The Potential Benefits Of Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering is a very powerful and potentially dangerous scientific application used to modify/alter an organism 's DNA. This technique uses biotechnology, which is the use of genetic engineering for commercial purposes, to introduce a desirable trait into an organism by affecting it on a molecular level (UNL 's AgBiosafety for Educator). These kinds of methods involve the addition, replacement, or deletion of certain strands of DNA. Introductions of DNA can come from either the same or different types of organisms. The topic of genetic engineering has been a controversial issue ever since it was first brought to light in the 1970s. There are some who say this advancement contains beneficial opportunities for society, while others …show more content…
In agriculture, there have been changes made to the genomes of certain plant and animal species (What is Genetic Engineering?). In plants, the strands of DNA that were altered improved the resilience, nutritional value and growth rate of crop. As a result, farmers have been using the modified plants that have been engineered to contain pesticide resistant genes, which allows the continuous use of chemicals in farming without harming crops (Hadzimichalis). A good example is the Amflora potato, which was engineered to produce more desirable starches. Scientists predict that as advancements continue, adding a medicinal value to crops could lead to the development of edible vaccines. Certain species of animals were given an additional DNA strand so that they could produce proteins that help scientists study diseases. A flock of sheep in Scotland were modified by introducing a human gene into their DNA sequence that allowed them to produce a specific protein through their milk, which lead to scientists being able to study and come up with a cure for cystic …show more content…
The reconstruction of gametes in genetic engineering would result in a permanent change in the organism, as well as for future generations (Zimmer). Should there be a negative effect from these changes, this problem could then be passed on. In addition, tampering with one’s genetic makeup could lead to a loss of genetic diversity/ natural variation. With little variation in personalities or looks in a modern society, the formation of new genes from the gene pool would come to a halt, thus making adaptation to certain environments difficult for certain organisms(Zimmer). Genes that would become useful in certain circumstances, would be bred out. Another problem that is presented with all types of genetic engineering is the interdependence of genes. This is the effect that genes have on one another, one gene may code for several features, while several genes are required to code for one characteristic (Zimmer). When a gene is removed, it cannot be entirely known what other aspects that gene codes for, the same principle applies when inserting a new gene, it may have other unknown functions. The resulting effects from the unknown gene functions could be seen right away, while others could contain long-term effects that are harder to

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