Applications and Ethics of Genetic Engineering



Ethical Dilemmas

Professionals sit around a conference table.
Humans can evaluate the ethical considerations
of using genetic engineering

Suppose humans had a technology that could completely wipe out a disease, but if used the technology would also kill off numerous species of organisms, making them forever extinct. Would the benefit to humankind justify the cost of losing all those other species? Do humans even have the right to make a decision to wipe out other species for their own benefit?

These are questions that come with the development of new technologies. Humans have always used their ability to think and reason to find ways to make their own lives better. However, because humans can think and reason, they can also understand the consequences of their actions on the world around them. When is it ethical to use technologies to make human lives better and when should such technologies not be used? You will have a chance to voice your opinions later in this lesson.


  • Describe some applications of genetic engineering
  • Identify some of the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms and products made from them
  • Argue an opinion about whether genetically modified organisms should be used to solve human problems

Objectives derived from Pearson Education, Inc. © Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Pearson Prentice Hall. All rights reserved.