Bioethics of biotechnology (i.e. genetics) research paper


Humans have used tools for a very long time. Indeed, it has been argued that using tools is what made us different from other animals (not true). Ethical issues arise when those tools are alive. For thousands of years we have used other organisms as tools. Harnessing the power of oxen or the speed of a horse. It is not surprising that we desire stronger oxen and cows that produce more milk. We have selectively bred plants and animals to be more like what we want so they are better tools for us. With the discovery of DNA and the cracking of the genetic code, a new door has opened for manipulating the organisms around us. We can alter their very genetic make-up and create the exact tool we want. There are myriad uses of this technology from cloning to eugenics to GMOs to gene therapy. Each of these topics opens up all sorts of ethical issues. As citizens of this world, it is important that each of you understand these issues. Genetic engineering is when people alter the genetic code of an organism in the laboratory. This paper will be on genetic engineering and the ethical issues around it.

For this paper, you will select one area of genetic engineering. Your paper will tell the reader how to perform your procedure, the advantages of doing it, the concerns about doing it, and conclude with your opinion. Do not forget your references! Here is a guideline for your paper:







Introduce the reader to the topic. Give them background information like the history of it and the people and organisms involved. Catch the reader's attention! Explain what your procedure is to those who do not know.


The next paragraph will be the most esoteric (and confusing). You must explain the process of performing your procedure. This should be explained so that those not in our class would still understand. That means explaining things like “somatic cell nuclear transfer” and “restriction enzymes”.


The next paragraph will be reasons in favor of doing your procedure. Whether or not you agree with them, I want to see a complete list of advantages of performing it. Ask around—a lot of these reasons will not be found on the internet.


The next paragraph will be reasons against doing your procedure.


Lastly, you will conclude with where you draw the line AND why. What is your opinion? Why?



At least four references accurately cited. You may use me as a reference. You may also ask your parents or others. Clergy and politicians tend to be aware of and willing to talk about the pros and cons of ethical issues. Don't be afraid to use biased web sites like Monsanto or Greenpeace, just be aware of the one-sidedness of their arguments (remember that for two of your paragraphs you are looking for one-sidedness).



Title, Name, Date 5 pts

Introduction 10 pts

How it is done 20 pts

Pros 20 pts

Cons 20 pts

Opinion 10 pts

References 10 pts

Spelling, Grammar, Neatness 5 pts