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Benefits and Unwanted Consequences of Human Genetic Engineering
The human body may contain both good and bad genes. Human genetic engineering manipulates the human genes to make them better. However, the technology has been seen to cause benefits as well as have some negative consequences.
As for the advantages, genetic engineering has the ability to influence a disease history. It is a well-known fact that one can inherit the bad genes from parents, or they may be influenced by the environmental mutations. The mutations can lead to the heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and others. However, the negative processes can be reversed through the genetic engineering. Other benefits also include the potential to increase the lifespan of humans. In this case, the genetic engineering applied to a healthy individual can overshadow the genome causing the aging process (Crumpton 4). Through this, the scientists say they can prolong the lifetime up to around 100-150 years. In addition, the genetic engineering can help to produce better products in the pharmaceutical sphere.
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Nevertheless, in the midst of the benefits, there exist consequences of human genetic engineering. First of them is caused by the fact that the process makes use of the viral vector to carry the desired functional gene in the human body. Unfortunately, it is not known where the functional gene is placed in the genome (Crumpton 4). Essentially, the functional gene may replace other important ones instead of the mutated one. As a result, it can lead to the formation of some diseases in a human. In addition, replacing all the defective genes can bring about the loss of diversity, and all people may end up having the same genome, which in return, may make them susceptible to unknown diseases and viruses leading to human extinction (Crumpton 6).
Mendel’s Laws and Their Equation with the Specific Cellular Processes
Gregor Mendel derived the laws of inheritance through conducting a hybridization experiment by using garden peas that he had planted in the church backyard. Mendel discvered that when he crossed the purebred white flower with the purple flower peas, the result obtained was not a blend. Through these experiments, he realized the idea of heredity unit and, eventually, came up with laws (Bortz 98).
To start from, the Law of Segregation states that each individual has a pair of alleles for every particular trait that segregate as well as separate during the cell division process for any given trait, and that each parent randomly passes a selected allele to their offspring. During the gamete formation, the two alleles segregate to form a heritable character (Bortz 67).
The next principle is the Law of Independent Assortment. It postulates that the separate genes for the given traits are passed independently from the parent to offspring. The alleles for different genes assort irrespective of each other during the gamete formation. During the mentioned process, the production of a gamete with the mixture of organism’s chromosomes occurs in eukaryotic organisms in the meiotic metaphase 1 (Hassan 87).
Additionally, the Law of Dominance applies whereby recessive alleles are masked with the dominant ones. As such, a cross between a homozygous dominant with a recessive homozygous expresses a dominant phenotype while still having a heterozygous genotype. Essentially, in a pair of features, only one will demonstrate the dominant character (Hassan 140).
The Inner Reptile
In terms of evolution, the human body holds clues to its history. The work “Your Inner Reptile” by Neil Shubin explores humans and reptiles distinguishing the similarities in their eyes, brains, hands as well as other body aspects. They all show the common features people have with other animals (Shubin).
However, there exist several differences between the mammals and the reptilian ancestors. To start with, the first distinction includes the fur and hair in mammals and mammary glands used to nourish the young ones. The mentioned features do not seem to fossilize over time and, hence, remain a distinguishing characteristic between the mammals and the reptiles. Additionally, one should mention the skeletal differences. For example, the reptile’s mouth is filled with teeth that are not uniform in terms of size but have similar cone shape (Shubin). In contrast, the mammals tend to have teeth varying both in size and shape. As for the ear bones, mammals have three of them while reptiles have only one bone that is the stapes. In addition, the reptilian skull attachment to a spine is through a single attachment point called the occipital condyle. With regard to the mammals, the occipital condyle forming the attachment is double faced. Furthermore, mammals essentially give birth to their young ones while the reptiles lay eggs. Moreover, the mammals are warm-blooded while reptiles are cold-blooded. These features make the mammal a more advanced creature compared to the reptile (Shubin).
What Are Humans Adapted for?
Researchers now agree that the human adaptation and way of life today that includes the use of computers and chairs as well as wearing shoes is somewhat abnormal. Some of them believe that people could be doing much better concerning the process of life adaptation. For example, the human body should not face the transition from the infectious disease to the chronic disease it is experiences. Moreover, poor adaptation to modern environment causes the conditions such as acne, osteoporosis, and other illnesses (Lieberman 95).
As for the mechanisms of adaptation, due to their consistent use, human bones have grown and developed. In addition, human bodies have adjusted to conditions of scarcity. Unfortunately, some of the new states are negative. For example, the overproduction due to the industrialization and revolution can lead to cavities and obesity. Moreover, in general, the human body is used more to the conditions of the past while the dysevolution can be a result of new habits such as sitting and reading compared to the active life of hunters and gatherers (Lieberman 154). The mentioned above practice is often the case of myopia in the human. Furthermore, the high rates of the flat-footedness could be attributed to wearing shoes. Therefore, the human is better adapted to staying barefoot.
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