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Patricia Swim

3/9/15
Period 1
Genetic Manipulation of Offspring
In recent years, science has made incredible milestones in research with
genetically modified foods and animals. The lettuce grown in fields and sold in
supermarkets thirty years ago is nothing compared to the super-crops that are grown and
sold today. Today, we are growing foods that are immune to the diseases that once
destroyed entire fields of crops. Now imagine a world where we could take this genetic
modification, and apply it to our offspring. Using genetic engineering, parents could be
able to alter the makeup of an embryo to eliminate the chances of their baby developing a
number of harmful genetic diseases. This scientific advancement would be saving lives,
and allowing future generations to live longer. Others support the idea of taking genetic
engineering in offspring to the next level and, conceivably, choosing desirable traits for
the child like height, eye color, athletic, or intelligence. It is my personal opinion that,
after studying the ethical risks and my own morality that the extent of genetic alteration
with human offspring should be limited to only the elimination of potential genetic
diseases and other health risks. Giving parents the opportunity to choose the traits of their
children would mean that chance would no longer play a role in the outcome of traits,
therefore diminishing genetic diversity amongst the human race.
The genetic manipulation of offspring would decrease the likelihood of genetic
disorders and intellectual disabilities in children. This produces a copious amount of
healthy, and intellectually capable offspring into the worlds population since it could

effectively diminish the presence of many disabilities including the likes of learning
disorders such as A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. This would impact the worlds future growth and
innovation, as the offspring would contain a high aptitude for learning and innovating. In
addition, it could potentially decrease the infant mortality rate. In the United States, there
are about six infant deaths for every 1,000 children born (The World Factbook). Genetic
modification would extinguish the abnormalities that cause many infant deaths, putting
an end to the horrific grief parents experience after the death of a child.
If genetic manipulation of humans is properly governed, it could reach benefits
far beyond human health. Altering genes could effectively allow children to have fixed
IQs and physical abilities. However, with this comes paternal conflict, as genetic
alteration would become a sport to see which parent or doctor could produce the smartest,
most attractive child. In order to prevent this, there must be set limits and boundaries for
genetic manipulation. In the end, smarter children could be produced, paving a way for
the future in technological innovation.
Similar to the refinement of genetically modified foods, manipulating genes in
offspring increases the chance of a superbug, which has the potential to harm a
significantly high population. Although genetic manipulation would increase survival
rates among offspring, it would harm the widespread population as the genetic diversity
is diminished. With increased genetic protection against harmful viruses, viruses must
evolve to become effective, but once they do, the instantly become harmful to a high
number of the population, posing catastrophic consequences. In order to reduce this
likelihood, genetic manipulation must have elements of variation to protect the survival
of the human race.

Comparable to the genetic alteration of plants and animals, the genetic


manipulation of offspring is a topic that straddles ethical boundaries. With proper
limitation and governing, genetically altering offspring could greatly benefit the world. It
would provide immediate safety to children, and with enough variation could secure the
survival of the human race. With its endless capabilities and combinations, modification
could stretch into providing the world with numerous bright minds to fuel innovation and
productivity throughout countless enterprises and fields. Although it may not be a popular
case for support, the proper genetic modification of children produces more benefits than
consequences, and should be seriously considered by governments and researchers
worldwide.
Works Cited
Parry, W. (2013, February 18). Designing Life: Should Babies Be Genetically
Engineered? Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://www.livescience.com/27206genetic-engineering-babies-debate.html
Rights and Wrongs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2015, from
http://www.bionetonline.org/english/content/db_eth.htm
The World Factbook. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2015, from
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html
LaPrelle, Courtney. "Genetic Engineering: For or Against Perfection?." 2012
Schulenburg Campus Emerging Writers Contest. Brenham: 2012. Retrieved
March, 09, 2015.
(the last citation is in MLA because I couldnt find how to cite an essay in APA format)