Genetic Engineering

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Genetic engineering is the manipulation of genes which are the chemicals of heredity in hopes to correct the defects that produce genetic disorders and make new substances that would never be found in nature (Silverstein 480). Think of genetic engineering as a tiny microscopic construction project that takes place on very small units within living cells (Druker 38). Since Dolly’s birth became public in February 1997 genetic engineering has been a popular topic because it was a result of this scientific process (Silverstein 54). Farmers have controlled the outcome of plant and animal breeding since 5000 B.C.E. By the 1800’s scientists began to gain more clues about how nature did its own cross breeding (Wilinski). The discovery of how traits …show more content…
Biologists discovered that since genes were chemical compounds that they could be manipulated like any other type of chemical compound. Because DNA molecules are large and complex the task of tinkering it can be difficult, but most chemists are familiar with the principles involved in working with DNA (Wilinsky). Scientists use a procedure called gene splicing to genetic engineer DNA (Silverstein 51). The chemist cuts the DNA molecule apart and then puts it back together. This process takes place naturally in cells (“Genetic Engineering”). Restriction endonucleases, which are chemical scissors, are used to separate the DNA molecule at certain points. The first basic step in genetic engineering is to isolate the gene, and insert it in a host using a vector. Then, produce as many copies of that host as possible. Lastly, separate and purify the product of the gene (Batiza 63). Then a piece of DNA is secluded from an organism and spliced or joined to a DNA molecule of another organism and forms a recombinant DNA molecule. Recombinant DNA is DNA that has pieces from different species. Now the DNA is different from the original DNA pieces and the organism’s physical traits are changed (Silverstein …show more content…
Tinkering with genes provides new sources of disease fighting drugs using modified bacteria, plants or animals (Giblert). Famers cross fertilized and grafted plants with different plants to obtain stronger stalks, better fruits, resistance to pests or other improved characteristics. They also crossbred animals, like horses to increase their speed (Druker 51). When scientists discovered that a gene in domestic cows were responsible for the production of milk, they extracted that gene from the cow and inserted it into other cows so that their milk production would increase (Wilinsky). Recombinant DNA allowed scientists to produce many products that were previously available in limited quantities like insulin (Silverstein 55). The biggest and most successful kind of genetic engineering is the production of gene products like, insulin and penicillin. Techniques produced by rDNA techniques have quickly increased (“Genetic Engineering”). Some products produced by rDNA techniques have been very effective, like human growth hormone that is used for treating dwarfism, alpha interferon for the treatment of diseases, and Anti- Thrombin used for anti-blood clotting in surgery (Wilinsky). The biggest and most successful kind of genetic engineering is the production of gene products like,

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