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The use of recombinant DNA can only benefit humans?

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The use of recombinant DNA can only benefit humans? Contents * Page 1 - What is recombinant DNA technology? * Page 2 - What are its uses? * Page 3 -What hazards are there? * Page 4 - Conclusion. * Page 5 - Bibliography. * Page 6 - Analysis of types of argument and knowledge used. What is recombinant DNA technology? If one were to look up "recombinant DNA technology" in the dictionary one would be directed to "genetic engineering". Here you would be given the following explanation, "Genetic engineering, method of changing the inherited characteristics of an organism in a predetermined way by altering its genetic material." (The concise oxford dictionary). Although this is and acceptable explanation, a more in-depth explanation would be, "Recombinant DNA technology is a collection of techniques, including DNA cloning, that allows molecular biologists to analyse and manipulate the genetic material" (http://www.wooster.edu/biology/wmorgan/bio306/Gene_engineer_overview.html) Recombinant DNA is one of the core techniques of genetic engineering. It's the process of removing DNA from one organism and inserting it into the DNA of another, thus giving it new traits. Prior to DNA cloning it was virtually impossible to isolate and study individual traits of complex organisms. ...read more.


The majority of the positive applications of genetic engineering , however, are in the field of medicine. Genetic engineering can be used to produce large quantities of a normally rare protein. For example, human insulin and growth hormone, which are of great medical importance, have been produced in large amounts from bacterial cells containing appropriately engineered genes. "In addition, genetic engineering can be used to investigate basic questions in biology, such as when and where a gene is expressed (transcribed) during development". (Http://www.rivier.edu/faculty/wtotherow/STSweb/leo/Website/the_technology.htm) Genetic engineering and gene therapy ("A process of supplying a functional gene to cells lacking that function, with the aim of correcting a genetic disorder" - Encarta - 98 Encyclopaedia- (c) 1993-1997) is being used by researchers to diagnose and predict disease, and develop therapies and drugs to treat devastating diseases. These diseases include cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. Most of these tests however are still only being tested on animals, "If you have cancer, and you're a mouse, then I can cure you" says Chung Lee of Northwestern University in Illinois. "Of course, there's a big leap between mice and humans. ...read more.


Thus though meddling with nature we may bring about our own destruction. There a numerous ethical implications of the use or this technology such as the objection to the use of certain transgenic organisms by certain religious groups. "Many religious groups could not use products from specific organisms, because of the laws set out by their religion" ("A new introduction to biology" - Bill Indge, Martin Rowland, Margaret Baker) These would include Hindus, to whom which cows are sacred, and the Jews and Muslims, to whom pigs are unclean. The use of products from either of these sources might be unacceptable for people of these religions and thus prove completely useless. Conclusion In my personal opinion the process of genetic engineering has great potential, and could prove invaluable to the human race. Yet while the potential benefits of genetic engineering could be considerable, so may be the potential dangers. For example, the introduction of cancer-causing genes into a common infectious organism, such as influenza virus, could be very dangerous. Plus despite all the stringent controls and meticulous testing, some unforeseen effect might occur as the result of genetic manipulation. It is up to you whether you feel the "Pro's" out way the "Con's" for the long-term benefit of mankind. ...read more.

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