• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Genetic Engineering is the artificial alteration of the genetic code

Extracts from this document...


Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering is the artificial alteration of the genetic code. Genes are sections of the DNA, which control the traits of an individual, such as eye colour, and are different for every person. With natural breeding, genes are passed down generations, but with new technology scientists are able to identify an individual gene, and insert it into another organism, which will then carry the trait of that gene. This organism is transgenic, meaning its DNA has been altered. As 'Food for our Future' says, the bases of our DNA make up a "language", and all species speak the same language, which is why it is possible for genes to be transferred between species. Human genes can work in bacteria, and elephant genes can work in mice. Genetic engineering has few limits, except our imagination, and our personal morals. There are many useful applications of genetic engineering. It is possible to insert human genes into sheep so they secrete alpha-1-antitypsin in their milk, which helps to treat lung cancer. A DNA test has been designed which detects pigs that are carriers of a genetic mutation that causes Porcine Stress Syndrome, which affects the quality of the meat. Also, there is cloning, which is a branch of genetic engineering where the genetic material of an organism is duplicated. ...read more.


'The advantages of genetic engineering outweigh the disadvantages'. Personally, I disagree with this statement. From the evidence I have gained, I can see that the problems form a strong argument against it. However, I do think that it is acceptable to a certain extent, such as cloning an organ, but not cloning an entire person. But where do we draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not? If this is set by law, it is probable that this will be a slippery slope, and the line will slowly be relaxed. I also agree with Mill, that the study of genetics is acceptable, because scientists should improve their knowledge of the human body. However, I think that as knowledge improves on the subject, use of genetic engineering will be inevitable, which will be difficult to adjust to, but the long-term effects will be for the best. Hi Nick and Gretchen, You have asked a very interesting question about, "What is genetic engineering?" Genetic Engineering is in fact, pretty darn great. Basically, genetic engineering means that the DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) material of any source (living or dead cell) can be isolated, identified, altered, and introduced into DNA in a living cell. Most of the work involves isolation and identification of genes - the components within DNA (chromosomes) ...read more.


certain bacteria that live in a symbiotic relationship with plants called legumes (pea plants - a redbud tree is really a great-big pea plant). If it weren't for these particular bacteria, and their symbiotic relationship with legumes, no life as we know it would exist on earth. So, people would like to clone this gene into many kinds of plants other than legumes.. that way, ammonia wouldn't need to be added to soil in order for plants like corn and wheat to grow - the corn and wheat could make all of the ammonia they needed - on their own. Thus, many starving people in the world would have more food. Further, human genes are being introduced into other humans who have a dysfunctional gene for a substance necessary for life. And, genes which make anti-cancer substances are also being cloned, and in some cases being introduced into the chromosomes of a person, in order to help that person fight cancer. So, genetic engineering is wonderful and powerful. But, like all wonderful and powerful things, there is a potential for mis-use. Therefore, it is every person's responsibility to become as informed as they possibly can in order to see that such things are used for the good of this planet... we are the caretakers of all that is here.. it is our responsibility to guard this precious earth and all of the living things on it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering

    4 star(s)

    Certain types of salamanders can re-grow lost limbs, and some lizards can shed their tails when attacked and later grow them again. Viewpoint 2 Ever since biblical times the lifespan of a human being has been pegged at roughly 70 years.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Is there a relationship between the girth of a tree trunk and the percentage ...

    4 star(s)

    The ground around the base of the tree trunk was often uneven and varying in elevation. This presented a difficulty in where to place the one meter ruler and hence where to measure from.

  1. The Production of Vaccines using Genetic Engineering.

    Neither the benefits nor the risks are clear-cut or well defined. One main benefit is the example whereby genetic engineering of food can be developed into 'edible vaccines'. (5) Consider potatoes, bananas or tomatoes. If they are genetically engineered to contain vaccines against different diseases, such as hepatitis B then these vaccines are easy to take.

  2. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of genetic engineering? Discuss this statement with specific ...

    much better, reducing crime and other negative factors as referred to the film. For example, genetic engineering when fully developed will make changes that will be passed to succeeding generations. Medicine has enabled individuals who would have died from diseases livelong enough to pass on their disease producing genes.

  1. Genetic Engineering.

    (Mike Bailey 2001) To make clones, the mature eggs are taken out and fertilised in special labs. When the eggs have grown into an embryo (8 or 16 cells), the cell nuclei are then divorced and transferred to an alternative cell.

  2. Biology Coursework: Does Acupuncture relieve pain?

    Alternative treatments - Chronic Pain9 Pharmacologic Treatment Acupuncture itself isn't considered as a conventional treatment, rather as an alternative. Many of those who opt for acupuncture are people who suffer from chronic pain. A significant number of people are affected by chronic pain worldwide.

  1. case study- cystic fibrosis

    should not use the creatures that are equal to us and that we share out planet with. God would disagree. Advantges of Cloning Solution to infertility? About 15% of Americans are infertile, and doctors are usually cannot help them. Federal statistics show that in vitro fertilization and relate technologies have a success rate of less than 20%.

  2. The genetic code

    An enzyme then finally links each mRNA nucleotides together. Only one of the exposed DNA strand is replicated in cells during transcription. The chain that is replicated is called the 'sense' stand and the strand that is not copied is the anti-sense. Yet it is debatable as maybe the "mRNA is actually synthesized using the antisense strand of DNA (3' to 5')

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work