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Safety and ethics of DNA technologies

Video transcript

so DNA technologies are really cool and they've provided us with a lot of really good things however there are some safety and ethical issues that surround DNA technology so back in 1975 there was a conference on recombinant DNA and they concluded that recombinant DNA used for research purposes can be particularly risky and so they implemented a set of guidelines to try and minimize that risk the NIH later issued formal guidelines for recombinant DNA work and now they're very well regulated and there are lots of laboratory safety procedures to try and regulate the use of recombinant DNA in the lab so one example of a safety concern would be what if we transferred cancer genes so if we took cancer genes and then we put them into a bacterial genome then that bacteria that infected someone that it could potentially transfect cancer genes into an individual so that would be that'd be pretty bad so that's one example of a safety concern using DNA technology another safety concern is how do we protect researchers that are working with recombinant DNA from being affected by the technology well there are a lot of well there are a lot of safety guidelines in place to try and minimize any exposure risk that researchers have when working with these recombinant DNA technologies so some ethical issues that that come up include if we're able to modify the genome then if we if imagine that there's a there's a pregnant woman we're able to sequence the baby's genome and let's say that we we notice that there is some kind of defect what are the ethics surrounding the correction of that defect defect is it is it ethical to fix a mutation that might cause a cancer for example how do we know that fixing the mutation isn't going to cause some other cancer how do we know if the or how do we know what the long-term effects of genetically modifying a infants genome are so these are all ethical questions that kind of surround that and if we gotta drag it out what if we what if an individual is perfectly normal genetically is it okay if we put in genes that help them make them smarter or faster what are the ethics surrounding that so those are some some ethical issues so that would be genetic modification so another ethical concern that has been brought up is were able to genetically fingerprint individuals so forensic scientists are able to pinpoint a suspects DNA they're able to figure out who an individual they're able to figure out what individual left a DNA sample at a crime scene for example so we're getting better at genetic fingerprinting but what are the ethics around that and what what if what if the government was able to track every single person that opened a certain door based on their the the DNA that was left behind or what if someone took a piece of gum that you spit out on the sidewalk and isolated DNA and was able to track it back to you so there are some problems around privacy issues so I'll write that down here privacy issues and with the human genome product project how do we prevent genetic information from being used in a discriminatory manner so for example if we know that someone has the gene for a specific breast cancer then maybe health insurance companies won't insure that individual or maybe future employers won't want to offer that individual job because they know this individual is going to get breast cancer later on we don't want her working here so there are these privacy issues that come up with the ability to be able to sequence and modify a gene