Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Splice & Jurassic Park: Transgenesis, Genetical Engineering, Gene Modification

Transgenesis: Transgenesis is the process of introducing an exogenous gene – called a transgene – into a living organism so that the organism will exhibit a new property and transmit that property to its offspring. (Wikipedia)

I. Read the article below and discuss the questions that follow: Taken from:

Spider Goats:
I never would have believed it unless I had read it myself. Scientists have successfully genetically altered a goats embryo with the DNA of a spider. These genetically altered goats produced (mutated) in a laboratory are presently producing milk that is being used to make bullet-proof vests. The fibers contained in the spider goat's milk are twice as strong as Kevlar!!! Can you imagine?
Though it may seem like a noble invention to save people's lives, the implications of such monstrosities is greatly disturbing. What else can scientists create? Let your imagination run wild and you'll be convinced as I am that the end of the world cannot be far away. If you are wondering if scientists are tampering with human embryos, the answer is horrifyingly "yes." Mankind is savage! Do you think that AIDS just happened, never having existed before until the 1980's? Think again! AIDS is the creation of the U.S. military. A weapon designed to curb the earth's population. If I'm scaring you...GOOD! We need to be scared, scared enough to fall on our knees and beg God to bring revival to churches across America.
What else are scientist's messing with? Will we see people with six legs like an insect? Will we see people that can climb trees like a cat? Will we see men with armor-plated skin like the armadillo? Will we see people that glow in the dark like fireflies? Don't laugh, the frightening possibilities are endless. What genetic monstrosities will the military try to develop? I saw a movie called "The Island of Dr. Moreau" when I was a child about a mad scientist who lived on an abandoned island and had successfully produced multitudes of mutated half animal/half human creatures. I never thought I'd live to see the day when that would become a frightening reality.

1) Summarize the text in your own words.

2) Are we blurring the lines between species by creating transgenic combinations?

3) What ethical, social, and legal controls or reviews should be placed on such research?

4) Are we inflicting pain and suffering on sentient creatures when we create certain types of chimeras?

5) Will transgenic interventions in humans create physical or behavioral traits that may or may not be readily distinguished from what is usually perceived to be “human”?

6) What unintended personal, social, and cultural consequences could result?

7) Will these interventions redefine what it means to be “normal”?

8) Who will have access to these technologies? 9) What is the future of such experiments.

 II. Watch the segment below from the movie Splice and decide whether this scene will be feasible in the future


1. What were the main objectives of the research?

 2. What were the drawbacks?

 3. What should happen to the scientists?

 4. Was this a worth trying experiment?

5. Is Genetic Engineering a good resource in such cases?

 III. Watch the segment from the movie Jurassic Park and discuss the questions.


 1. Do you agree with this kind of experiment? Why (not)?

 2. Is is a good idea to bring extinct animals back to the environment? Explain it.

 3. What are the moral issues involved in such experiment? What are the possible consequences?

 4. What sorts of regulations do you think still need to be implemented in order for this procedure to be totally accepted by society?



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