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Genetic Engineering is the artificial alteration of the genetic code

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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.

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