Definition And Science Of Genetic Modification Essay

1677 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 7 Pages
Definition/science of genetic modification in embryos

In human beings, genetic modification or engineering is the editing of genes. Genes are segments of DNA and are responsible for our physical characteristics. Genes are all heritable characteristics such as coloration, height, some intelligence factors and predisposition or immunity to particular diseases and physical and mental genetic defects. Human germline manipulation is the intentional altering of DNA in gametes, which are the sex cells in humans. The changes that will result from manipulating germ cells will eventually become a natural part of the human reproduction system and the altered genes will be passed on from generation to generation. The science behind germline manipulation is quite complex. Scientists insert a healthy gene into a target cell. The gene they insert into the gamete can either be for changing a certain aspect of an embryo 's physical characteristics or to modify the gamete to produce a mentally and physically healthy embryo. Altering the genes in a given gamete is possible because instead of targeting thousands of somatic or body cells, germline engineering only targets eggs and sperms or an early embryonic cell known as a zygote. As the embryo develops in the womb, the newly inserted gene will multiply and replicate in every cell, thus changing the initial genetic composition of the embryo. This process is known as microinjection. A similar method called Bio-ballistics can be used to…

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