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Genetic Engineering.

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Introduction

Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering seems to be one of the incredible breakthroughs in science. It was discovered in the 1900's by Mendel, who used to study peas by creating different species at one time. Genetic engineering can be described as the non-natural alteration of the genetic code. Genes are parts of the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that control the characteristics of individuals (e.g. hair colour); these are different for every individual. Normally genes are passed along generations but now scientists are now able to classify an individual gene and insert it into an organism that will carry the trait of that certain gene. This organism is seen to be transgenic which is a term used to describe that the organisms DNA has been changed. Different genes from different organisms are able to be inserted into different species genes (e.g. a human gene can be placed in a bacteria gene). Genetic engineering is used for a number of different things. (Watson et al 1992) The typical genetic procedure goes as follows first the gene that will be taken has to be located and isolated. The messenger RNA from the gene needed has to be isolated and a simple complementary copy is done using an enzyme called transcriptase. One more copy is made by adding another enzyme called polymerase, this creates a double stranded piece of DNA. DNA is a long strand and can be isolated from the mixture by precipitating it with ethanol. ...read more.

Middle

You would plant the seeds of the plant the seeds of the tall crops. Using tissue culture technique we are able to take plant cells and develop themselves into genetic modified plants. Rigorous testing is done before the genetically modified plant can be used for food production. Genetically modified plants are grown for a number of generations. This is done to help make sure that the plants can retain and not lose what they have been set out to breed. (www.vhihealthe.com) Not every type of genetic modified food plants or bacteria include the insertion of genes from a dissimilar species. Some GM crop plants can occur by 'switching off' certain genes that are involved in softening fruits. In these genetically modified plants the fruits will not soften quickly, making the damage and loss of fruits to a minimum. (www.vhihealthe.com) Further developments at the moment in genetically modified plants consist of the expression of the gene in certain sections of the plant, like in the leaves and roots. This can be achieved by expressed just in parts of the plants by careful selection of the 'switch'. (www.vhihealthe.com) There are many genes in the human genome. A genome is the total number of DNA in a cell. Some of these are codes for proteins, but about 95% of DNA is non-coding. About 40% of this DNA is made if short sequences of bases which are frequent repeated many times. Some of these sequences are dotted all through the DNA, but some are joined together in little clusters called tandem. ...read more.

Conclusion

heart surgery in humans). But the faith does draw lines to where the limit is. But most people who believe in the Hindu religion believe that this is a way of going against god's way. Yet there are some people who believe that this information on genetic engineering has been given from god. As if it wasn't then genes would not have been created by god in the first place. They believe it has been give to stop the suffering of humans and animals. (www.genetics.cjb.net) There are also issues on the fact that animals are being tested in genetic engineering, the fact that animals are being used in these experiments. This can cause issues for human right groups. Is it fair that animals are being tested and kept in cages just to try and find out how to create the 'perfect human'? Also that animal mutation is being formed because of this (a rat growing a human ear on its back). But genetic engineering also has benefits to animals as endangered species are more likely to be saved from extinction due to cloning. (encyclopedia.infonautics.com) I believe that genetic engineering is a wonderful and powerful thing. But like all powerful things there are issues that occur. The main one is the miss-use of this technique which could result in the loss of lives or it cause problems for future generations. I believe that everyone should be informed about the benefits and consequences of genetic engineering. We should all be responsible of the developments and we should protect our planet and the living things on it. ...read more.

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