Psychology 1001 has been a very enlightening class. It has shown me many different fields of psychology that are interesting in their own way. The field that stuck out the most to me was the Biological Psychology section. The brain fascinates me in how it operates and allows all sorts of unconscious and conscious abilities to work. It is interesting that so much of our bodily functions are automatic thanks to our autonomic system that is part of the peripheral nervous system. Then it is interesting how the brain is broken up into separate parts that have been distinguished as lobes because of the abilities that they promote. A question I have about this field, which is probably a big reason why I will remember it, is how did scientists figure out what all the separate parts of the brain did especially when the brain doesn't look like it is separated in all the areas? Did we use human subjects that were unwillingly volunteered or was it all based off animal testing? This question is not a fun idea to think about. Psychology has given me the ability to look at events and little occurrences around us and analyze them to try and understand it in a rational way
fuchs092: April 2012 Archives
Some major ethical dilemmas that are related to genetics are the issues of 'designer babies', genetic testing in the workplace, insurance provided based of genetic information, having kids if genetic diseases are present and terminating embryos with genetics "flaws". These are not the only ethical problems but these are the most relevant within our culture. I am only going to touch on a couple of the genetic issues.
Genes that we inherit from our parents make up every biological aspect of us. For example Intelligence is 40 to 80 percent inherited which is an interesting concept in itself. But the parts of our brain are formed based of the genetic material we are given. This leads to the formation of all four lobes including the smaller parts such as the amygdale, hippocampus and hypothalamus. In a study done by Yaling Yang of University of Southern California shows that pathological liars have less white matter in their prefrontal cortex. This information is astonishing because the lack of white matter is a malfunction in their genome that they had no control over. They are genetically predetermined.
Hopefully in the future we can connect every genetic disorder/disease or biological problem to a particular gene so we can eliminate them from the human genome. But wait lets think about that the repercussions of that. If those particular genetic codes are so detrimental why have they been able to survive within our genome for so long? An answer to that could be that those genes helped prevent diseases that killed many of our ancestors in the past. An example of this is sickle cell anemia which is a genetic disease. People who have sickle cell anemia are resistant to malaria which is a life threatening disease in Africa. If we would eliminate a particular gene in our genome there is a high probability that a disease will come about that could kill many if not all people because we would not have that particular gene that makes us immune to the hypothetical disease.
We must be careful before we start messing around with our genes because dangerous and life threatening situations can arise. Either new disease can kill us, or our insurance companies/court systems can come down on people who might be predisposed to mental/biological issues. Much consideration needs to be given to insure we are making the best decision for humanity.