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Genetic Engineering - soon to become a mainstream part of our lives

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Introduction

SKILLS I&j: Genetic Engineering Many scientists predict that genetic engineering is going to become a very mainstream part of our lives sooner or later. This is because of the important advanatages genetic engineering possesses. Probably the most importat advantage is that disease can be prevented by detecting people/plants/animals that are genetically prone to certain hereditary diseases, and preparing for the inevitable. Also, infectious diseases can be treated by implanting genes that code for antiviral proteins specific to each antigen. Our health can be benifited by genetic engineering by also producing rare products such as human growth hormone, or insulin that would normally be difficult to obtain. ...read more.

Middle

Genetically altering foods can increase or decrease the levels of beneficial ingredients in foods or decrease the levels of harmful constituents to make them healthier to eat. Plants could also be modified to be 'herbicide-resistant' so that farmers could spray an entire field, killing all weeds while not disturbing the crop of interest. While plant biotechnology has been used for centuries to enhance plants, micro-organisms and animals for food, only recently has it allowed for the transfer of genes from one organism to another. This has created a lot of controversy, mainly because of genetic engineering's disadvantages. One of the main concerns is that nature is an extremely complex, inter-related chain, consisting of many species linked in the food chain. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, production of foods using genes from plants such as wheat, shrimp, nuts may cause an allergic reaction. Genetic engineering may be one of the greatest breakthroughs in recent history alongside the discovery of the atom and space flight,but because of all the disadvantages and facts mentioned above, governments have produced many laws to control what sort of experiments are done involving genetic engineering. Hpwever, despite all the laws, the long term consequences are unknown and only time will tell. Internet Sources: http://www.biology-online.org/ http://www.svsu.edu/ http://www.abpischools.org.uk/ http://web.cwoc.ufl.edu http://www.rivier.edu http://users.aber.ac.uk Literature Sources: 'Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare' by Dr Mae-Won Ho 'Clones, Genes, and Immortality: Ethics and the Genetic Revolution' by John Harris Improving Nature?: The Science and Ethics of Genetic Engineering (Canto S.) by Michael J. Reiss, Roger Straughan Ethical Issues in Human Cloning by Michael C. Brannigan ...read more.

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