Monday, April 9, 2012

Are "Super Genes" In Our Future?

Hey guys,

Today as I was having my daily dose of procrastination I stumbled across an interesting article. These scientists from North Carolina have spiced celery and rose genes to create a "super flower." Most roses, with my experience anyway, never seem to last more than a week in a vase. When these scientists added this gene from the celery plant, the roses had a much longer vase life, reaching to three or four weeks. As lovely as this discovery is for the ones who are blessed to receive flowers, it begs a bigger question.

This article's title immediately drew my attention due to the recent discussions held in class. With so much research and discoveries being made in the field of genetics how far are we willing to go? Dr. Jen Wagner spoke about the role genes play in sports. I ask myself "If scientists can find a "super gene" in roses, how far are they from finding similar genes in humans?" As an athlete I think it would be pretty awesome to locate a gene that dramatically increased strength, or endurance, but at what price? If such genes were found and parents were able to make that decision for their children, what would be the effects?

Even today without all the advances I discussed, pressure is on children to be the best, not only in athletics but in academics. All sorts of hype is surrounded by professional sports and I have yet to meet an elementary aged boy that does not want to grow up to be Derek Jeter, or Michael Jordan. If these genes were popularized and widely used how many parents would lay out their children's lives for them? Half the fun of growing up is making your own life decisions.


3 comments:

  1. Nice post! Remember, we're at the point now that we could do prenatal genotyping and choose whether to keep offspring with valued genetic material (not saying that we should), but we are not at the point, technologically, that we're capable of changing a human's genome to have it develop in a specific way. If we could do that, people would probably already be trying to get certain ACE variants, etc etc...

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