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

What is genetic engeneering and its advantages and disadvantages

Extracts from this document...


James Bevan What is recombinant DNA and its advantages and disadvantages? In recent years science has been using recombinant DNA to genetically modify animals, plants and now technology has advanced to the point where there is constant speculation on manipulating human DNA. Recombinant DNA, or more commonly known as 'genetic engineering' involves "the combination of DNA from one organism with DNA from another organism". There are substances needed in bacterial cells. Firstly you will need the small spherical pieces of DNA named 'plasmids'. These are used as vectors, which simply means of transporting DNA into a cell. (1) "In molecular biology and genetic engineering a vector is a vehicle for transferring genetic material into a cell". Lastly you then need the required gene. There are numerous ways of extracting the gene, using DNA probes, or using mRNA. Restriction enzymes are then need to cut the DNA from its chain at specific areas. Finally the desired gene is joined into the vector; the vector which is used to carry the gene is used to get inside the desired organism. In order to ensure the plasmids and gene have the same 'sticky ends' they're both cut with the same restriction enzyme. Then the two ends are joined using an enzyme named 'DNA ligase'. The vectors are then able to multiply and produce new daughter cells which also are able to make the required protein.(2) ...read more.


If the technology was in the hands of someone dangerous it could kill off the human race. Darwinian's theory of 'survival of the fittest suggest that if such humans were to be created that could withstand greater threats than humans now eventually there would be a new race born. 'Chung Lee' a researcher in Illinois has currently had success in curing cancer in animals and plans to produce (5) "We postulate that, if we can remove TGF-b from the cancer cells, our body's immune system may be able to reject these cancer cells. This is the basis of our research project aimed to cure cancer and we aim to develop state-of-the-art technology using gene therapy for the cure of cancer in humans". This shows that we have already been able to cure animals from cancer. This could eventually be used for our pets. Instead of injections and implanting embryos we can inject the new DNA into the animal's bloodstream. It is a widespread worry that the fact we don't know everything about this technology that it could be dangerous. If the DNA is injected and doesn't go in the correct areas, there is chance for mutation and these vital genes can become cancerous. Recombinant DNA technology can be used to make insulin for diabetics. It can be made by transferring human insulin gene into E-coli bacteria. ...read more.


"Humans practice genetic engineering in form of selective breeding of animals and plants for thousands and thousands of years. No religion says that selective breeding is bad or even unnatural. In the same way genetic engineering based on tweaking of genetic code should not be seen as bad thing, as a sin". (6) To conclude I believe that this technology is too powerful to ignore, it could save millions of lives and do a lot more benefit to humans so the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We have to do the best we possibly can to keep people alive with the resources we have. However the Human Genome project predicts that it could be another 12 years until the project is complete and therefore we don't know all the possible dangers of the concept yet. If we have been given free will it seems stupid to pass up such possibilities. The advancement genetic engineering has shown from the first commercial use in 1982 - human insulin from bacteria , shows us the remarkable results achievable from this technology. It will take a lot of convincing, but primarily as long as we can keep it under control and safe I believe people should definitely allow it to be put into practise. 1) http://www.answers.com/topic/vector-biology?cat=health 2) 'A new introduction to Biology', Bill Indge 2000 page161 3) AS Biology 'The Revision Guide AQA A exam board 2003, pg 47 4) Tuesday January 22 2008 'The Guardian' newspaper pg 24 5) http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/igp/facindex/LeeC.html 6) http://www.geneticengineering.org/isgood/default.htm#heal ...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


    4 star(s)

    Majority of people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder are able to stabilize their moods with proper treatment, medication and support. The following are different ways a family member or a close friend can help an individual with bipolar disorder: - Learn about bipolar disorder By educating yourself about

  2. Marked by a teacher

    'Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the use of gene technology.'

    GM crop and would they take responsibility if something wrong were to happen? Creating consistent and safe regulatory frameworks between countries around the world would also be necessary, yet this would be very complicated, costly and practically impossible. Such valid and prominent concerns slow down the progress of gene technology.

  1. The Biology of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the Social Implications

    According to direct.gov �21 million pounds has been invested in education for those with learning disabilities. It is how the money is spent that needs to be looked at. To some, it may not be enough, but then it could be that the faculties in question are not using the money adequately.

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

    Because of the different binding properties of valine and glycine, this simple change of a single amino acid radically affects the function of the protein being produced by the gene. This protein normally functions with the cell's growth machinery. The malfunctioning version produced by the above scenario won't "turn off,"

  1. Oncogenes are genes that cause cancer.

    The oncogenes would be innocuous as long as they remained quiescent. When stimulated into activity by a carcinogenic agent, however, they could convert cells to cancerous growth. We reasoned that if the hypothesis was correct, we might be able to find the src gene in the DNA of normal cells.

  2. Cell Theory - Discuss the theory that living organisms are composed of cells.

    lower strand b/c direction of synthesis * DNA ligase seals Okazaki fragments together * result: two semi-conservative DNA strands 6.2.3 State that in eukaryotic chromosomes, replication is initiated at many points. Replication initiated at many points in eukaryote chromosome 6.3 Transcription (2h)

  1. Biology Coursework: Does Acupuncture relieve pain?

    This creates a double risk situation where not only is income per unit time lower, but the chances of receiving actual payment is diminished by the insurance industry's ability to discount or deny payments altogether. In order to practice acupuncture successfully, doctors must often remove themselves from the conventional medical environment, or forego practicing acupuncture altogether.

  2. Explain the term "genetic engineering". Using three different examples of the application of this ...

    It can be applied in the field of agriculture, iatrology and new technology-cloning. In terms of agriculture, genetic engineering has already been widely used. Genetically engineered crops are the most typical examples that genetic engineering is handled in the field of agriculture.

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