BIOL367/F10:Class Journal Week 7

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Contents

Salomon Garcia

Andrew Herman

  1. How do you think biotechnology like whole genome sequencing and microarrays will affect your future?
  2. How will it affect your career?
  3. How will it affect your personal life?
  4. What pitfalls can you forsee and how would you suggest avoiding them?


Richard Brous

  1. How do you think biotechnology like whole genome sequencing and microarrays will affect your future?
  2. How will it affect your career?
  3. How will it affect your personal life?
  4. What pitfalls can you forsee and how would you suggest avoiding them?


Andrew Forney

  1. How do you think biotechnology like whole genome sequencing and microarrays will affect your future? This seems to be a question of nature vs. nurture at the most fundamental level; while whole-genome sequencing and microarrays may some day be able to provide complete, predictive information about events, personas, and conditions in a person's future, the person's subsequent interaction with the outside world may change these predicted outcomes. As such, because there is this level of uncertainty and because people in a democracy would most likely only allow this process to influence them up to a point, I foresee this biotechnology serving as helpful, but not damning, warnings as to a person's future genetic events.
  2. How will it affect your career? As I note above, and because apparently there is some legislation even as we speak to protect peoples' jobs despite found genetic qualities, the only way this biotechnology could influence my career is if I internalized the presented information about my future and then made career decisions based upon it--I doubt that there will be outside forces to act against or for me based upon my genetic makeup as this brings into question ethical issues as well (watch any dystopian science fiction movie and you might see that our future has already been cognitively warded against such a fate).
  3. How will it affect your personal life? In this manner I could see the predictive nature of this biotechnology having some influence; for example, if a person knew they had a predisposition to heart disease, they might exercise more than they would have without this knowledge. In a way, this is the old question of, "If you could be told how you were going to die, would you want to know?" For some people, ignorance would be bliss, and as such they might not even want this data.
  4. What pitfalls can you forsee and how would you suggest avoiding them? Apropos of what I say in the last question, who knows what sort of psychological instability this predictive information might cause? Again, suppose a person is told they have a predisposition to heart disease; henceforth, every little twinge in their chest, every case of heartburn, or any muscle cramp might send them into a panic for fear of a heart attack--it could potentially be the birth of widespread paranoia. Furthermore, consider the tax on our medical personnel; I foresee waiting rooms packed more to the brim because people, gaining a glimpse into their future fate, are grasped by fear that death awaits around every corner (I hyperbolize for rhetorical effect, but you get the picture). As such, perhaps this information should be on a "need to know" basis; patients who are in no immediate or definite risk should not be told of their possible future afflictions unless it is a pressing, life-threatening concern. Then again, it would probably throw into fuss a whole "freedom of information" argument and the politicians will have a field day over the issue... so who knows what consequences could arise from our work in biotechnology--for now, it's simple debate over hypotheticals.
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