Biotechnology: Beneficial or harmful?

Artworks by Norman B. Isaac and John Mark L. Saycon.

Biotechnology: the ability to advance nature’s finest creations, with the use of modern technology. To go in depth, biotechnology can be properly defined as the use of biological processes performed on a wide variety of natural resources in order to achieve an overall improved environment and prevent diseases and natural disasters from spreading. The use of biotechnology takes place in even the smallest arenas, such as food eaten, medicine and vaccines taken, and even clothing worn. Therefore, it is an important factor of our everyday lives that needs to be openly spoken about, especially on the subject of healthcare, and the prevention of diseases. However, these accomplishments do not conceal the potential consequences, such as  destruction of croplands, and the abuse of power of large pharmaceutical companies.

Washington senior Savannah Le shared her perspective on the use of biotechnology, stating, “After experiencing COVID-19 firsthand, I think as a whole, we have all learned that we can’t take the risk of wasting time when it comes to pandemics. Biotechnology enables us to diagnose diseases, create vaccines, and cure sicknesses.” Savannah goes on to discuss the development of a more sustainable environment, derived from biotechnology. Therefore, she expresses that she is in support of biotechnology and its positive impact on our environment. 

Some other major advantages of biotechnology are the ability to preserve resources, reuse products, and eliminate waste products. Biotechnologists are able to perform these procedures by studying cells, reading genetic information, and then analyzing these details to identify the initial uses for them. These factors all work to create a more sustainable environment by controlling pollution, as well as saving those who are prone to getting sick through the altering of DNA. The use of biotechnology benefits us with longer lives as well as environmental conservation. 

On the other hand, these experiments with the altering of DNA could possibly go wrong, leading to extinction. Moreover, the modification of DNA comes with the risk that our personal medical information will end up in the hands of private corporations or the government, which would give them too much power. There is a possibility that this information can get spread to the wrong people, leading to mass destruction, given that they have access to these modifications, providing them with the resources they need to be used as deadly weapons.

Overall, however, I am in full support of the benefits that biotechnology provides, especially since living through the COVID-19 era made it clear to me that the new technology saved many lives, and even helped to prevent harsh symptoms. After deciding to get the vaccine, my experience with COVID-19 was much more bearable, and not as extreme. Biotechnology has the power to create a more viable environment, by addressing the starting points of climate change and how to start preventing it. By researching and experimenting now, biotechnologists can reduce upcoming pollution and work towards delaying global warming, to protect ourselves and our communities. 

Overall, biotechnology has the potential to save human lives and our natural habitats, but the possibility of destruction among species and the environment means that it needs to be carefully examined. Although it may seem that the pros outweigh the cons, this does not take away from the potential risks that come with the experiments performed by biotechnologists.

Seher Yates (12) is a student at Washington High School. She was born in Maryland and raised in Virginia, then moved to Fremont her freshman year of high school. This will be her first year at the paper, and her journalistic interests include pop culture and controversial topics. After adapting to California, Seher has found an interest in hiking at scenic spots and eating good Asian food. In her free time, Seher likes to complete puzzles or play brain games, and go out to explore with her friends. Seher plans to attend college down in Southern California.

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