Genetic Research

Archive Report

Controversy Over Gene-Splicing

Visions of Great Benefits and Grave Perils

Many americans have never heard of recombinant DNA—a gene-splicing technique which enables scientists to combine the genetic material DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of different species and create new or drastically altered forms of life. Yet experiments in this relatively new area of genetics could have as great an impact on our lives as the splitting of the atom. “The discovery of recombinant DNA is one of the more striking technological achievements of our century,” declared biochemist Liebe F. Cavalieri of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.1

Like atomic energy, recombinant DNA research has the potential for great benefits and grave perils. Some scientists fear that these experiments could create dangerous life forms which, if they escaped from the ...

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