The platform of the world has been changed with the blooming engineering aspect. Drastic changes have been brought and are going to be established in the future and in this prospective, engineering is playing remarkable role and the way we perceive and estimate about the world varies according to our level of perception. Some ends up with the world fragmentation and collapse of the human civilization while some judges the most powerful and advanced humans to appear time ahead. Humans so called homo sapiens covered a long and dynamic history from apes undergoing modification and this fact can be understood as the undergoing natural process of rectifying genes that solely played a keen factor in the result of humans from apes to be entirely different from other creatures and in addition, possessing the high level of cognition and the social structure. The better understanding of genes developed a field so called genetic engineering which is the technology of bringing changes in genetic makeup of the cells including genes transfer across or within species to produce the new or improved organisms. One can figure out the vast differences in the human society going to be created by genetic engineering and some of the tremendous discoveries that will directly affect the population health and in addition, social issues and potential threads by its misuse.
What a long journey and a hope of better outcomes genetic engineering has set up in medical fields. The pioneer of discovering essential factors and mechanisms to the genetic engineering was Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber, who discovered restriction enzymes in 1968 and these enzymes are used to cleave DNA into fragments. In 1973, American biochemists Stanley N. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer introduced genetic engineering based on recombination and their attempt was successful to become the first ones to cut DNA into fragments, rejoin them and reproduce new genes by inserting into E. coli. The late 20th century represents the history of DNA recombination and the genetically altered organisms used for the vaccines like pseudorabies while in the early 21st century, GMO crops and foods have been productive to farmers and they have been the important aspects in the daily market. Most importantly, gene editing has been a major concern among the public and is surrounded with consensus and controversies.
The most controversial procedure is the human embryo editing which in fact viewed by most people as the threat to the human society since it can engineer the human baby completely unique and with high level of intelligence as well as inducing the new genetic disorder. However, looking over Government rules and restrictions and researchers promises on its right utilization, one must acknowledge the essential part this process plays in getting babies rid of hereditary and genetic diseases, which induces the family happiness and thus improving the quality of life. The process termed as germline engineering which in fact a branch of genetic engineering has been reported to be carried out three times in China while in the United States, MIT Technology Review has posted a video demonstrating how human embryos can be edited and DNA can be improved and the article First Human Embryos Edited in U.S. published by Steve Connor demonstrates about the germline technology and informs about Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the first US scientist known to edit the DNA of human embryos using CRISPR, a type of molecular scissor. There are several criticisms and supports associated with it.
Although CRISPR’s cut in editing embryos has created a broad spectrum of criticism, it is necessary to evaluate the achievements and the genetic revolution it can bring. It is a point to be noted that there is restriction over the investment of federal funds onto the embryo research. In this atmosphere, Mitalipov shows how much cautious he is regarding the embryo editing and makes sure that it will be used to correct genes rather than changing them. In the experiment, Mitalipov and his collaborators combined sperm bearing disease and healthy eggs and immediately added CRISPR, they found the result that 72% embryos were free from mutation. Preprint authors view the possibility of some embryos not taking up the paternal DNA. Some researchers suggested that mutated paternal gene might have disappeared from embryos but never replaced by the healthy version, which denotes the missing section of DNA and accompanying the unknown consequences. Among these lumps of condemnations, as published by the Washington Post on August 2, 2017, Mitakipov’s first human embryo editing experiment corrects gene for heart condition using the CRISPR. This paves the path to correct DNA errors and in fact, control genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia and so on. The point of concern is how government takes in control about this blooming technology and its inventions of genome-editing tools but the public needs to draw their attention how genetic diseases can be solved at an early stage of embryo development and make their babies fit and fine.
It is important to determine how genetic engineering has been useful in producing insulin, human growth hormones, monoclonal antibodies, follistim, human albumin and other forms of drugs and the potential it holds and has achieved in curing HIV/AIDS and cancer. They are perceived as being fatal or slow poison to death. However, the time is knocking the door of their prevention and cure. How far has the genetic engineering been to solve those diseases and has there been any noticeable changes among the public? In August 2017, FDA approved a new cancer therapy called CAR T-cell therapy to treat B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia among kids and young adults. Kymriah, the term given to the cancer therapy and from the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, was used for the clinical trial and the success rate was 83%. This success can be viewed as the beginning footstep to the treatment and very close approach to its cure. The procedure of producing this therapy is directly related to modifying T cells which is assumed by scientists as containing potential in suppressing and eradicating HIV infection in humans after it was researched in lab animals. The hematopoietic stem cells also called HIV-specific CAR: CD4, one part of the CAR hunts and binds the AIDS virus while C46, an additional surface molecule prohibits HIV’s potential to enter the T cells. Scott Kitchen, an immunologist from Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, believes that stem cell has tremendous ability to suppress long term effect of HIV and even remove the virus. He also estimates the clinical trial to begin within two years as his team has been in talks with Calimmune, the private gene therapy company, about this approach. We can see the future dimension that genetic engineering holds to replicate the power the way it does. In this analysis of its power to prevent diseases, the cost associated with it can’t be neglected and the social issues it can establish now and then can be conceptualized.
Several medical benefits are associated with genetic engineering, but the cost associated with new therapies and other medical procedures are expensive in such a way that it outbreaks the thought of being poor or rich, which ultimately address the classism. Let’s take an invitro fertilization in consideration. It is of high importance as it provides the opportunity for infertile woman to have babies and it can be viewed as an important aspect to the society. Iva Roze Skoch, a journalist from the Newsweek generates the questions regarding the cost of IVF in her article Why Is IVF So Expensive In The United States? The point that she prioritizes upon is that only 15 states in the United States have the provision of health insurance coverage for the IVF. Surprisingly, Washington state does not fall under this category. The article mentions the self-concept of one of the women from St. Louis, Marie Clampell, who is suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome and she figures out that it would cost more than $15000 to try to get her pregnant in the clinic through the IVF. In this circumstance, she perceives such an expensive medical procedure to be non-affordable to poor but accessible to rich folks. This is nothing as compared to the price of Kymriah, a cancer therapy that costs around $475,000 and might be costlier with its advancement in the upcoming years. If CAR-T therapy for cancer costs heavy, anyone can predict how much weight the cost of HIV treatment will bear in near future. Obviously, we can see the attachment of classism with the invention of medical procedures made available by the genetic engineering and in the future, this prejudice and thought will still be prevailing among people until the government tries to correct down the laws and make the medical practices that are fundamentally valuable cheaper and affordable.
It is evident that the genetic engineering can change the genetic coding and hence bring several changes in humans. The article Can CRISPR- Cas9 Boost Intelligence? describes about the possibility of boosting the expected intelligence of an embryo using the laboratory tool in the context at which the safety and accuracy of Crispr-Cas9 is increasing at a significant pace. According to the bio-ethicist Hille Haker, genetic engineering will be useful to the wealthy people to translate the power from the social atmosphere into the enduring genome code and effectively establish permanent capitalist social relation. In the article, When Baby Genes Are for Sale, the Rich Will Pay, the writer Alex Salkever and Vivek Wadhwa present their future ideas about the genetic engineering in a funny style of writing and enlighten the social class issue since rich will be flexible to pay to reproduce physically and mentally powerful children. Obviously, if this technology flourishes in the sector of modifying the human genes to make them powerful, good looking and intellectually extraordinary, it can introduce a new form of classism in the future society separating the powerful and genetically modified rich to one side of the coin and on the top dominating the bottom of the coin i.e. the poor and normal humans. The practice of changing the gene pattern with a virtue of the outcome of perfect human can introduce the critical issues associated with the social class. The problem of classism can be recognized as our mind encircle within the depth of genetic modification however nobody can find the reliability of scientific discoveries if the comparative analysis is carried out and it is necessary to restrict practices on human cloning and genetically engineering whole human and it is always important to analyze how progressive these future humans will be and their body being able to resist diseases and looking to history of social issues, they were prevalent and still their topic exist however they can’t be removed unless we don’t change our thoughts.
Some scientists predict this field to be curse to the human society but the future benefits it carries can’t be suppressed with the negative views and insights. Charles Darwin presented his ideas how the changes take place in genotype of organisms in response to the environment and modification occurs. The introduction of this engineering has proved why adaptation is not the key element, but the theory of engineering can entirely prove to be proficient in changing the genotype of any organisms. The book written by the Scottish geologist, Man After Man describes about the practice of genetic engineering to modify humans into another form that assemble the parts of humans and organisms or plants and can be made either terrestrial or aquatic or both. Within thousands of years, homo sapiens will disappear. This book goes deep into how human races change periodically with this modern form of engineering. The writer fails to provide the evidence about the foreign genes acceptance. Consider the example of cross breeding in lion and tiger that results to the reproduction of liger. These animals although they are of different species, fall under same genus which means they have same number pairs of chromosomes. Thus, in genetic engineering, to bring the genetic characters of both organisms to the new one, the chromosome matching is necessary. The book Man after Man fails to incorporate ideas about how post humans resemble animals features despite the chromosomes pairing do not match. The rumors about genetic engineering are propagating around the corner of the world and it is equally important to determine the depth of those stereotypes and understand this field as the future of humans to create the society with the utmost civilization.
Genetic engineering is a boon to the society rather than a curse. Being a human, it is important to analyze how much power it conveys to find all answers to our questions regarding the disease cure, and so many wonders. To some point, the development and achievements we have gained and that we are not satisfied of, might be our prevailing intelligence which we think, needs to be boost up and this possibility gets a height after our mind encounters the concept of genetic engineering. We underestimate our intelligence and determine the strong intellectual ability genetically engineered human possess. Time has arrived to be positive towards our own intelligence and considering the right use of genetic engineering so that we will be living a life we want. Ladder like DNA whose combination make genes are required to be used effectively to share the value of resulting outcomes.