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Genetic Technology and Eugenics

'The advance of genetic engineering makes it quite conceivable that we will begin to design our own evolutionary progress'. //
...ISAAC ASIMOV

The desire to strive towards betterment is an inborn human trait that has transformed man from a long-tailed, tree-swinging primate to a techno-savvy, go-getter. Although desire has been considered the root cause of all things evil, it has provided man with the impetus to improve. This crave for betterment gave rise to a concept called 'eugenics', which enjoyed the support of several outstanding thinkers of the time, such as Graham Bell, Winston Churchill and Bernard Shaw. Eugenics involved the promotion of selected hereditary traits and was practiced since the time of Plato.

The post- war era gave a dubious flavor to eugenics with the Nazi, in Hitler's Germany, going berserk with the sinistrous intention of wiping out, whom they believed were, the 'scum of the earth'. They began with the Jews as targets and with time the list grew exponentially. It is an era which modern world is in a hurry to forget.

The olden method of selective breeding to produce better beings has given way to modern techniques like Preimplantation genetic Diagnosis (PGD) done on an embryo, prenatal testing done on a fetus and the genetic testing done on adults. All these tests, considered as eugenic measures by many, help to diagnose a particular genetic disease or provides informations on the risks involved, thereby disclosing valuable information which helps to decide on the course of management. 'Unfit' embryos or fetuses can be weeded out, while an affected adult can decide if he should pass on his genes to the next generation.

Genetic technology also includes genetic engineering, which has the potential to change the face of the world. It involves fiddling with the basic unit o
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