Question # 1

Recent advances in science and technology have made it possible for geneticists to find out abnormalities in the unborn foetus and take remedial action to rectify some defects which would otherwise prove to be fatal to the child. Though genetic engineering is still at its infancy, scientists can now predict with greater accuracy a genetic disorder. It is not yet an exact science since they are not in a position to predict when exactly a genetic disorder will set in. While they have not yet been able to change the genetic order of the gene in germs, they are optimistic and are holding out that in the near future they might be successful in achieving this feat. They have, however, acquired the ability in manipulating tissue cells. However, genetic mis-information can sometimes be damaging for it may adversely affect people psychologically. Genetic information may lead to a tendency to brand some people as inferiors. Genetic information can therefore be abused and its application in deciding the sex of the foetus and its subsequent abortion is now hotly debated on ethical lines. But on this issue geneticists cannot be squarely blamed though this charge has often been leveled at them. It is mainly a societal problem. At present genetic engineering is a costly process of detecting disorders but scientists hope to reduce the costs when technology becomes more advanced. This is why much progress in this area has been possible in scientifically advanced and rich countries like the U.S.A., U.K. and Japan. It remains to be seen if in the future this science will lead to the development of a race of supermen or will be able to obliterate disease from this world.

At present genetic engineering can rectify all genetic disorders. Is it?

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