Microbes and Genetic Engineering


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WebMicro 2000

 The ability of scientists to move genes from one organism to another has raised questions about risks and hazards involved. The public has become concerned about the effects of biotechnology. Scientists can create new organisms that could change the natural evolution and ecological balance in various environments. New organisms could mutate into organisms that scientists never predicted and have no control over. Scientists could possibly transfer the wrong gene when engineering an organism, thus creating something unintended. New organisms may pass their genes on to other similar organisms or to organisms with which they have close contact. This could include for example, experimental E.coli passing traits to natural E.coli in the intestines of humans.

  1. Would you support attacking the enemy by infecting them with a fatal disease causing bacteria!?

    There is the possibility that pathogenic bacteria could be created and spread. This creation could be purely accidental or the results of biological warfare research. The entire idea of biological warfare is very disturbing for many people.

  2. Do we have the right to alter life as we know it!?

    Many people are particulary concerned about the ethical questions associated with
    genetic engineering of human genes. The potential that exists for altering human genes.

  3. Do you care if you're eating genetically altered food!?

    Genetically engineered food has caused other questions. Despite all the benefits of genetic engineering, it has caused a lot of concern.

  4. Should the government regulate biotechnology!?

    The possible hazards of genetically engineering organisms have caused some legislature and discussion of
    control over experimentation and use of genetically engineered organisms.

  5. Would you receive a genetically engineered vaccine!?

    Vaccines have been developed using biotechnology. Some people are concerned about experimenting and using vaccines created by genetic engineering.

  6. Should we disturb the natural balance of life in the environment?

    Genetically engineered bacteria can be beneficial by cleaning up the
    environment, but they could also impact native species of life.




© 2000 Jody Becker, Robin Norwood and Brad Greenspan. All Rights Reserved, except for the images, which retain their own copyrights.
This site was designed by Jody Becker, Robin Norwood and Brad Greenspan for MBI 699.W in August of 2000.