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Genetics

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geneticsThere was a pivotal moment in the that too place in the early 1950s, which has given rise to the burgeoning field of molecular genetics. In 1952, two now famous Nobel Laureates, Francis Crick and James Watson, discovered the molecular structure of DNA (a double helix) and confirmed that DNA was indeed the genetic material. Now the race is on to decode the genetic information, to discover the genetic basis of all our human traits, and to use genetics to reveal our phylogenetic relationships. What is more exciting and controversial is the possibility of manipulating our genes so as to restore damaged health or even enhance many of our biological functions. However, as is the case with any scientific and technological developments, there are whole host of ethical problems that must be considered. The possibility of manipulating our genes in order to enhance our biological, as well as psychological nature, is hugely problematic. It is foreseeable that it may lead to a new eugenics, and a radically undesirable change in our human nature. There are also other ethical issues relating to genetic information and the implications of having such information, for example, genetic discrimination and the ethics of genetic screening.