Genes: A Solution to all our Problems?

Tons and Tons of paper (and energy) have been used to expound the immense degradation of this unique globe we call home. Of course, the Human Race is wholly to blame for this immature ageing of the Earth. The Industrial Revolution brought about delightful comforts, followed closely by clouds of smoke and deadly diseases.


The Urban Expansion led to massive deforestation and destruction of biodiversities. The more technology progressed, the further it opened the floodgates of unnatural evils.


It has reached such a point, that we humans are reeling under the effort to cope up with abnormal goings-on within our body and in our environment. We are being faced with new diseases, acute allergies, dwindling food resources, massive populations and rapidly deteriorating water supplies. This has led us to develop an even more cutting edge technology to keep the human race alive and living as comfortably as before. The most talked about of these is Biotechnology and Genetic Modification. What attracted me to this particular field was the recent spate of articles on its new developments.


One of the articles was about a new drug being formed, using a genetically modified goat. By tweaking the internal structure of a goat, the modified protein formed in its milk can be used to prevent dangerous blood clots caused during strokes and other pulmonary embolisms. If approved, this drug could pave the way to hundreds of similar innovations being brought into the market.


Another article had to do with the DNA alteration of a baby in the UK. The family had a history of developing cancer and by removing that particular trace of DNA, the baby was declared free of the hereditary gene. There were also frequent mentions of Genetically Modified (GM) Foods which we are all familiar with.


We should obviously be proud of these new advances. Aren’t we finding appropriate solutions to all our difficulties? However, isn’t their something really shady about this whole scenario?

I feel that we are being led into a vicious cycle of our own doing. Our earlier technologies led to problems which we solve by newer technologies, which may lead to more complex problems, as is already seen in the case of GM Foods. This will result in another round of technologies and so on. Meanwhile, the Earth will deteriorate further and further, and there will come a time when the need to invent anything will not arise. We are also ignoring the fact that the most beautiful thing about Mother Nature is that she is perfectly balanced. Our whole natural environment runs on a series of cycles, with everything in proportion. Even our bodies run on the same principle. To artificially enter such a setting and tweak the very basic elements of life (in this it is the DNA) might just be the final straw in unbalancing the precarious position in which we rest.


Anyway, only time can tell the real impact of our gene therapies being performed today. In the meanwhile, reviving Nature’s delicate equilibrium may be just what we need to concentrate on. At the risk of sounding clichéd, it’s never too late to try!


Anita Dhillon



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