The sphere of genetics has evolved into a series of questions that capture the interest not only of scientists and scholars but also of average people. The idea that an individual’s genetic code bears all the information about his or her life presents a scope of theories and discussions. Lone Frank uncovered her vision of the epigenetics as a powerful tool for the future social change in the ways people will behave. If the genetically encoded information about health or individual dispositions of a child was available from the moment of birth, it would provoke a shift in people’s self-perception and the relationships with others and the world.
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There might be several positive outcomes from sequencing newly born babies. To name one, the availability of information about a child’s health issues might provide a variety of opportunities to recognize the threats and prevent the development of a disease (Frank 280-281). It could be made by the elimination of the key factors triggering the danger. Such awareness provided by epigenetics could have long-term positive outcomes ensuring the overall improvement of human well-being and health.
As for the adverse consequences that the sequencing of newborns might result in, the genetic information about health and intellectual perspectives might cause harm to the individuals labeled as genetically disadvantaged. If technologies develop quickly, it is undoubted that the gene-related advancement will not remain a private matter for a long time.
It is highly possible that the sequenced data would be publically available and become a reason for manipulation and forcing people to act according to their genetic predisposition rather than their free will. Such unforeseen consequences might result in unfavorable life conditions for those whose genome code signifies their weaknesses.
If humans obtained the information about themselves from their genes since the day of their birth, it would change their mindset and the way they perceive themselves as individuals. Depending on the quality of the genome, a person might underestimate or overestimate his or her abilities and predispositions, thus engaging in corresponding kinds of activities. Being aware of the possible health issues that can evolve during a person’s lifetime, he or she will be able to carry out necessary procedures to eliminate the harms and prevent a problem. However, from a psychological point of view, a person who is aware of such issues might obtain a pessimistic attitude to life and lose an ability to change the course of life.
However, presuming that parents could receive the information about their children from the moment of the babies’ births, it would have a significant impact on relationships between them. According to the study analyzed by Frank, the interventions with teenagers who were genetically predisposed to criminal behavior helped them prevent the development of such actions (278-279). If parents knew the genetic data about their children, they would provide more precise and accurate methods of upbringing to minimize the adversities and protect children from the harms they could be easily exposed to.
In conclusion, epigenetics as an evolving science brings a lot of opportunities and might significantly change the lives of people in the future. Being aware of risks and harmful predispositions since the time of birth is able to prevent the development of some health problems and adverse behaviors. However, if such information becomes publically available, it could provoke manipulations and prejudiced attitudes toward genetically disadvantaged individuals. Nevertheless, sequencing newborns could provide humanity with vitally important data and give a lot of opportunities for the development.
Frank, Lone. My Beautiful Genome: Exposing Our Genetic Future, One Quirk at a Time. Oneworld, 2011.