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The Ethics and Consequences of Genetic Engineering


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#1 DarkNemesis

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:30 PM

How does everyone feel about forced evolution, aka. genetic engineering? Or does that deserve its own thread? In any case, we've now made 2 kinds of super-mice. One, by inserting immature brain cells into baby mice. And the second engineered to have better bodies.

My fear in these particular type of experiments is what happens when one of these mice escape and breed with other mice? Are we now going to have to deal with a new species of mice to kill? An ever evolving mouse? Yes, this sounds like crazy conspiracy theory. And yes, there are a great many things that can benefit mankind and animalkind with this research in genetic engineerng.

What line do we draw or even become concerned when we reach or approach it?


NOTE: Just to be clear, this topic is about Genetic Engineering in general.


Edited by DarkNemesis, 08 December 2014 - 05:35 PM.

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#2 YoWid

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:45 PM


I think it depends on the intentions of doing genetic modification/engineering project/research in the first place.
 
In the article above, the pretext is to study better human brains by studying the brain-cell injected 'super mice' (which were touted as 4 times more intelligent than the average ones)--whether or not there is any other reason undisclosed to public might fall into the realm of conspiracy theories, and I won't speculate further; but the disclosed intention (on health research) is okay to me.
 
Then there is this research for way-stronger body armor made of genetically-engineered spider silk, I think this is okay too.
 
When it's leaning more towards eugenics or Human Genome Projects a la Metal Gear Solid, however, now that needs to be carefully monitored, since the implications wouldn't be so pretty for humanity in general.


 


My fear in these particular type of experiments is what happens when one of these mice escape and breed with other mice? Are we now going to have to deal with a new species of mice to kill? An ever evolving mouse? Yes, this sounds like crazy conspiracy theory. And yes, there are a great many things that can benefit mankind and animalkind with this research in genetic engineerng. But what line do we draw or even become concerned when we reach or approach it?

 

As for 'one of the mice running away and breeding with regular mice to make hybrid mice'--that's a possible scenario, and, indeed, not a good thing if it means the rise of super pest. If it happens worldwide (and the dominant supermice genes outnumbered the recessive ones); it would cause some serious trouble (plague caused by piss of those supersmart and resilent rats that are hard to hunt, agricultural disaster, etc.); but if think if such case of runaway can be isolated and dealt with in fairly short amount of time, we can breathe easier.

 

Personal genomics research results nowadays help us better identify whether we're genetically prone to diabetes, heart attack, etc. and help us better to focus on dealing with each respective disease and undergo relevant medications in effective way. That's good, I think.

 

It's eugenics programs (if any existing in current times) we should watch out for, really. 


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#3 Narubi

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:56 PM

Personally I'm not as bothered by it as some may be.

True there are things to be concerned with, regarding this type of subject. Most of which stemming from movies, shows, and other sorts of fictional sources.

A majority of which showcasing the creation of some  super monster or monsters that go about massive amounts of slaughter to probable world domination/apocalypse.

 

But while works of fiction like to play on such things being "evil" or "misguided". there is undoubtedly potential benefits too reap.

An it's due to these benefits, that groups will continue to strive in working out these sorts of experiments, regardless what we think or say.

 

As for containment and control?

Well aside from the afore mentioned "evil" and "misguided" POV's in fiction, there's also the fact that most fiction likes to make people look like bumbling morons when it comes to containment and control, a factor that usually results in the again afore mentioned mass slaughter an domination/apocalypse. But in real life, while we can't be entirely knowledgeable about every aspect, I'm sure that any possible means of control an containment is taken into account.

 

Now is or would that be good enough?

It's always been to my understanding that experiments of any kind, are a "gamble", and so not everything goes as planned or hoped for.

As well there'll be cases where it might go beyond expected/predicted results.

 

So even with the best available in way of containment and control, we do have to take into account the possibility that it might not be enough, and something can happen. That or probable human error. 

 

But the real question would be, with all that in mind. Is it worth the risk?

To which, for me, I'd say ... yeah it might be.



#4 DarkNemesis

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 03:09 PM

Just to be clear, this topic is not about the Mouse Zombie Apocalypse or even the Mice version of Terra Formars. It's about Genetic Engineering in general.

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#5 Passingby

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 03:24 PM

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#6 eemo23

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 04:37 PM

This is an interesting topic; I remember discussing it in my Ethics class last semester... I might be stopping by this thread after finals. 


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#7 Nmaan

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:29 PM

How does everyone feel about forced evolution, aka. genetic engineering? Or does that deserve its own thread? In any case, we've now made 2 kinds of super-mice. One, by inserting immature brain cells into baby mice. And the second engineered to have better bodies.

My fear in these particular type of experiments is what happens when one of these mice escape and breed with other mice? Are we now going to have to deal with a new species of mice to kill? An ever evolving mouse? Yes, this sounds like crazy conspiracy theory. And yes, there are a great many things that can benefit mankind and animalkind with this research in genetic engineerng. But what line do we draw or even become concerned when we reach or approach it?

 

Many animals are genetically engineered to show luminescence in the presence of certain markers, so in that sense genetic engineering is nothing new.

In terms of the animals escaping, it can happen but there are very strict controls in place.

Even should they escape it's unlikely that they would be enough of them to have a significant impact on a wild population of the animals.


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#8 Nyanko

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 10:13 PM

This is an interesting topic; I remember discussing it in my Ethics class last semester... I might be stopping by this thread after finals. 

 

...

I almost failed ethics, and because of such, I totally approve of unethical genetic engineering, particularly to cure death!


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#9 disastrousmaster

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 09:02 AM

I just hope they don't try to make supah soldiers that end up overtaking us all @.@ if that dun happen I'm good. I dun want no spartan117 knockin on my door askin for cookies D< I would deny him them. but in all seriousness I think playing around with genetics is just a bad idea in general. far too many possible catastrophic results may occur from this.


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#10 BoriketheBlackDragon

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 02:40 PM

Genetic Engineering has also been used on plants to make them resistant to pests and produce more food per plant.  Tbh, if there were ever a way to end world hunger, outside taking the world population down by 4 billion, GE would be the way to do it.  It has great potential to be helpful, but like robotics, Hollywood uses it to create (unrealistic) end of the world scenarios in movies, so the whole thing has a bad rep.


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#11 Goddess Nike

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Posted 11 April 2015 - 08:52 PM

I thought I'd provide some background info that pertains to this debate, even though I'm disappointed in how this thread turned out it might be useful to someone out there. It's pretty lengthy but you only need to read the first chapter.

http://file.zums.ac.... Ph.D. Hage.pdf


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#12 Candles

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 06:26 PM

I thought I'd provide some background info that pertains to this debate, even though I'm disappointed in how this thread turned out it might be useful to someone out there. It's pretty lengthy but you only need to read the first chapter.

http://file.zums.ac.... Ph.D. Hage.pdf


I don't even want to admit how far into this I got before realizing I'd already read this before. Nevertheless in the introdution alone there's something that has worried me for a long time far more than genetically engineered mice ever will (something I'm not remotely concerned about) which is our ridiculous overuse of antibiotics leading to the continued rise of MDR pathogens. It's a major problem for the health and science community but the general public seems blissfully unaware of the imminent threat.  

More on topic, is there anyone here that has a problem with genome editing in either animals, humans, or both? If so what are the reasons?
 


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#13 retroluffy13

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 10:46 PM

I just hope they don't try to make supah soldiers that end up overtaking us all @.@ if that dun happen I'm good. I dun want no spartan117 knockin on my door askin for cookies D< I would deny him them. but in all seriousness I think playing around with genetics is just a bad idea in general. far too many possible catastrophic results may occur from this.

genetic engenerrring is the only possible cure for some diseases doe.

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#14 Ganderath

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 12:48 AM

WHOOP WHOOP, PARTY TIME, NEW THREAD.

 

Drop the weed dude, seriously.

 

 

my pint is that your assertion is ridiculous, and even if it weren't, what centuary are you living in dude? bioengineering is in its prime and glory. at this point, cloning a human is just a matter of ethics and not technological recourse. we already beat evolution.

but even that opens up a new argument to the flor. say we do find out its possible t "fix" gay people.

who here is gay and can say they'd want that? I don't think many, but maybe ill be surprised.

and not even nessisarily for you. who here is gay and can say they'd rather be one hundred percent sure theyre child grew up straight?

 

 

But did you drop the weed?

 

 

Evolution is just one way to address why homosexuality might be a flaw, but socially its also a flaw as well. You cant possibly think that gay people see themselves as equals, when there are things like gay pride and parades. They're different. Theyre creating a whole culture based on their sexuality, which is by all means a flaw in either genes or psyche.

What I'm saying is, if we spent more time trying to just leave these people to their own luck we should start trying to come up with cures for their condition, be it a pill, psychology or whatever. If people don't want to be gay than they should have a choice on the matter, its not their fault.

Plus, give me one example of someone that wants to be gay. Have you ever heard a straight person say: "God, if only I was gay, life would be so much easier"? No, you haven't, because nobody in their right mind would say that. Nobody wants to be gay, just like nobody wants to be a cripple, no matter how much we try to adapt ourselves for their comfort. So, being there no logical reason for anyone to be gay, being gay is also a logical flaw as well.

No matter how much acceptance gay people have, the world wasn't built for their convenience, so they'll always be seen as second class, deep down nobody wants to be like them. As such, we could perfectly describe gayness as a self destructive behavior, because it does invariably cause some sort of harm to the person by any X source. Nobody would want to be gay, and at the end of the day, if nobody wants to be it, then bring gay shouldnt really be something good, should it?

Do you really think that most gay people wouldn't, given the chance, "convert", so to say? A chance for a normal, easier life? A chance to enjoy the same things people around you do, identify with them and not feeling left out or like an outcast?

Imagine an ex convict who's served his sentence and regrets what he did. He's basically accepted as new, but he's gonna be treated differently one way or another.

That's like asking someone if they want money.

 

 

nope

 

 

Judging from what I read from this thread few of you actually understand what evolution is. Before making pseudo-scientific hypotheses on the basis of evolution and asserting them as facts, please review relevant learning material. Evolution has no goal. There is no beating it. It does not highlight 'flaws', and what constitutes as a 'flaw' (in terms of responding to selective pressures) changes based on the selective pressures.

 

Please stop pretending science is on your side when you engage in pseudo-science.

 

Also stay on topic or you will be given a straight ban. I've warned you guys enough over the past months about proper debate forum etiquette.

 

 

Bioengineering? You honestly saying that we can do bioengineering for 7 bil people?

We haven't beaten evolution, we've damaged ourselves. If maybe we just had let evolution happen, there wouldn't be this much people suffering from down syndrome and other genetic diseases. Evolution isn't something to rebel agaisnt.

 

 

I would say the ability to manipulate dnz at will and literly install benifiets into ourselves that evolution would never give us, and the ability t stop ourselves frm adapting in any new ways is effectively beating it.
 
pf course it will be possible in the future. here's how technology works. its out for a while, then we get better at making it with cheaper and better materials, and eventually there's a bioengineering plant in every major city in the world.

it greatly amuses me how people underestimate human ingenuity. its not an if, but a when.

 

 

 

 

Human ingenuity almost destroyed the world.

Nobody is willing to save the world for free.

 

 

oh so its just a record then? oh ok.


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#15 retroluffy13

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 01:34 AM

In fairness, that has it's own set of problems.

ive always had an intrinsic intrest in fringe. actually probably the ne subjects I actually can go about shwing cool links for.

it fascinates me that weve been able to clone a sheep for decades now https://en.wikipedia...ki/Dolly_(sheep), a full physical being, and have scince gone on to cloning everything else under the sun, weve learned how to literally implant the dna of one species into another sucsessfully https://en.wikipedia..._modified_mouse, and recently weve even began being able to selectively clone human body parts http://www.bbc.com/n...health-23508688. so the whole clone running around thing isn't as big of a deal as it use to be.

I mean yeah. that's the biggest problem with eugenics is ethics. and not just the obvious things like: is it right or wrong. but then we have to consider how far we go. do we develop the technology to the point where we can modify people who are already alive or do we just want super children? do we try and find a way around mortality? do we fi all nurological disorders, even the ones that aren't nessisarily a problem for people? who controls this glorious technology?is the control of this kind of techknology a game changer in future economics? why stop at bio engeneering when we could g further with mechanized implants. stuffs like that.

Edited by retroluffy13, 03 July 2015 - 01:36 AM.

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#16 Ganderath

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 01:41 AM

ive always had an intrinsic intrest in fringe. actually probably the ne subjects I actually can go about shwing cool links for.

 

I recall you having trouble with genetic experiments. Are you sure that this is something you want to tackle?


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#17 retroluffy13

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 01:47 AM

I recall you having trouble with genetic experiments. Are you sure that this is something you want to tackle?

lol cant tell if your making fun of me or just trying to get me to lighten up. I hope its the latter. my life has enough conflict and dispite popular belief I don't go looking for more. though it says something that you actually know the plot I suppose lol.

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#18 Goddess Nike

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 10:41 AM

More on topic, is there anyone here that has a problem with genome editing in either animals, humans, or both? If so what are the reasons?


Not a problem per se since I'm in favor of gene editing in general but I don't see any reason we shouldn't wait awhile before attempting to use CRISPR for clinical applications in humans.    
 

Nevertheless in the introdution alone there's something that has worried me for a long time far more than genetically engineered mice ever will (something I'm not remotely concerned about) which is our ridiculous overuse of antibiotics leading to the continued rise of MDR pathogens. It's a major problem for the health and science community but the general public seems blissfully unaware of the imminent threat.


To add to this there's also the possible negative effects on the diversity and health of our "second genome" which in turn can greatly effect our overall health. Some more links, though I may have already posted the first one before but it's still pretty interesting.

http://www.nytimes.c...wanted=all&_r=0

http://www.ncbi.nlm....nihms424103.pdf
 


Edited by Goddess Nike, 03 July 2015 - 10:42 AM.

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#19 retroluffy13

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 04:13 PM

What do you mean "one of those things we shouldn't mess with"?

As for what we should be doing is the same thing we've been doing for the past few decades. There is no magical solution. You just keep whittling way at the close-minded as best you can.

Your first paragraph is a whole lot of nothing. The first problem with it is assuming that pushing for a better society is useless because it cannot be perfect. I think it's obvious why that argument does not hold. Secondly, it does not matter if new issues crop up as long as you solve old issues. Further, it is not so much new issues pop up as it is that we've dealt with issues that used to be more severe so new (but pre-existing) issues are brought to the forefront. With your mindset we would have left women's rights (or racism) alone because we will never actually achieve true equality.

The symptom of dissatisfaction in oneself is individual and an issue (if we are to assume that everyone should be happy). What they are dissatisfied with would not be classified as an issue.

You find it oddly convoluted because you are dealing an absolutes. Treating society is not a solution, because discrimination will never go away. It's not about fixing society into a perfect utopia, because that will never happen. It's about making it as pleasant as one can. It's infinitely easier to push for a more accepting society than it is to come up with impossible inventions such as a pill that changes sexual orientation or flawless plastic surgery and having both be accessible to people of all ages. The evidence is in history, because as much as people like to complain, we have come a long way. Not far enough mind you, and a lot of our challenges are now more subtle than overt, but it's better than it used to be.

I was dismissing the possibility of it existing as retroluffy13 seemed to think it was not only a possibility, but an eventuality. I didn't dismiss the question you've asked, but the point of entertaining the thought experiment.

As for your simple question, I'm not qualified to answer that.

I mean there are things we should mess with and things we shouldn't. the use of eugenics for things like medical purposes, saving lives, ending diseases like parkensons, cancer, huntingtons, and so on? helping people who suffer? for that purpose the line has to be crossed. the line between playing god and redefining what it means to be a human.

the problem is I understand full well the implications of such medical advancements. if we can do one thing like end huntingtons, we can just as easily manipulate human dna on different levels. so if we want to begin our cross over that scary line, we have to decide what we are willin to change about ourselves and what we are not. procedures that end disease are things we should strive to make advancements in. procedures that involve arbitrary changes shouldn't be pursued.

and then from there we can deal with the grey areas. like what perfect eugenics means for the transgender community.

Edited by retroluffy13, 16 July 2015 - 04:19 PM.

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#20 DarkNemesis

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 06:49 PM

Scientists have a tool that can literally rewrite your RNA. The article states that it can be used to cure HIV, autism, and cancer. But it can also be used to alter one's physical attributes or even personality. Though the idea that this tool could be the key to cure all sorts of diseases. If what the article says is true, then maybe we should be continuing to aggressively pursue other means of curing these diseases. Gene-editing tools just sound too ripe for abuse.


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