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genetic researc h

Genetic engineering is the directed alteration of genetic material by intervention in genetic processes (Webster's 9th New Collegiate Dictionary). Genetic engineering is a controversial subject.Some people think that it is necessary while others think that it is harmful.Genetic engineering can be used in agriculture to make better plants.It can also be used in the courtroom for fingerprinting. Some techniques in genetic engineering are the selective breeding of plants and animals, recombinant DNA, and the reproduction between different strains or species (hybridization)(Encarta Encyclopedia 2001).
B. Julie Johnson fears that genetic engineering will result in the devaluing of life because genes, embryos, and ultimately people will all be thought of as commodities to be bought and sold (Bender, 17).Test tube birth is mostly controversial because of religious and ethical reasons.People wonder if test tube babies will have souls or if they will go to a form of afterlife when they die.
"In our society there are two values which will allow anyone to do whatever he/she wants in human reproduction," said ethicist Daniel Callahan. "One is the nearly absolute right to reproduce-or not- as you see fit.The other is that just about anything goes in the pursuit of improved health."(Stanley, 52)
By law, naturally occurring organisms are not patenable.However, in April 1988, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) declared that a mouse in which experimenters inserted a gene associated with cancer was a "manmade invention".The land mark mouse patent caused so much controversy that several bills for a moratorium on animal patents have since been unsuccessfully introduced. Meanwhile, in May 1992, Gen-Pharm International, a silicon Valley biotech company announced that USPTO would soon grant it the world's second and third patents on mammals.One of the patents is for a ge…

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