The idea of enhancements through the use of genetic engineering was brought to light in Michael J. Sandel‘s book “The Case Against Perfection.” Through research and based on prior knowledge, enhancement is defined as something that alters the natural order with positive and/or negative results. There are a variety of subfields when it comes to the topic of enhancements through genetic engineering; but, the three main topics are memory enhancement, muscle enhancement, and sex selection. These enhancements, through genetic engineering, have many benefits that would pose ethical questions.
Memory Enhancement was first introduced for the purpose of curing those with dementia or those suffering from memory problems. Research has been done in memory enhancement which showed improvement in the cognitive functions in animal test subjects. In Jonah Lehrer article “Neuroscience: Small, Furry? and Smart,” he describes an experiment wherein mouse subjects were given a mutated gene that allowed them to finish a water maze on average almost twice as fast as their non-enhanced subjects. In his article he states, in adult mice, they can not only enhance their brain power, but fix developed abnormalities with almost 100% effectiveness in (Lehrer, 2009). What does this mean for humans? Although animal testing has been done, little is known about the human side effects of memory enhancing drugs. Concerns have been raised about the fact that these drugs react differently to domesticated versus wild mice. Another interesting side effects included that the enhanced mice were taking in too much information, wherein the mice were able to solve complex mazes, but fell short when it came to solving simpler ones (Lehrer, 2009). The scariest question might be what side effects will make themselves known, whether cognitive or non-cognitive, upon moving from animal to human test subjects?
According to my research, the ethics concerning memory enhancement seem to have...