means?” and “What gives us the right to do this?” One argument the artists have made is that humans have more intelligence and are just exercising it. However this does not suffice as an explanation of whether or not we should. The tampering with living organisms, to me, is considered essential for the progress of knowledge. In order to understand our world, we will need to explore all aspects of it, even genetics and biotechnology. The down side to the advancement of technology is the fact that it can easily be abused.

Although making new creations and altering organisms is interesting and exciting, the fact is that what is the driving force behind it? It is not uncommon to realize that someone is doing something just for profit. The advancement of technology seems to always be influenced by the potential profit from it. Why do we create robots that make living easier or more pleasant even though they can be said to be not necessary? It is because people will engage in consuming.

Another important piece of information that was quickly brought to my attention in Gigliotti’s article was that the artists and creating organisms and releasing them into the environment. I find this disturbing due to the fact that it is a slap in the face to Charles Darwin. Darwin argued about natural selection and how it is greatly responsible for all the different types of creations that exist. However by artificially creating our own creations without the driving force of natural selection, we are altering our world and its natural status. The fact that these artists and scientists have the power to create by artificial means new species, and ultimately a new world of species, is extremely disturbing.

The choices that scientists and artists of today are faced with could effectively change our world. We, as people, need to take a step back and observe what is going on and decide for ourselves what we want as well. We also need to identify the reasons, consequences, and benefits of certain actions because of the increasing effect that biotechnology can have as it advances. One artist, named Adam Brendejs has realized this as well. His creation, called Genpets, explores the idea of the artist and his responsibility when it comes to biotechnology. He also explores the idea of technology being used solely for profit. The website for his Genpets is http://www.genpets.com/index.php. If you are interested in his Genpets, then you can do your own research, I do not want to ruin the surprise.

Adam Brendejs Genpet

Adam Brendejs' Genpet

Nolan Nishimura

Week 6 - Biotech, by Jonathan Diamond

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

The United Nations defines biotechnology as: Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.  Biotechnology is one of the most widely spread genres of sciences and has been integrated into a plethora of fields.  Modern biotechnology has been subdivided loosely into four different categories— blue, green, red and white biotech.  Blue biotechnology has been used to describe all biotech applications that pertain to marine and aquatic innovation.  Green biotech is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes and efficient agricultural production.  Red biotech covers all the medical and pharmaceutical discoveries and inventions.  And lastly, white biotech, also known as industrial biotech, is the large coverall that encompasses all industrial inventions and processes. 

 

Although biotechnology has put humanity leaps and bounds ahead of where it would have been, there exists a large amount of controversy affiliated with biotech.  One of such controversies is the idea of cloning. Beginning with stem cell research, the central concern on which the rest of the controversy depends is the question of when life actually begins. This doubt is the basis of whether or not the incredible benefits of stem cell research outweigh its moral ramifications.  And then, within the stem cell debate is the more mainstream and obvious controversy– cloning. Like stem cell research, cloning has its own variety of uses and benefits that may or may not outweigh the ethical or moral consequences involved in the process. Cloning is done by taking an organism’s cell nucleus and implanting it into an egg cell, and then, as it begins to develop into an embryo, transplanting it into a suitable mother. In doing this, you can successfully create an exact copy of the organism. The benefits of cloning are literally limitless, ranging from being able to create human organs in order to replace faulty ones to the creation of stem cells that could be used to cure terminal illnesses, cancer, and several other physical anomalies. However, cloning, along with genetic engineering, brings in the possibility of the creation of “super-humans” with unnatural physical and mental capabilities and idealized “perfect children” for prospective parents.  Essentially, people are scared scientists will begin to play the role of god.  Morality and ethics become a prime concern in that, in order to utilize the cloned organs and stem cells, the actual clone would have to be destroyed, which, to some people, constitute as murder. In addition, the possible creation of idealized people and super-humans is also considered by the opposition to be unnatural and wrong. 

 

A perfect example of this idea is created in the movie “The Island”.  Although the movie was utterly horrible, the focus was very well expressed.  

 

                 I personally do not agree with the existence of the controversy I just spoke about.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where politicians, and scientists have to worry first about the future of their jobs, and second about the actual content of what they accomplish.  Politicians wouldn’t dare do what “needs to be done” if that certain idea would potentially jeopardize their jobs.  Especially in such hard times, some decisions are being made for entirely wrong reasons.  Additionally, the idea that religious zealots would even consider saying, “no lets not use stem cell research to cure cancer and other terminal illnesses, simply because we disagree with certain applications of the process,” is beyond stupidity.  Although I have a large degree of respect for those who fully indulge in the things they believe in, I cannot begin to explain how disgusted I am at those people who would prevent the furthering of medical science.  Millions of people could potentially be saved and they seek to throw it all away in the name of something so irrational such as religion.  Essentially every religion speaks to do the right things, use good morals, and to be a good person (more or less)—so answer this, why would you prevent the saving of millions?

 

By Jonathan Diamond