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Monday, July 5, 2010

Two advances of biomedical technologies

Two advances of biomedical technologies are Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and the creation of synthetic genes (Levine, pp. 208-9). HGH is used to help children with low hormone production reach the top cabinet by helping to increase their height. Synthetic genes show promise for a number of uses including restoring and strengthening muscle, and increasing memory (Levine, pp. 208-9).

Pros – Biomedical advances in the past have helped cure diseases like Polio and small pox, significantly reduce the amount of deaths annually from flu and pneumonia, and repair and replace pieces of damaged organs (i.e. heart valves). We have the unparalleled ability today to cure and prevent debilitating diseases because of these advancements, and we have saved and extended thousands of lives.

Cons – Unfortunately as we develop better ways to prevent and treat the diseases we are familiar with, Mother Nature seems to throw in the twist of mutating the virus or humans change habits that lead to other issues. The common flu is much less of an issue today than it has been in the past, but the mutations of the flu can be catastrophic as we saw just this past summer with H1N1 and the death ratio it had. As we find better ways to treat, so viruses find better ways to adapt. Also, as mentioned in the Sandel article, certain advances open the door to a slippery slope to genetically engineered perfection.


Levine, C. (2010). Taking Sides: Clashing views on bioethical issues (13th ed.). New York: Mc-Graw Hill.

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