TED Conversations

Laura Bickle

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Genetic manipulation by humanity. How is it helpful and how is it harmful?

Humans have had a significant and direct impact on the Earth and the other organisms that inhabit it. Since the onset of agriculture, humans have manipulated plants and animals to suit their needs which has brought disease and hardship as well as helped civilization advance.

More recently science and technology has given us the ability to alter the gene sequences directly.

Many believe we are meddling (via GMOs) in things we don't understand and could cause problems. Perhaps by inserting a piece of DNA, you might be screwing up some type of regulatory, less understood DNA function. It may not be relevant in the original organism, or your experimental models, but could it be bad for us?

I think a good avenue is to systematically expose other plant and animal organisms to conditions we would like them to adapt to, such as warmer temperatures and reduce required surface area, etc.

What do you prescribe in the future of gene manipulation? Hopes? Fears?

Which avenue would you pursue, and why?


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    May 11 2011: I'd say pursue cures, and where to find the cures, etc... I'm short on words at the minute. (nature)

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