Disadvantage of Genetic Engineering in Humans

Date: Dec 5, 2019
Category: Public Health

Introduction

The Human body is composed of both beneficial and harmful genes. The harmful genes are the main cause of the illness and diseases that human beings usually suffer from.  It is these genes that are subjected to a genetic engineering process to alter them to become less harmful to the human body. Through genetic engineering, the genes of human beings are manipulated so that desirable genes are obtained for the benefit of the human body. Such genetic manipulations are usually conducted either in the somatic cells of the sperm or the egg cell. The practice of genetic engineering has not been legalized in most countries and thus it is not evenly spread in the world. Alternatively, genetic engineering may involve the alteration of the bad genes with good and beneficial genes so as to prevent the adverse effects. The process involves cloning good genes in the somatic cells and then passing them through vectors into the human body. Methods that can be used include gene gun or other prescribed methods that may prove appropriate.

 

Disadvantage of Genetic Engineering in Humans

Genetic engineering has several disadvantages in human beings. These disadvantages are caused by the continued application of genetic engineering on human beings without any considerable concern on its adverse impacts. None the less, genetic engineering has led to adverse implications that would have alternatively been avoided if necessary measures were taken to curb the menace. As such, the complications that arise from genetic engineering on human beings are diverse.

First, genetic engineering cause the reduction in the diversity of human genetics. The increased use of genetic engineering in human body has led to a reduction in the diversity of genes within the human body, thus making the body susceptible to diseases and other illnesses. Moreover, the reduced genetic diversity in human beings will ultimately lead to reduced population growth and thus threatens the human species’ existence. In any case the use of genetic engineering in human being is not mitigated with effective measures, then there is a possibility of the human species becoming completely threatened to extinction in the future. The genetic diversity is lost by acquisition of similar genome by all human beings. This means that the body will be susceptible to any kind of disease and illness due to reduced immunity and genetic diversity in the human body. If the complication is not prevented, then there is fear that the human population may be wiped out completely in the future.

Genetic engineering also causes a transfer of Mitochondria DNA in the human body. This is because the genetic engineering process involves mixing of the mitochondrial DNA of various species to come up with a new product. These mixed DNA are eventually transferred to the human body and thus makes it difficult to ascertain the exact implications that this mitochondrial transfer of DNA to human body may have. This kind of mistake that is common in genetic engineering has not only a disadvantage to the current generation but also to the future human generation. The consequence to future human generation may be worse, especially if no precautionary measures are taken to keep the possible adverse effects in check.

There is also the risk of the unborn who have no say about the genetic engineering procedures. This inconvenience makes it very difficult to protect the unborn from the potential harm that may result from genetic engineering procedures. As such, the unborn human beings are subjected to the mitochondria DNA transfer that may completely alter their physical appearance after birth. Besides, the increased application of genetic engineering has had severe implication to the unborn leading to alteration of the phenotypic characteristics of infants once they are born. These complications associated with genetic engineering procedures, thus cause a lot of harm to the unborn when the mitochondrial DNA are transferred to them either intentionally or by mistake.

There is also the ethical concern raised by genetic engineering in human. Several scholars argue that DNA transfer interferes with the work of God as it causes a lot of interference to the essential unit of life that was created by God. In this regard, genetic engineering is seen as a means through which human beings transfer mitochondrial DNA and thus diminishing or causing a lot of interference to Godly work of creation. The moral aspect of genetic engineering has also interfered with religion and raises concern on the eligibility of man and right to interfere with the natural process of procreation.

Genetic engineering however much has been applied by scientist has failed to transfer somatic cells. Even with the application of SCNT technology, no experiment has been successful in transferring somatic cells. Thus, genetic engineering has totally failed to achieve the creation of embryonic cells, causing a lot of complications to human beings.

Somatic cell transfer also requires donor eggs to make the procedure a success. However, the donor eggs cannot be easily obtained through genetic engineering. This difficulty has created a lot of objections from the public that they cannot allow the creation of embryos only to be destroyed after the cells from them are extracted. This is a great challenge that genetic engineering is facing and thus is causing a lot of discomfort among the members of the public. 

The process of cloning has not been embraced in the society. In fact, so many people do not understand how human beings obtained from cloning would lead to a bad perception of such clones. Moreover, it is not clear as to whether the public would devalue human beings who are clone thorough transfer of somatic cells.

Several people have also criticized the use of genetic engineering as a means of achieving puppets. According to these critics, the human beings who are obtained from cloning are not normal creatures but mere puppets. This perception has led to reduced significance of genetic engineering given the fact that it would lead to an increased reference to the product from genetic engineering as puppets. This would be a tyrannical way of reducing the relevance of the cloned products that is inevitable in the process of genetic engineering. 

For instance, in Disneyland measles outbrake case, Piper-Terry, who was a catholic scientist endeavored to provide adequate proof that DNA for fetuses that are aborted in vaccines contributed to autism due to its capability to recombine with the DNA of the infant. Piper-Terry did that used her own institute called SCPI (Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute). She quoted that “ measles is not harmful and is even good for you”. She also argued that vaccine was even worse than even the cases of abortion. In addition, Dr. Bob supported Pipper-terry in supporting the sentiments of antivaccine activists, who perceived Measles as ‘no big deal’. Dr. Bob quoted  that “Measles are not that bad”. 

Similarly, genetic engineering has the potential of opening new grounds of criticism among members of the public. This is seen as a way through which the modified individuals will be subjected to a narrow range of life. Besides, it is possible that the genetic engineering process would cause a more concern to members of the public thus reducing their significance in public. The expectations of parents from such genetically modified individuals will also reduce given the fact that they are sure of the process through which the individuals came into existence. It will also be possible to question the legitimacy of the parenthood of the genetically emerged individuals and thus complicating their acceptance in the society (science based medicine.org).

The viral vectors used in genetic engineering have caused a lot of concern on the exact location where the viral vectors place the functional genes in the human genome. Moreover, there is fear that the functional genes may end up replacing the essential genes in the human genome, thus leading to more serious complications and adverse effects to the human body. Moreover, the human body may end up working unexpectedly and thus contracting severe conditions and diseases that are not expected. Moreover, genetically modified genes when inherited by offspring may have irreversible consequences and effects on the human body. The irreversible effects may be as a result of side effects caused by the functional genes in the human body.

There is also concern over manipulation of human reproductive organs for other purposes that they are intended. This has led to concerns over the fate of human population if the practice is left to continue. Additionally, the genetic engineering process is more risky and tricky, thus putting the life of human beings into risk. This risk can be witnessed in the production of weapons and biological warfare through genetic engineering. Human beings are raising concern about how some countries are misusing the genetic engineering technology to advance themselves in terms of war at the expense of human dignity. Moreover, the application of genetic engineering tom produces human organs may not be effective and may result into adverse complication. As such, the genetically created human organs have more disadvantages than advantages to human beings.

Prevention

The disadvantages of genetic engineering have caused a lot of concern to human being. A lot of care must be taken to ensure that these disadvantages do not affect the human beings to the extent that the effects becomes irreversible. As such, the genetic engineering must take the necessary precautions to ensure that they reduce the possible adverse effects of genetic engineering on human beings.