The PGLO Transformation Lab

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World Book Student defines genetic engineering as “techniques that alter the genes (hereditary material) or combination of genes in an organism… Beginning in the 1970’s, scientists developed ways to reintroduce individual genes into cells or into plants, animals, or other organisms” (Rubenstein, 2015). Genetic engineering is a controversial subject not only in science but also in popular culture. Some research, such as stem cell research, has led to serious questions concerning ethics. Other research, like the creation of genetically modified foods, has led to protest from those worried about potentially harmful effects on the environment and on the organisms that consume the foods. However, genetic engineering has led to many scientific breakthroughs …show more content…
The purpose of the pGLO transformation lab is to teach students how to perform genetic transformations. According to Bio-Rad’s lab manual, genetic transformations is process of inserting “a gene into an organism in order to change the organism’s trait.” In this particular lab, students will be taking the pGLO gene, which makes the protein Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), commonly found in a species of jellyfish, which glow (N.d., p. 32). Theoretically, when the pGLO gene is inserted into the E. coli bacteria, then the E. coli bacteria will also …show more content…
One notable thing that could be a problem in the not-so-distant future are “designer babies.” Simmons (2008) points out that not only would modifying human genetics run the risk of creating a class division between humans that were genetically modified and those who are not, but it could also create problems within the dynamics of a home life. Children would literally be designed to be exactly as their parents wanted them, so if parents “designed” their child to be able to form muscles better or be taller for athletics, but the child was more interested in the arts, the parents could potentially hold that over their child for the child’s entire life (Creating Designer Babies section, para. 9-11). However, many scientists in favor of genetic engineering argue that ethic boards and governments should prevent such things from happening. Whether people like genetic engineering or not, it is here to stay. Research in this field is moving at rapid pace, as scientists attempt to find ways to reduce costs, eradicate diseases, and increase food production. Unfortunately, as with any scientific advancement there is a potential for something terribly awful to be used with the research. For now, however, the potential good for genetic engineering outweighs the

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