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Discuss the potential of genetically modified organisms.

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Introduction

Discuss the potential of genetically modified organisms. All living organisms are made up of cells that contain a substance called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The structure of DNA molecules, whose units are called genes, contains information that is used by cells as a "recipe" for the organism. That is, the characteristics of any living thing are determined by the information in the DNA of its genes. Genes, made up of DNA, control the synthesis of proteins. Proteins are extremely important because they make up the majority of cellular structures. So DNA is extremely important in the characteristics of living organisms. Genetically modified organisms occur naturally through a process called mutation. Deletion: This is where certain nucleotides are deleted, which affects the coding of proteins that are using a certain piece of DNA sequence. For example, if a nucleotide base was deleted then the whole entire structure after that would change. AGD CDG , if the G in AGD was deleted the code would look like this, ADC DGD, the entire protein would be affected and changed. Insertion: Similar to the effects of deletion, where a nucleotide is inserted into a genetic sequence and therefore alters the chain after that. This alteration is also known as a frameshift. Inversion: This is where a particular nucleotide sequence is reversed. This mutation isn't as harmful as the others because it only affects a small amount of the chain and so could result in a positive mutation. ...read more.

Middle

In gene therapy, a gene that is missing or is not functioning correctly is replaced with a correct gene. The first successful gene therapy was used in 1990 to treat an immune system defect called ADA deficiency in children. Blood cells with normal ADA genes were injected into the patients' bodies where they produced enough normal cells to improve their immune systems. Today, gene therapy clinical trials are underway to treat diseases such as malignant brain tumors, cystic fibrosis, and HIV. Transgenic Plants: Transgenic plants that can tolerate herbicides, resist insects or viruses, or produce modified fruit or flowers are being grown and tested. Copies of genes for these traits have been transferred to the plants by genetic engineering techniques from other unrelated plants, bacteria, or viruses. Corn plants that produce an insecticidal protein to resist European corn borers and tomatoes that can ripen longer on the vine before shipping are examples of transgenic plants that have been developed. Transgenic Animals: Transgenic animals are designed to help researchers diagnose and treat human diseases. Several companies have designed and are testing transgenic mammals that produce important pharmaceuticals in the animal's milk. Products such as insulin, growth hormone, and tissue plasminogen activator that are currently produced by fermentation of transgenic bacteria may soon be obtained from the milk of transgenic cows, sheep, or goats. There is a lot of focus on genetically engineered food. ...read more.

Conclusion

The possibilities are endless they just new to find a way of transferring the DNA material from animals to humans. The potentials of genetic modification on animals and plants for food is also has great possibilities. Animals and plants could be made to grow faster and bigger to produce more food. Animals and plants could be designed to live in harsher conditions to help feed the third world countries that do not have much water. Another huge field of possibility is the production of vaccines for viruses and diseases from plants and animals. This also works the other way, animals and plants could be bread to be immune to certain viruses and diseases so that they don't need things like antibiotics, this would then lower the cost of production for farms etc. and this would lead to cheaper food for the rest of the word in the long run. You can even go to the extremes of making animals systems more efficient, for example, making their digestive track more efficient at taking up food so that they don't waste as much and not as much food is needed. Also all of these examples for animals and plants could be used to help humans too. To conclude genetic modification has a great countless number of possibilities that could come out of it, however there are also bad things that could occur and so because of this there must be regulations and laws written to protect people. But I feel that the potential is huge and that genetic modification should happen. Giles Walker. ...read more.

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