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Genetic Research Genetic engineering is the directed alteration of genetic material by intervention in genetic processes Websters 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 heshe 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 US 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 worlds second and third patents on mammals One of the patents is for a genetically modified mouse that lacks part of its immune system the second for a mouse programmed
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