Friday, March 16, 2012

Genetic Engineering

March 15th, 2012

Dear Mr. President,

                My name is Agota, and I am a student from Parkway West Middle School. I am writing to you today to bring your attention to the benefits of genetic engineering. 

                I traveled with my parents from Europe to America three and a half years ago. We were just in time for the H1N1 virus outbreak in Mexico. I remember how my mother was making sure we washed our hands four times a day and that we wore new clothes every day. She said that "the virus is bad." That was the first time in my life I thought about becoming a doctor. Ever since then, I have been reading about different diseases and trying to comprehend them better. Later, in 7th grade, we learned about HIV and AIDS. As I researched these conditions, I came to realize that beyond the traditional medication, there were so many other options.

                One of the major lessons I have acquired in my lifetime was this: "You cannot do something, until you know what you are looking for in it." I believe this rings true for many things, including the safety of a country.  An improvement of safety is deduced from new findings. If, on the other hand, we do not know what kind of a possible threat we should be looking for, it will most likely be missed. Something like a syringe could easily be missed. I do understand that it would be a stretch to check every needle for a bacteria or a virus that could possible cause a pandemic, but it is not wrong to suspect something like that. On the other hand, if, for example, there would be a system to detect such a threat, it may save thousands of lives. The problem is that something like this would be hard to find today. The best way to prepare for such inconveniences would be look for ways to understand them better. One way to do this would be through genetic engineering. Something like this could be treated faster and better if doctors knew more about how our genes mutate. This is only one way our society could benefit from genetic engineering.

                A more recent example of how genetic engineering helped us is the case of the Trenton patient. Through genetic engineering, his body became temporarily resistant to HIV. Although another patient was fully cured of this disease, the way he achieved this was much more costly and time consuming. Many people simply do not possess such resources to help them. Gene therapy (an offspring of genetic engineering), has helped many others beside the Trenton patient to regain their lives.

                These are only some of the benefits of genetic engineering. There is so much more to what we can do if we only start searching. I believe that it would be wrong to ask anybody to do such a favor, but I am compelled to do so. I believe that the best way to ensure the well being of next generations to come would be to have a government funded research group that explores the benefits of genetic engineering to the nearest proximity.

                Thank you for your time and your service to the country.



Parkway West Middle School

St. Louis MO

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