Changing the fundamental building blocks of life as we know it. Finding a treatment to incurable diseases - a cure for death. Playing God. Genetics as a science and as an applied field is young, but it has made quite a splash, and garnered both opponents and supporters. But what is genetic engineering actually capable of? Find out in our series: Life, Reconstructed.
Science does not exist in a vacuum. It is part of the society, whether scientists want it or not. The question of "can we do it?" at this point is often overshadowed with "should we do it?" On the quest of rebuilding life, what dangers lie ahead?
Scientists have learned to create GMO crops and livestock. We're capable of altering the genetic make-up of lab specimens. But can we change wildlife populations? More importantly, why would we want to do it?
While scientists can't clone human beings, there are still ways to alter the body with genetic sciences. Stem cell research is a promising field, capable of fixing broken cells which the body itself is unable to. But why is there controversy surrounding the practice? Can it be resolved?
Scientists have managed to clone a variety of species, including mammals. We now have the technology to clone a human being, but the question is: should we? Will we ever live in a world where human cloning is a widespread practice?
Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Can we use cloning to save species on the brink of extinction? Can we bring back lost species? And the big question is - can we really clone dinosaurs?
Transgenic organisms are used not only for food. Medicine, research, and even recreation are just some of the applications for GMOs. We've created a fish that glows in the dark and sell it as pets - but can we accidentally create a super-virus or super-bug, capable of wiping out humans as a species?
What makes a transgenic organism transgenic? Why do we have so many consumer products with GMO tags? Could we still survive if we ditched agricultural technology and consumed only organic crops and livestock?
Parents create offspring, offspring look and behave similar to parents - it's a natural law. Humans learned to create progeny of plans and animals which suited their needs millennia ago, without a deep understanding. Buy why does it happen? How do cells know what to develop into? What is, essentially, heredity?