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Recombinant DNA: its functions and moral differences

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Recombinant DNA: its functions and moral differences Genetic engineering has been revolutionised by a new technique known as recombinant DNA, or gene splicing, with which scientists can directly alter genetic material. In recombinant DNA, the DNA of one organism is joined with the DNA of a second organism to produce a recombined DNA. When this recombined DNA is introduced into another organism it permanently changes the genetic makeup of that organism. Specific genes and their DNA determine an organism's characteristics through the formation of specific proteins such as enzymes and hormones. Proteins perform vital functions: or example, enzymes initiate many of the chemical reactions that take place within an organism, and hormones regulate various processes such as growth, metabolism and reproduction. ...read more.


Recombinant DNA has been used to combat one of the greatest problems in plant food production: the destruction of crops by plant viruses. For example, by transferring the protein coat gene of the zucchini yellow mosaic virus to squash plants that had previously sustained great damage from the virus, scientists were able to create transgenic potato and strawberry plants that are frost-resistant, as well as transgenic tomato plants containing a gene that slows the ripening process of the fruit, which repels spoilage once the tomatoes are off the plant. Similarly, in animal food production, the growth hormone gene of rainbow trout has been transferred directly into carp eggs. The resultant transgenic carp produce both carp and rainbow trout growth hormones and grow to be one-third larger than normal carp. ...read more.


Diabetic people now have a rich source of insulin thanks to genetic engineering and recombinant DNA. The media and the public have always supported this idea because it benefits those of us who are less fortunate then us and have diabetes. This practice has been taken that one step further to try to eliminate human disease. scientists are now able to help people in critical conditions with fatal diseases. However, critics of recombinant DNA fear that the pathogenic, or disease-producing, organisms used in some recombinant DNA experiments might develop extremely infectious forms that could cause worldwide epidemics. Critics are also rightfully concerned along with scientists themselves that the lack of a completely successful gene therapy program is very concerning. Scientists themselves feel that before additional clinical trials are conducted, more must be understood about the factors that control whether a particular vector can enter a given type of cell and become incorporated into its genetic material. ...read more.

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