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What blurt is this about virtue and about vice?

Even after the advent of genetic engineering in the early 1970s, and the bioethical concerns associated with gene therapy, this form of biotechnology was incorporated into few cinematic texts. The mechanism used for creating superior humans remained no more scientifically complex than the techniques deployed in sf films of the 1930s.2 The paucity of films that deal with human-gene therapy is surprising given that this mode of genetic engineering is associated with one of the most reviled social movements in history, the eugenics movement, which itself has an extensive history in the early cinema. In his book , Martin Pernick found that eugenics was a popular topic in films from 1900 to 1935. The image of the eugenicist deciding who could marry based on rational science, rather than love, fueled many early comedies, such as (1914), (1915), and (1920). In addition, there were many propagandistic fictional films produced on the subject of eugenics between 1910 and the mid-1920s, including the pro-eugenics film (1915) and the anti-eugenics film (1916). Pernick found that for controversial medical topics such as eugenics, "mass culture was a battleground on which many conflicting visions competed" (127). Eugenics was considered an "unpleasant" topic, however, and films that dealt directly with the subject "virtually disappeared from commercial theaters under the assault from aesthetic censors in the 1920s" (125). Still, the narratives of sf films continued to include the eugenic goal of creating "superior" human beings. Several films of the 1940s, such as (1941) and (1942), featured Nazi-like scientists creating "supermen" through scientific manipulation. This history would seem to have paved the way for a cinematic treatment of human-gene therapy in the context of popular visions of eugenics, but this has not been the case.

Thoughts of a dystopian society like the one in the film “Gattaca” come to mind.

Advancements are being made daily with genetic engineering: the Human Genome Project is nearly done, gene replacement therapy lies within reach, and cloning is on the horizon....

Gattaca - Genetic Engineering Essay - 1097 Words

In addition, genetic engineering can cause greater problems than that what we have today.

While Irene is held back by her faulty genetic makeup, Anton and Eugene are unable to live up to the expectations created by their flawless genes. According to Vincent, the expectations put upon the genetically enhanced to live up to their genetics are almost as debilitating as the discrimination against the unenhanced: "unlike the faith births, the genetically enhanced suffer under a different burden, that of perfection." Because Vincent as a "faith child" was a disappointment to his parents, their second child, the genetically-enhanced Anton, bears all the expectations of being a "son worthy of his father’s name." As with Irene, Vincent’s actions cause Anton to question his innate superiority. When Vincent saves Anton from drowning, Vincent realizes that "My brother was not as strong as he believed and I was not as weak." The burden of perfection is even greater for Eugene, whose name, "Eugene Morrow," literally means the "best gene of tomorrow." Throughout the film we are reminded that Eugene has a genetic makeup second to none. He has been engineered to be an Olympic swimmer, yet he has only won a silver medal at the games. Eugene understands that, based on his genetic makeup, he is expected to win every race, that he "was never meant to be one step down on the podium." Ultimately, Eugene comes to see that the unenhanced Vincent is better at being Eugene than Eugene himself. As was the case with genetic discrimination, the genetically-unenhanced Vincent’s ability to overcome his genetic prophecy calls into question the assumption of genetic determinism.

Extreme genetic determinists believe that a genetic readout can be used to predict a person’s future: genetic inheritance is equivalent to predestination. In , for example, geneticist Zsolt Harsanyi and writer Richard Hutton claim that individuals’ genetic readouts are an accurate gauge of their future: "Genetics offers answers. For genes foretell the future; and it is only a matter of time and technical skill before we understand their language" (30; italics in original). Most genetic data, however, only give information about the likelihood of, or predisposition for, developing a disorder or trait. Whether a person ultimately develops this trait or disorder is dependent on complex interactions linking heredity, environment, the individual, and society. A genetic readout provides uncertain predictive information about possible futures, not guaranteed outcomes. According to bioethicists, the danger in believing that genetic readouts are infallible is that these predictions will become self-fulfilling prophecies. Based on his research into the development of self-definition, sociologist Charlie Davison argues that the more a person knows about his or her genetic predispositions, the more influence this knowledge tends to have in the determination of self; for example, a person who knows that he or she has a genetic predisposition for heart disease will behave as if certain to develop heart disease, rather than take the chance that the disease may never develop. In an extreme genetic-determinist society (i.e., ), genetic readouts would no longer serve as tentative predictors of possible futures, but would be viewed as unalterable prophecies.

Film Analysis - Gattaca essays - Essays and Papers …

Gattaca gives us a futuristic idea of how genetic engineering will affect the human race and discriminate those of less genetic superiority....

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Genetic discrimination occurs when people are gattaca essay treated differently because they have or are perceived to have a gene mutation that causes or increases the risk of an. Throw in perfect health, a high. What's wrong with designer children, bionic athletes, and genetic engineering. Free example essay about Gattaca movie: Human determination can overcome all obstacles. In October of 1975, dining in Rome, Gore Vidal told his new friend the novelist Michael Mewshaw that Françoise Sagan was “a gattaca essay magnum of pure ether. Ethan Hawke. Success at wofford. Civil Ceremonies: providing ceremonies nationwide - naming, wedding, vow renewal, civil partnership, funeral - plus a full training service for celebrants. Page also

The movie Gattaca explores some important bioethical issues that are currently the focus of much dispute.
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Gattaca Genetic Engineering gattaca genetic engineering

Another large problem with all types of genetic engineering is the interdependence of genes: while on the one hand one gene may code for several features, on the other hand many genes are frequently required to code for one characteristic. While chromosome mapping is useful, without test crossing with every possible variable characteristic of an organism, it cannot be known what the functions of each gene are. Hence when a gene is removed, what is known about the function of that gene may not be all it codes for. The removed gene may also have a part to play in other functions. Similarly, the inserted gene may have other functions that are not known about. Some of the effects of these unknown gene functions may be noticed immediately and possibly be rectifiable, while others without immediate effect may cause significant long term changes. Little is known about the long term effects and potential dangers which may be inherited before they are noticed. Such problems may be cumulative and become harder to stop through time as the spread of new genetic problems continues through generations.

Analysis Of The Gattaca Film Film Studies Essay

This problem of inadequate knowledge regarding a gene's complete function applies also to the use of genetic engineering in food production. Be it livestock or crops, the alteration of genes, for example to boost growth, could have side effects such as weakening resistance to a particular disease. The inserted gene could even code for something harmful to humans. These problems may not even be immediately noticed and are hard to stop once cattle have been bred, crops sown or distributed.

The film Gattaca explores the ..

On the other hand, the benefits to humans are obvious where gene replacement has been successful in improving aspects of food production. For example, production costs can be lowered and health, taste and look of a product maximised. Equally, a lot of food shortage problems in the Third World could be solved by adapting crops to grow in such harsh conditions.

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