Genetic Engineering Essay & Paragraph
An Introductory Essay on Genetic Engineering for Students
Introduction: Genetic Engineering is a recent development of science. It is the artificial manipulation, modification, and recombination of DNA or other nucleic acid molecules in order to modify an organism or population of organisms.
Scope of Genetic Engineering: The term genetic engineering initially meant any of a wide range of techniques for the modification or manipulation of organisms through the processes of heredity reproduction. As such, the term included both artificial selection and all the interventions of biomedical techniques. Among them are artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (e.g., “test-tube” babies), sperm banks, cloning, and gene manipulation. But the term now denotes the narrower field of recombinant DNA technology, or gene cloning, in which DNA molecules from two or more sources are combined either within cells or in vitro and are then inserted into host organisms in which they are able to multiply. Gene cloning is used to produce new genetic combinations that are of value to science, medicine, agriculture, or industry.
Development of Genetic Engineering: A big step forward in the development of genetic engineering was the discovery of restriction enzymes in 1968 by the Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber. In 1969, American molecular Biologist Hamilton O. Smith invented type II restriction enzymes. These enzymes are essential to genetic engineering for their ability to cleave a specific site within the DNA. This invention took the research of genetic engineering a long way. Based on Smith’s work, the American molecular biologist Daniel Nathans helped advance the technique of DNA recombination in 1970 -71 and demonstrated that type II enzymes could be useful in genetic studies. American biochemists Stanley N. Cohen and Herbert W. Boyer pioneered genetic engineering in 1973. They were among the first to cut DNA into fragments, rejoin different fragments, and insert the new genes into E. coli bacteria, which then reproduced.
Uses and Prospect of Genetic Engineering: Genetic engineering has advanced our understanding regarding many theoretical and practical aspects of gene function and organization. Using recombinant DNA techniques, bacteria have been created that are capable of synthesizing human insulin, human growth hormone, alpha interferon, a hepatitis B vaccine, and other medically useful substances. Plants may be genetically adjusted to enable them to fix nitrogen, to have resistance power against a hostile environment and certain diseases. Moreover, genetic diseases in living things can possibly be corrected by replacing “bad” genes with “normal” ones.
Conclusion: In spite of the endless prospect of genetic engineering, special concern has been focused on its achievements for fear that genetic engineering might result in the introduction of new unfavorable and possibly dangerous traits into micro-organisms. Such new traits may include resistance to antibiotics, production of toxins, or a tendency to cause disease. So, it is necessary to be cautious in the use of genetic engineering.
An Argumentative Essay on Pros & Cons of Genetic Engineering
Words: 1000 | For College Students | 10-06-’22
Genetic Engineering: Prospects and Hazards
Genetic engineering is when the genetic makeup of an organism is altered by inserting, deleting, or changing specific pieces of DNA. When conducting genetic engineering, the organisms that have their genetic makeup altered are referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs for short. During the process of genetic engineering, a piece or several pieces of DNA are altered to change a characteristic of the organism. If DNA is inserted, it can come from another individual with the desired characteristic, it can come from a different species or it could be artificially produced.
It is exhilarating to think of the transplantation of genes. The possibilities are endless. In the field of biotechnology, genetic engineering paved the way for xeno-transplantation, or the process of transplanting living tissues or organs from animals to humans or vice versa. The research revealed the possibility of using pig organs as replacements for human hearts and kidneys, considering that they have similar physiology and size. It also led to tissue engineering which is now considered an alternative to the replacement of cartilage, cerebrospinal shunts, heart valves, and other organs. Suffice to say that plenty of things can be achieved with genome editing.
Plants lead the list of items or species that are genetically modified. Companies that want to create a sweeter tomato, bigger cherries, and herbicide-resistant crops can do so through GM. There may be health and safety concerns attached to genetically engineered food and crops, but proponents as- sure that the breeding process is only an extension of the natural way. After all, the tissues used for the cell culture still come from a living organism. Because it is now possible to produce food and crops that are bigger and grow faster, resistant to disease, can thrive in different environments, or can be customized based on the soil composition and availability of water in a location, world hunger could be minimized if not completely eliminated. But there is still a question of what genetically modified crops can do to human bodies, their effects, and their long-term impact.
Gene mutation is a revolting concept. Imagine what the world would be like if diseases are taken out of the equation. If bad genes inherited from parents are detected and then removed, the next generation will be healthier and would live longer. Any genetic mutation caused by environmental mutagens may also be corrected through genetic engineering. When a human body is made less susceptible to infections, mutations can be kept under control, and diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s, would be no more. Genetic engineering enables researchers to isolate the exact gene that is causing diseases and illnesses, giving them insights into the cause and possible cures that can be initiated.
With the possibility of making the disease a thing of the past, everyone has higher chances of living a longer, fuller, healthier life. In fact, studies in genetic engineering showed that it has the ability to increase the life span of human beings anywhere between 100 and150 years, and this only involves slowing down the aging process by changing a healthy individual’s genome. Combined with other engineering processes, this can be more than possible. These include treating infectious diseases by implanting genes with antigen and antiviral proteins. Genetic engineering also allows desirable traits of certain organisms to be pinpointed and then integrated into others’ DNA. It also acts as an aid for genetics, enabling pharmaceutical companies to produce highly graded products that can help fight illnesses.
Another benefit of genetic engineering is realized in the production of valuable proteins. Recombinant DNA made possible the use of bacteria to produce proteins of medical importance. One such example is that of genetically engineered human insulin which is of great importance and is now marketed throughout the world.
Even scientists themselves believe that genetic engineering can have irreversible side effects, especially with hereditarily modified genes. After all, the process at the present uses viral factors to carry functional genes to the human body. Viral genes as they are, they are likely to leave certain side effects. Also, where the functional genes are placed in the genome is not exactly known. In the event that they replace other important genes instead of the mutated ones, other forms of diseases or health conditions are likely to develop. Is the world equipped to battle new illnesses that may turn out to be deadlier than ever?
Genetically modified wild rice is added with better carotene, which is needed by the human body to make vitamin A. This provides a perfect solution for vitamin A deficiency. Unfortunately, there are worries that GM organisms might actually be harmful to people. The added beta carotene levels aren’t high enough to even make a difference as well. By engineering plants to be resistant to pesticides and herbicides, we necessarily affect the web of life. Herbicide-resistant crops, on the other hand, may reduce the quantity of herbicide requirements, but it can lead to the growth of weeds that are resistant to herbicide and the loss of weed species that are essential to animal food and shelter. Suffice to say that modifying genes can have uncertain effects on humans and the environment.
In the case of transgenic biotechnology, blending animal and human DNA can have uncertain effects, including the creation of entities that possess degrees of intelligence or sentience atypical in non-human animals. Many also believe that there are health risks associated with genetically modified foods as well as in the experimental use of animals, long-term environmental impact, increased suffering of transgenic organisms, and the possible creation of new diseases.
Genetic engineering is likely to put biodiversity in danger because engineering specific traits into select species threaten the planet’s biodiversity by upsetting the natural balance. It will also adversely affect agriculture. Also, the promise to overcome worldwide hunger with the help of genetic engineering is not credible. There will be tough problems witnessed in patenting genetically modified items. A middle path is required to be put in place to accept genetic engineering for the betterment of the world.
Genetic Engineering Paragraph, 100 Words
Genetic engineering is one of the recent wonders of modern science. It is the manipulation, modification, and recombination of DNA or other nucleic acid molecules in an organism. Genetic engineering has opened the door to the mysterious world of genes. Using recombinant DNA techniques, bacteria have been created that are capable of synthesizing human insulin, human growth hormone, alpha interferon, a hepatitis B vaccine, and other medically useful substances. Plants can be genetically adapted so that they can fix nitrogen, withstand adverse environments and certain diseases. Even genetic diseases of humans, plants, or other organisms can be cured by replacing their “bad” genes with “normal” genes. In short, genetic engineering is a field of endless possibilities for us.
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