Science: The Perils of Treading on Heredity

Uncontrolled tampering with DNA could stir up a host of ethical dilemmas

The prospect is intoxicating. By mapping and manipulating tiny genes, man . could conceivably conquer diseases, improve upon his natural abilities and perhaps even control his own destiny. But just because miracles might someday be possible does not necessarily mean that they should all be performed. The tools of molecular biology have enormous potential for both good and evil. Lurking behind every genetic dream come true is a possible Brave New World nightmare. After all, it is the DNA of human beings that might be tampered with, not some string bean or laboratory mouse. To unlock the secrets hidden in the...

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