Term Paper: DNA Technology in Law

Pages: 8 (2383 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Genetics  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Ongoing research is unlocking the biological mechanisms by which a comparatively small number of genes regulated by complex protein synthesis and enzymatic actions accounts for the profound differences between human beings and fruit flies, whose genome sequence is approximately two thirds as large as ours (13)

Within a few decades, scientists will have revolutionized medicine with a comprehensive understanding of all genetic diseases and the ability to prevent them at the genetic level, rather than treat them at the macroscopic level. Before the middle of this century, it will quite literally, be possible (if not common) to posses our personal genetic code engraved onto a CD. Many experts believe that we will conquer all forms of cancer during this time as well as all genetic disorders including mental retardation, Alzheimer's, and autoimmune disease. Progress past the initial mapping phase will be somewhat slower, because the intricate interrelationships at the root of polygenic diseases cannot be computerized the way the first draft of the genome was.(14)

Scientists fully expect to grow replacement organs, having "seeded" or programmed growing tissue scaffolds with our personal genetic sequence, obviating organ donations which are always in too short supply to save more than a very small fraction of patients in dire need. Ultimately, we may be able to treat the aging process itself as a curable ailment, thereby extending the human life span.(15)

Conclusion:

Genetic engineering has enabled modern medical researchers to design advanced vaccines and chemotherapeutic agents to treat human diseases that were once thought untreatable. Within this next century, continued research into the inner workings of complexities of the human genome will likely result in the elimination of all forms of genetic and autoimmune diseases.

In the field of food technology, genetic engineering already confers increased safety to mass-produced food products, while greatly enhancing the efficiency with which it is manufactured.

In the field of law enforcement, DNA research has provided an invaluable tool for positively identifying suspects from a wide range of different possible biological materials. The national CODIS DNA identification system integrates the DNA data base of law enforcement agencies across the nation, greatly assisting efforts to locate missing persons and identify fugitives from justice.

Advanced DNA sequencing techniques have satisfied the requirements of scientific verification and repeatability, proving themselves to be one of the most certain and reliable forms of evidence.

At the same time, the developing field of DNA sciences has given rise to the profound need for public policies incorporating existing principles of constitutional law, social responsibility and medical ethics. The breathtaking pace with which the Human Genome Project was completed highlights the need for legislators and judicial architects of law and public policy to keep pace in order for social institutions to regulate the uses of technological advances for the benefit of society, while monitoring and limiting questionable uses and exploitative misuse of the same miraculous advances that have the potential to improve human life beyond what was even remotely imaginable less than a century ago.

NOTES

1. (2000) The Future of Forensic DNA Testing: Predictions of the Research and Development Working Group.

National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Imwinkelried, E.J., Kaye, DH (Apr, 2001) DNA Typing: Emerging or Neglected Issues. Washington Law Review, Vol. 76

5. (Feb 1999) U.S. Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice

What Every Police Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence

6. (Feb. 2002) Criminal Law and DNA Science: Balancing Societal Interests and Civil Liberties. American University Law Review, vol. 51, no. 3

7. Imwinkelried, E.J., Kaye, DH (Apr, 2001) DNA Typing: Emerging or Neglected Issues. Washington Law Review, Vol. 76

8. (Feb. 2002) Criminal Law and DNA Science: Balancing Societal Interests and Civil Liberties. American University Law Review, vol. 51, no. 3

9. (Feb 1999) U.S. Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice

What Every Police Officer Should Know About DNA Evidence

10. (Feb. 2002) Criminal Law and DNA Science: Balancing Societal Interests and Civil Liberties. American University Law Review, vol. 51, no. 3

11. Imwinkelried, E.J., Kaye, DH (Apr, 2001) DNA Typing: Emerging or Neglected Issues. Washington Law Review, Vol. 76

12. Ibid.

13. Eisner, R. (Feb 12, 2001) Analysis of Human Genome Shows Fewer Genes than Expected. ABCNEWS.com

14. Kaku, M. (1997) Visions How Science Will Revolutionize The 21st Century New York: Doubleday

15. Ibid.

References (Feb. 2002) Criminal Law and DNA Science: Balancing Societal Interests and Civil Liberties. American University Law Review, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 401-430

Retrieved Feb 29, 2004:

http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~kayed/pubs/dna/02-AMULR.htm

Eisner, R. (Feb 12, 2001) Analysis of Human Genome Shows Fewer Genes than Expected. ABCNEWS.com Retrieved Mar 1, 2004:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/DailyNews/genome010212.html

Hellemans, A., Bunch, B. (1988) The Timetables of Science: A Chronology of the Most Important People and Events in the History of Science

New York: Simon & Schuster

Imwinkelried, E.J., Kaye, DH (Apr, 2001) DNA Typing: Emerging or Neglected Issues. Washington Law Review, Vol. 76 Accessed at http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~kayed/pubs/dna/01-wlr-dna.htm

Kaku, M. (1997) Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize The 21st Century New York: Doubleday

2000) The Future of Forensic DNA Testing: Predictions of the Research and Development Working Group.

National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence Accessed at http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/183697.pdf (Feb 1999) U.S.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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