Genetic engineering has been a controversial topic

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Chris Yim




Ms. Leggett

        Genetic engineering has been an controversial topic due to the many sides that it has an impact on. Some say that genetic engineering can aid the environment, since genes could be manipulated in trees to absorb more CO2 to reduce the threat of global warming[1]- while others ( also in some religious beliefs) ) think that the humans should not have the right to manipulate the laws and course of nature. In this essay, I will contrast the overall impact it has brought upon society and come to a conclusion.

        The definition of genetic engineering ( also known as genetic modification ) is “the alteration of genetic code by artificial means, which is different compared to from traditional selective breeding” [2]. Genetic engineering as the direct manipulation of DNA by humans outside breeding and mutations has only existed since the 1970s. The key event to modern genetic engineering began in the 1970s when(1972) Paul Berg created the first recombinant DNA molecules, and when (1973) Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen created the first transgenic organism by inserting antibiotic resistance genes into the plasmid of an E. coli bacterium.

        Genetic engineering is a complicated procedure which is divided into 7 steps; Isolation the gene, Construction, Gene targeting, Transformation, Selection, Regeneration and Confirmation. The gene to be inserted into the genetically modified organism must be chosen and isolated for identification. After the gene is isolated, the gene is inserted into a bacterial plasmid. At the construction stage, the gene can be modified for better effectiveness, and to control the location and level of gene expression. Then, gene targeting uses homologous recombination to target desired changes to a specific endogenous gene. Next, in the transformation stage, the genes to be inserted are cloned into a binary vector, which when constructed, will naturally insert the genetic material into the plant cells. In the selection stage ( since not all the organism’s cells will be transformed) a selectable marker is used to differentiate transformed from untransformed cells, and a cell that has been successfully transformed will contain the marker gene. In the regeneration process, often only a single cell is transformed with genetic material the organism must be regrown from that single cell. Lastly, in the confirmation stage, further tests are taken to confirm that the gene is expressed and functions correctly. The organism’s offspring are also tested to ensure that the trait can be inherited and that it follows a Mendelian inheritance pattern.

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        Genetic engineering had had a positive impact on society with its variety of applications. Agriculture and medicine are the two areas which make use of the genetic engineering techniques the most. In gene therapy, genes are used to treat or prevent diseases, effectively replacing the use of drugs or surgery.[3] Gene therapy is a highly promising treatment option, and right now the only thing that is holding it back is the fact that it still has its risks which are yet to be discovered. It’s technique raised controversy from some religious groups and creationists, as they believe that gene ...

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