Genetic engineering is the alteration of genetic material by direct intervention in genetic processes with the purpose of producing new substances or improving functions of existing organisms. It is a very young, exciting, and controversial branch of the biological sciences. On the one hand, it offers the possibility of cures for diseases and countless material improvements to daily life. Hopes for the benefits of genetic engineering are symbolized by the Human Genome Project, a vast international effort to categorize all the genes in the human species. On the other hand, genetic engineering frightens many with its potential for misuse, either in Nazi-style schemes for population control or through simple bungling that might produce a biological holocaust caused by a man-made virus. Symbolic of the alarming possibilities is the furor inspired by a single concept on the cutting edge of genetic engineering: cloning.