Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering

Topics: DNA, Genetics, Human genome Pages: 10 (3356 words) Published: March 21, 2013
Genetic Engineering / Advantages and Disadvantages

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.

* Genetic Engineering could increase genetic diversity, and produce more variant alleles which could also be crossed over and implanted into other species. It is possible to alter the genetics of wheat plants to grow insulin for example.

Of course there are two sides to the coin, here are some possible eventualities and disadvantages.

* Nature is an extremely complex inter-related chain consisting of many species linked in the food chain. Some scientists believe that introducing genetically modified genes may have an irreversible effect with consequences yet unknown.

* Genetic engineering borderlines on many moral issues, particularly involving religion, which questions whether man has the right to manipulate the laws and course of nature.

Genetic engineering may be one of the greatest breakthroughs in recent history alongside the discovery of the atom and space flight, however, with the above eventualities and facts above in hand, governments have produced legislation to control what sort of experiments are done involving genetic engineering. In the UK there are strict laws prohibiting any experiments involving the cloning of humans. However, over the years here are some of the experimental 'breakthroughs' made possible by genetic engineering.

* At the Roslin Institute in Scotland, scientists successfully cloned an exact copy of a sheep, named 'Dolly'. This was the first successful cloning of an animal, and most likely the first occurrence of two organisms being genetically identical. Note : Recently the sheep's health has deteriorated detrimentally

* Scientists successfully manipulated the genetic sequence of a rat to grow a human ear on its back. (Unusual, but for the purpose of reproducing human organs for medical purposes)

* Most controversially, and maybe due
Essay topic: 
advantages and disadvantages of genetic engineering. Discuss The development of genetic engineering has increased notably in the last few years. Some people support the investment in this field whereas others are against to. In this essay I shall delve into both sides before forming an opinion. Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating the genes of an organism. People supporting it use argue that for instance farmers could have crops more resistant to insects and diseases, and many genetically modified crops can grow faster. These advantages can be extremely positive for food production in developing nations where people starve. Faster growing cereals, fruits and vegetables would mean more profit. Moreover, some medicines and vaccines are obtained throw genetic engineering process. An important breakthrough that genetic engineering can bring to society is that some inherited diseases would no longer exist. Some genes can be modified before a baby is born improving its life expectancy. It could be said then that genetic engineering might cure some diseases. However there are ethical concerns about it use. Some ecologists warn about the disaster consequences to the Earth. They say that genetically modified crops can affect seriously whole ecosystems...
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