Curing Genetic Diseases Through Genetic Engineering

You may have heard about people suffering from genetic diseases such as diabetes, hair loss, or high blood pressure. Many people had been suffering from the genetic disease for centuries. Previously, there was no way to cure this disease and even if they cure it, it will reappear to the next generation. Nowadays, scientists are trying to look for a solution, and one of the methods they came up with is genetic engineering.

Genetic Engineering is using DNA to replace some genes to produce more normal DNA. Hitherto, parents’ genetic characters are passed down to their latter generation at random. If this technology develops more and becomes more applicable, it might be possible for humans to select which genes to pass to their offsprings by excluding harmful genes. 

Three ways are commonly known as genetic engineering. First is the microinjection of DNA into the nucleus of anchored cells. The second is electroporation, where DNA is introduced through cell membrane pores by pulsed electrical charges. Lastly, polycationic neutralization of the cell membrane and the DNA, which enhances passive uptake. 

Genetic engineering consists of five major steps. First includes the identification of the gene interest. Second, isolation of the gene of interest must take place. The third step is an amplification of the gene to produce many copies. Fourth is an association of the gene with an appropriate promoter and poly-A-sequence and its insertion into plasmids. The last step is a multiplication of the plasmid in bacteria and recovery of the clones for injection.

Although genetic engineering can introduce several advantages for humans, its use can be arguable for some viewpoints. The first issue is on the perceptions of people on whether genetic engineering is ethical or not. In religious perspectives, it is often considered unethical to defy the nature that God had made, while other people argue that the health of people now is out of range of religion. Most importantly, safety problems arise. Since genetic engineering alters the sequence of DNA, an error in engineering will cause tremendous effects. Its consequences can be directed to that individual and even to the next generation, and it could even threaten life. Another problem is the diversity of genes. If gene engineering is stabilized and applicable in the future, most people would afford to use it. Their selection of genes can lower the genetic variation. 

By: Hyunsu Park