Human behavior, personality characteristics, bodily physique and facial characteristics are all the consequence of the genes we inherit from our parents.
For example, the shape of our nose, mouth and ears, the color of our eyes and hair, and the lay of our ears are all determined by genes which we acquire at the embryo stage. This also applies to certain other characteristics like dimples on the cheeks and chin and a peculiar formation of wrinkles which may also appear in one or another of our siblings.
The genes we are born with also decide why we are vulnerable and another person isn’t, to particular diseases. Genetic engineering has now advanced to a stage where it can selectively enhance desirable traits and suppress or eradicate damaging ones. This is especially significant at the fetal stage. Scientists can now identify if an embryo carries some life-threatening or debilitating ailment and take corrective action in advance. A person may carry an undesirable gene which has not affected him or her but could be passed down to manifest itself some generations away. Human genetics could remove such a threat.
In theory, science has reached a stage where is can script the perfect human genome. In effect we are talking about producing a perfect race of humans free from any disease or the potential to pass any to their offspring.
But there is violent opposition to genetic engineering on religious and secular grounds. Many believe that tinkering with the DNA and genetics is a violation of ethics and treading on ground reserved strictly for the creator. Furthermore they view this as transgressing the bounds of human dignity.
The man who made all this possible was Gregor Mendel, known as the father of genetics. After considerable study he evolved a model of human inheritance. He concluded that discrete units known as genes were responsible for inheritance which followed certain well-defined laws.
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