Duncan KenneyAugust 12, 2009MCDB—Friday 12:30Testing and Improving the Human GenomeThrough a series of technological and scientific breakthroughs, scientists now have the ability to not only understand the function of most genes, but also manipulate or replace genes that are flawed or working improperly. Although genetic testing and gene therapy have immeasurable potential benefit to mankind, they also give rise to many complex and troubling ethical issues that need to be resolved before a large-scale genetic treatment movement is put into place. For example, doctors have been using a form of genetic testing for years that screens for major fetal abnormalities by extracting and analyzing embryonic cells. Now, however, scientists can analyze single nucleotide polymorphisms to discern more detailed information about the fetus -- including hair color, skin color, and even the risk of diabetes—thus raising an ethical dilemma about
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