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'Discuss the moral and ethical issues surrounding Recombinant DNA and Gene technology'

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Introduction

'Discuss the moral and ethical issues surrounding Recombinant DNA and Gene technology' Recombinant DNA and gene technology are very controversial topics in society today. Gene technology is the manipulation of DNA to alter the genetic make-up of organisms; an example of this is recombinant DNA. This is when DNA molecules have been created by combining DNA with more than one source. The genetic modification of organisms is a vast industry, and the applications of technology are far reaching. It brings us new hope for medical cures, promises to increase yields in agriculture, and has the potential to solve the world's pollution and resource crisis. These GMOs can be modified in three ways: adding a foreign gene, alter an existing gene or delete an existing gene. Many critics believe that these techniques should not be used as they are very morally and ethically wrong and the benefits of it must be carefully weighed against the risks to human health, as well as the health and well being of other organisms and the environment as a whole. Yet others, including some scientist's, feel that it is a very useful and important method that needs to be widely practiced. Over the past few years, there have been a number of revelations about the growth of genetically modified organisms. ...read more.

Middle

This is why using this process is being questioned very carefully, and experimented on by scientists. There have been many involvements of genetic engineering over the past years, which have proved useful. Firstly they have extended shelf life of corn. In the year 2003, about 40% of the United States field corn crop was grown to genetically engineer corn hybrids. Because GE corn is not separated from non-GE corn by growers and processors, and because many food ingredients are corn-based, GE corn is likely to be present in most processed foods. This brang up many problems, as the gene for ripening has been switched off therefore delaying the natural process. Yet many critics believe that these GM foods will not help the world, as the genetically engineered foods are very expensive, and the farmers of developing countries will not see the benefits of it. Plants can be engineered to produce their own insecticide and become pest resistance. Many farmers have used this type of engineering to allow their plants to become resistant to some insects. An example of this is BT corn. It is now pest resistant from the common borer species. It has been genetically modified from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis; it was inserted into the DNA of corn embryos. ...read more.

Conclusion

Invisible to detection systems, and able to overcome vaccines this bacterium is very dangerous. Through genetic engineering, bacteria cannot only be made resistant to antibiotics or vaccines, they can also be made even more toxic, harder to detect, or more stable in the environment. By using genetic methods that are standard procedures in thousands of labs worldwide, bio weapons can be made more virulent, easier to handle, and harder to fight. In short, more effective. An Example of this is a Bacterium that causes unusual symptoms. Researchers from Obolensk near Moscow inserted a gene into Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularaemia and a well-known biological weapon agent. The gene made the bacteria produce beta-endorphin, an endogenous human drug, which caused changes in the behaviour of mice when infected with the transgenic bacteria. This is very dangerous as if this bacterium were to get out there would be a huge worldly uproar. In conclusion I feel genetic engineering has been taken too far and is more of a problem to people then an advantage. Though there are many advantages like: environmental clean-ups, crop improvement and vaccine development. Yet there are also many disadvantages like pest resistance going wrong and bio-weapons made. Therefore I feel that there is more disadvantages that overcome all the advantages of it. So I believe that genetic engineering is wrong and should be stopped. ...read more.

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