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Gene Technology

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Gene Technology What you need to know. a) Know the commercial applications of clones in plants and animals. b) Know that genes can be transferred artificially from one organism to another, and understand that the introduction of genes from resistant plants into Soya bean plants, so increasing their resistance to herbicides, may increase crop yield. c) Critically assess the issues surrounding GM crop technology and how decisions are made, including the need to plan scientifically valid, suitable trials to assess the possible effects in order to inform the debate: * For the scientific community, * Government policy departments, * Wider public opinion. Genetic engineering Genetic engineering is the technique of 'cutting' a useful gene using enzymes. Enzymes are then used to cut the chromosome of another organism, to make space for the new gene, and then inserting that useful gene into the new organism. This is called gene splicing. The organism which will now have the new gene in their DNA is called transgenic. ...read more.


Genetic Modification (GM) Genetic Modification means inserting genes from organisms to other organisms or even crops to make them produce vast volume of insulin or even creating crops which are resistant to herbicides and insecticides. The first genetically modified crop was the potato in the 1980's. An insecticide production gene from a bacterium, which grows in soil, was inserted into the potato to make it become resistant to insect pests. More commonly resistance to herbicide modification has been introduced. This is because it is very difficult for farmers to kill weeds using herbicide without killing the crop plants as well. Scientists have recently extracted a herbicide resistant gene from bacterium which grows in soil, into the crops, making them resistant to herbicides. Advantages and disadvantages of Genetic Modification Advantages * We can produce crops with high yield e.g. produce more fruit etc. * It reduces the cost of production of crops etc. * Better texture, flavour and nutrition. * Resistance to insects, herbicides and disease. ...read more.


Tissue Culture This is when few cells are taken from part of a plant and grown in an agar jelly to form a copy of the parent plant. Advantage is that they can grow quickly and take up little space but the number of alleles in the gene pool reduces Splitting Embryo's This usually occurs in horses and cows. For example sperm cells are taken from the bull and scientists freeze them for a later date. The cows are then fed hormones to make them produce vast amount of eggs, and these removed. The sperm cells then artificially fertilise the egg cells. The fertilised egg cells then grow into embryos. Scientists then screen the embryos for the sex, genetic defects and they then split these embryos into individual cells. These cells will then grow into embryos and are clones of each other but not to the parents. These embryos then grow inside surrogate cows or are frozen to be used later. An advantage is that we can grow prize cows all year however it is more likely for the offspring to have genetic diseases as the number of alleles in the gene pool decreases. ...read more.

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