Timmy Harder Mr. Reynolds English February 20, 2010 Frankenstein vs. Modern Science When Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, was written, it was seen as a novel warning scientists and people of the time of the dangers that could follow from exploring unknown scientific fields. In Frankenstein, the unknown field of study is the creation of a live human being. At the time, this was seen as an unthinkable and impossible task, but Victor completes it, although poorly. He began the experiment with little preparation and most of the procedures were done without care.
His experiment was way before its time and most people were confused or scared by his creation. Even today creation of a human being is unheard of. However, today, one of the major issues that is being discussed is that of stem cell research. The scientists of Stem Cell Research and Victor Frankenstein share many aspects that could greatly inhibit their overall findings. Victor had many problems that could scare off modern scientific research but the two major fears are the side-effects that the creation may cause and scientist’ unpreparedness of their actions.
The first problem with exploring a new scientific field is that not much is known about it including the procedure and just the knowledge of the subject. Victor began his initial research when he returned from England after visiting fellow scientists. He wanted to make his name famous, but he totally disregarded the necessities of the experiment. When he completed his creation, it was so hideous that he had to leave because he could not handle the ugliness. He planned to make a human like himself; instead he created a monster with yellowish skin and a height of eight feet.
Needless to say, this creature was about as far away from a human as he could have gotten; it was more of a giant. When Victor first sees the monster he says, “The beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart. ” (pg. 38) Victor could not even force himself to look at the monster because it was too hideous. When Victor first began the experiment, he believed that he had the complete set of tools to perform the experiment but, in the end, he was not prepared enough.
Today, Stem Cell research is in the same sort of mold that Victor’s experiment was in. Stem Cells were discovered in the late 1960s and real live experiments did not begin until the 1980s. At first, the experiments were performed on animals and many resulted in extra limbs and mutated body parts. The experiments were then tested on a set of twins, who were in dire need of a bone marrow transplant. The initial experiment went perfect, but afterwards their legs did not function properly, and they went in for another surgery.
However, stem cells were researched for about 10 years until the first experiment was conducted, while Victor conducted his first experiment just four years after he completed medical school. The only problem was that both experiments were conducted with total disregard of what could happen after the experiment, and in the case of the twins improperly functioning legs for life. Once the experiment or surgery was completed there are multiple side-effects that could follow each procedure. Side-effects are the things that may occur after the experiment that could damage the person for whom the experiment was completed, or the population.
For example, Victor created the creature, and with the creature followed many problems that affected the creature itself, and many people in the city were bothered by the monster. The creature killed many people on accident, and the creature was affected by his ugliness and his lack of communication skills. He was unable to communicate with other people and he eventually became lonely. Although many of the creature’s side-effects were emotional and could have been avoided by the creature itself, the side-effects in total could have been prevented if Victor never created the monster in the first place.
However, many of the side-effects that follow stem cell transplant are only harmful to the person for whom they were transplanted. Several side-effects include no-stop bleeding, Anemia, and Infertility. None of these directly affect the population, although Infertility would prevent children from being born. However, the most devastating side-effect is a mutation of several body parts. One example was a kid growing an extra bladder because the environment prevented him from growing an extra kidney. Unfortunately, the man perished from cancer.
Mary Shelley did as best as she could to warn the future scientists of the danger of engaging in an unknown field of science. Today, with stem cell research it is a relatively new topic that scientists are still researching. Many initial experiments have been performed, and when done correctly, can create scientific medicals. But stem cell research is still young, and with its relative newness, many experiments have gone wrong and have resulted in deaths and terrible side-effects. Citation: http://www. quackwatch. org/06ResearchProjects/stemcell. html
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