Selective Breeding Methods

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Wolves, corns, and bananas, what do they all have in common? Selective breeding. It’s a process by which humans can select desirable traits less precisely than methods used today. For example, dogs weren’t the lovely creatures that we have today. Rather, they were vicious scavengers, quite hostile to humans (Lange). However, everything changed once humans learned to manipulate gene expression by only allowing less hostile breeds to reproduce. Although this method of changing behavioral gene expression has much less control on a specific genomic sequence, it still provides us an insight as to how long we’ve been manipulating genes for: approximately 12,000 years (Lange). Subsequent to a more in depth knowledge of DNA, genetic modification became …show more content…
Some of those plants are even used in everyday products today (Broad). As our knowledge of gene editing enhanced, more efficient techniques became available. Many available methods require the use of gene-editing nuclease, proteins that allow genes to be edited. Zinc finger nuclease, an artificial enzyme, would be one example (Baker). By using these methods, scientists can alter the genomic sequence by cutting out a specific gene and substituting in a different one. However, the outcome of getting the exact change isn’t always guaranteed and sometimes artificial nucleases can be hard to make (Baker). Nonetheless, there’s yet another method that has revolutionized gene-editing. The technique is known as CRISPR, acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. This method allows genes to be edited at an astonishingly high precision, while also substantially cutting down the time required to manipulate genes, as well as the cost. It works on virtually all organisms, from bacteria to humans. This method is accessible to anyone with a lab and is much less complicated than the methods used before. CRISPR system has the ability to cure genetic diseases, cancer, and HIV by using the CAS 9 protein to cut out …show more content…
They are either caused by mutation(s), or are inherited from biological parents (“National Human Genome”). Effects of genetic disorder vary depending on severity of the mutation. Many available options are aimed at reducing the symptoms, not at diminishing the cause. However, with CRISPR, it is now possible to fight genetic disorder before it even develops. In an experiment done by Wu et al, researchers in Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, the spermatogonial stem cells (precursor to normal body cells) with a genetic mutation underwent gene therapy. The offspring of the mice showed no physical characteristic of the mutation, implying that CRISPR system successfully worked in getting rid of genetic disease (Wu et al). Genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, neurofibromatosis, and many more can be cured by simply correcting the gene sequence in the human embryo (“National Human Genome”). However, there are few issues to consider before practice of such method becomes common. If a human is to be modified for correcting the misrepresented genetic sequence, the altered gene will, undoubtedly, be passed down to descendants. The permanent change could alter the gene pool of the future offsprings, deviating it from natural process of

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