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The ways in which Genetic Modification/Engineering has changed the modern world.

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Introduction

Vikas Pandya 12TB BIOLOGY The ways in which Genetic Modification/Engineering has changed the modern world Genetic engineering: Scientific alteration of the structure of genetic material in a living organism. It involves the production and use of recombinant DNA and has been employed to create bacteria that synthesize insulin and other human proteins. The advantages and the disadvantages of Genetic engineering: During the latter stage stages of the 20th century, man harnessed the power of the atom, and not long after, soon realised the power of genes. Genetic engineering is going to become a very mainstream part of our lives sooner or later, because there are so many possibilities advantages (and disadvantages) involved. Here are just some of the advantages : * Disease could 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. * Animals and plants can be 'tailor made' to show desirable characteristics. Genes could also be manipulated in trees for example, to absorb more CO2 and reduce the threat of global warming. ...read more.

Middle

First, I am going to write about our capability and knowledge of botany or plants. We can use genetic engineering to improve our crops to give better yields, produce less wastage, require less nutrients, keep off insects etc many things as well as improving their nutritional value and quality. However, we are still unable to make plants synthesize some valuable enzymes, chemicals and biopolymers other than at very high costs. There are many plants that we have already manipulated for the reasons shown. Here are some common plants that have been manipulated, Apple Toxin for insect resistance Cabbage Herbicide tolerance Cotton Toxin for insect resistance/Herbicide tolerance Cucumber Virus resistance Lettuce Virus resistance Peanut Herbicide tolerance/virus resistance but how do we genetically manipulate all of these and many more to have the characteristics that we desire? Before genes could be genetically modified or GM farmers would still be able to get their desired crop by cross breeding this is where a gene encoding a desirable trait is breed with a related variety that carries the gene. Farmers would use this process with cows until they got the optimum yield out of them cross breeding them over and over again Another way to create genetic changes is by using radiation, this is called radiation mutagenesis. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, what really are the benefits of GM foods? There have been many bold claims about GM foods like that they will: > Look better > Require less intensive farming methods > Need less pesticide use > Have longer shelf life than conventional crops. I think that much too little is known to justify commercial use because: It is irresponsible to use genetic engineering for commercial purposes at this stage of very incomplete knowledge about the effects, especially so as harmful substances may be generated. Also, very little is known what artificially manipulated genes released into nature may do to the environment. Conclusion The ways in which Genetic Modification/Engineering has changed the modern world From this essay it is an undeniable fact that modern science knows much too little about the effects of genetic modification /engineering to be able to predict and master the consequences. Therefore, genetic modification /engineering have to be confined to contained laboratories until science knows what it is doing. By using it for foods at this stage means an inevitable risk for unexpected and potentially harmful effects on the human health as well as for our environment, this is why I think that we should take one-step at a time, as we cannot afford a mistake as our environment could subsequently pay for science's mistake. ...read more.

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