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

Genetically Modified Organisms in New Zealand.

Extracts from this document...


Year 13 Biological Issues Essay: Genetically Modified Organisms in New Zealand "Members of the public with no axe to grind probably want three questions answered: -What can go wrong? -How likely is it? -Are the benefits worth accepting the degree of risk?" NZ Herald Editorial, 19 Oct 2000 With respect to either plant crops or farm animals in NZ, describe how named organisms have been genetically modified so that they are different from their natural equivalents. Describe the likely benefits of the development and use of genetically modified organisms and discuss the possible risks. Give your reasoned opinion on whether the benefits are worth accepting the risk involved. Genetic modification is a historical fact. The modification and manipulation of an organisms DNA is not something which is a new idea or process. Genetic modification or engineering is defined as the deletion, change or moving of genes within an organism, the transfer of genes between organisms, or the modification of existing genes or construction of new genes and their incorporation into any organism. Traditional methods of genetic modification involved humans interfering with the process of natural selection, and artificially altering the success of a given allele (a certain form of a gene) ...read more.


Genetic tampering of organisms is natural, but is it in our best interests? Introducing a change into a biological system, either intentionally or accidentally, is likely to create effects on the whole system, many of which we will not be able to predict given the complexity of the system or control given the vastness of it. At the foundations of evolutionary life lies genetic variation. This variation is the fingerprints of our history and proof of our being. It is something which can't be artificially created, and if or when destroyed by cloning of a pest-resistant pine tree, or sheep which makes flawless wool, will be a loss which will not be taken into consideration by those who calculate net profits of the agricultural or forestry sectors. These are the real problems of genetic engineering. I can't talk about what any imaginary gods, or spirits may think of it. Now we must investigate the benefits of developing genetic technologies, and organisms. Genetic modification allows us to identify genes and understand their functions in research, also to study organisms, their characteristics and help to understand their diseases. We can investigate pests and diseases in animals and plants, and manipulate these to reduce the use of chemicals and pesticides in agriculture. ...read more.


Several separate experiments were done on the cattle one of which concerned inserting additional copies of the gene that produces casein, to increase the protein content of the milk. Another experiment involved disrupting the B-lactoglobulin gene to change the composition of the cow's milk. The protein produced by this gene causes lactose allergies from the milk in humans. The final experiment involved inserting a human gene that codes for a protein called myelin. This protein may provide a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis. All these experiments once again used somatic cell nuclear transfer. These two examples of genetic engineering on farm animals in New Zealand show that with the right precautions, genetically modified organisms can be a safe and successful way of producing a more beneficial situation. I can finally conclude that genetic engineering is a viable technology as long as barriers and safeguards are setup to separate genetically modified organisms from the natural forms of organisms and the rest of our biosphere and care is taken to minimise risks of DNA contamination. The benefits are very promising from the limited tools we have available now, and if we do not continue moving forward with the technology we run the risk of being left behind as techniques and knowledge relevant to genetic engineering become the intellectual property of others. The message is thus stated; proceed with caution. ...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

    An Investigation into the Mitotic Nuclear Division of Allium Sativum Root Tip Cells, and ...

    5 star(s)

    In respect to the other phases, Telophase has a relatively large energetic requirement, as it is concerned with the synthesis of larger molecules and genetic structures/organelles, from smaller molecules; actively changing the parent cell to 2 daughter cells. An example of one of these energy-requiring processes is the formation of

  2. Recombinant DNA, genetically engineered DNA prepared in vitro by cutting up DNA molecules and ...

    That gene is isolated and inserted into a harmless virus, such as vaccinia, the virus used to immunize against smallpox. The recombinant vaccinia virus is used as a vaccine, producing immunity without exposing people to the disease-causing virus. In the case of viruses about which little is known, such as the AIDS virus, this extra margin of safety is crucial.

  1. case study- cystic fibrosis

    "Xenotransplantation represents a completely different way of using animals from anything humans have done before. Even in the cause of medical research, there are lines to be drawn. Even for medical research and the future you have to draw the line.

  2. Genetic Modification

    It is interesting that the mutations in the telethonin gene cause disruption of this functionally important carboxy-terminal region. A)B) Figure 1. Analysis of the telethonin protein in muscle samples. (A) Double immunofluorescence labelling for dystrophin (green) and telethonin (red), showing a typical sarcomeric banding pattern in a control muscle a

  1. Free essay

    Outline the impact on the evolution of plants and animals of: ...

    is made up of one or more chains of polypeptides, and each polypeptide is made up amino acids and peptide bonds * The way DNA codes for proteins: * A set of 3 bases is called a triplet code, or a codon.

  2. Study the increasing cases of food allergies and intolerances in an attempt to establish ...

    The charity predicts numbers will continue to rise as the population ages and becomes more overweight. Around �10m a day - 5% of the NHS budget - is currently spent on treating diabetes and its effects. That is predicted to rise to 10% by 2011.

  1. The Benefits of using GM (Genetically Modified) plants outweigh the risks

    advantageous for countries mainly South East Asian countries whose staple diet is rice. Rice is known to lack Vitamin A, which leads to illnesses such as Xeropthalamia which ultimately can cause blindness.

  2. Genetic modification.

    The first genetically engineered vegetables to reach the market were tomatoes. The development of biotechnology has had great affect on the development of genetically modified foods and organisms. Whether biotechnology will result in accelerated ecosystem destruction and loss of biodiversity will most likely be determined by market forces.

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