Your Interview - a Piece of Hair

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gattaca.jpg
Previewing in 1997 the movie Gattaca (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZppWok6SX88) offered the chilling example of how genetics has the potential to control every aspect of our lives. Portrayed in the movie is the main character, born with poor genes destined for failure in a society where only your genome matters. Determined to beat his genetically superior brother, he is forced into a life posing as another person, one with the blood of success, the genes required for accomplishment.

Now this kind of society seems far-fetched, one so obsessed with genetic composition alone that your job interview is as simple as plucking a hair off your poorly combed head. History teaches us though that it tends to repeat itself.

Eugenics has throughout history offered the world a solution to all its social ails. By ridding the planet of deleterious DNA we can breed a super race, one resilient to all troubles. The technology to fully implement this type of policy has not existed in the past, but it does now.

For only $399 the website 23 and Me will sequence important parts of your genome and tell you what social, behavioral, and pathological circumstances you are predisposed to; other sites will now do it for even less. This is rooted in much good science too, years of research, however we must take a step back an think "is this ethically responsible?" After all, what would happen if your medical insurance company found out you were greatly predisposed to dimensia? If your girlfriend found out that you have many copies of the football watching/beer drinking gene? Or that the state found out that based upon your genetics you are 75X more likely to commit a violent crime?

These questions are already being asked. Weekly stories surface about people engaged in this type of ethical debate (example http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/news_cut/archive/2008/06/the_ethics_of_genetic_testings.shtml).

After all, we have no control over what we are born with. We cannot control our race, our sex, our ethnicity, our age, or our body image. Laws exist to fight discrimination tied to these qualities. It is our job as a society to make sure that individuals remain free from genetic discrimination too, because it is a field offering incredibly solid evidence capable of disenfranchising the most undesirable individuals of society.

2 Comments

I remember this movie from the Biology course I took in high school, and similar questions were asked, which the movie also answered: your genetic code shows predisposition to certain traits, not their certain development. There are undoubtedly individuals with "lesser" DNA who may work to improve themselves, while individuals with "superior" DNA laze around and allow their natural skills to degrade.

Our modern society is really developed. Nowadays, we can know a person's information just by using a piece of hair!! Containg those informations in our hair is really amazing. Our society is utilize the source such as searching a person, confirming blood relationship through DNA test etc.

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This page contains a single entry by riesx079 published on April 20, 2012 10:52 AM.

Judging a Book by Its Cover: the Study of Physiognomy was the previous entry in this blog.

Cast Away: Why we "Need to Belong" is the next entry in this blog.

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