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'The advantages and disadvantages of developing genetically engineered organisms?

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Introduction

'The advantages and disadvantages of developing genetically engineered organisms?' Genetic engineering is the method of changing organisms' characteristics inherited by alerting it genetic material. This often done to cause micro organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, to synthesize increased yields of compounds, to form entirely new compounds, or to adapt to different environments. Other uses of this such of a technology, is known as the recombinant DNA technology, it includes gene therapy, which is the supply of a functional gene to a person with a genetic disorder or with other diseases such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or cancer. Genetic engineering involves the manipulation of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. Important tools in this process are so-called restriction enzymes that are produced by various species of bacteria. Restriction enzymes can recognize a particular sequence of the chain of chemical units, called nucleotide bases, which make up the DNA molecule and cut the DNA at that location. Fragments of DNA generated in this way can be joined using other enzymes called ligases. Restriction enzymes and ligases therefore allow the specific cutting and reassembling of portions of DNA. Also important in the manipulation of DNA are so-called vectors, which are pieces of DNA that can self-replicate (produce copies of themselves) ...read more.

Middle

This suggests that other insects are also being affected by the properties of the Bt gene. GM are known to be pesticide-resistant that kill of the pest. Though some individuals have also been know to be resistant to the pesticide in the plant. If this resistance is dominant then their offspring will also be resistant. Farmers are now being advised to plant 20% of their acreage in non - Bt corn to main diversity in the pest population. While GM animals may be easy to control and contain when released onto pasture, GM plants are quite different. GM plants produce seeds and pollen that can be very fine and travel large distances, transported by insects and wind. The question is: if a problem becomes obvious, can contamination from a released GM plant be reversed? Risk assessments observe the benefits and risk of a proposal. The process of this proposal will depend on the risk and benefits. It is possible to say that the risks on environmental issues such as the Bt corn are to a certain degree unknown and the benefits are to the minimal or can be achieved by lower risk methods. There is also then the GM sheep and the human gene. This is where sheep have been genetically modified so that they are able to produce human protein. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is possible to alter the genetics of wheat plants to grow insulin for example. Not only are there environmental, health, social and cultural disadvantages there are also disadvantages economically which overweigh the advantages. Such as loss of market, as products in the global economy must meet markets needs. A proportion of customers actively purchase non- GM produce. Any company or country that does not meet those needs could lose their markets or market share. Also there is then contamination of organic farming. Organically farmed products have a market niche. Contamination (or supposed contamination) of organic product could lead loss of this market. This is purely on the basis from the organic industry's perspective, GMF offers environmental disadvantages. The major concern is that genetic engineering could permanently alter ecosystems. Once genetically altered plants and animals are introduced into the environment, they may endanger species and potentially reduce biological diversity. Studies already have confirmed there are grounds for this concern. A Cornell University study showed that, in lab experiments, pollen from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-engineered corn killed monarch butterfly larvae. It also is predicted that pollen from a genetically engineered plant resistant to herbicide might jump to other plants, via bees or the wind, and spawn superweeds, particularly when the genetically engineered plants have wild, weedy relatives. In fact, this has already happened in Canada with canola. ...read more.

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