How can we use our knowledge of genetics to predict or control particular characteristics?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am certainly no expert in this area, but I think it is clear that our ever-increasing knowledge concerning genetics is already being used to make predictions and, to a limited extent, to control certain characteristics. In particular, I am thinking of the specific example of the way that scientists are now able to identify a breast cancer gene, which if you have it means you are much more likely to contract the disease at some point in your life. I believe similar discoveries have been made in terms of a gene indicating Downs Syndrome. Certainly, this is something that we can only expect to increase as our knowledge of genetics and in particular our identification of particular genes resulting in conditions or syndromes grows. This of course does bring with it massive ethical and moral issues, which must not be ignored.