Genetic Engineering

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Genetic Engineering is a scientific process that has recently come a long way. Within the past four years of the twentieth century we have witnessed the most rapid adoption of a new technology in history. Millions of acres of farmland have been planted with genetically engineered crops since 1996. The crops consist mainly of corn, soybeans, and cotton. Genetic engineering techniques allow scientists to insert specific genes into plants and/or animals. Also, species are very easily crossed using genetic engineering. There are many good things that come with genetic engineering; however, there are many bad things as well. Because of this, genetic engineering has caused a great deal of concern and debate. Genetic engineering is a very interesting process used to alter plants and animals. It is a new technology that combines genes from totally dissimilar species in combinations that are not achievable using conventional breeding methods. Genes from an animal, say, a fish, can be put into a plant, a strawberry for instance, in attempt to improve the strawberry plants. The fish gene is supposed to make the strawberries more resistant to frost by causing the strawberry plant to compose a form of antifreeze which the fish normally produces to endure cold conditions in water. Although genetic engineering has been going on for over 30 years, it has just lately begun to cause so much commotion. The reason for this is that it wasn’t until recently that scientists began to master to art of genetic engineering and commonly using them in our animals and crops. Until the mid 1990s, the organisms produced by genetic engineering were nearly all confined to laboratories or controlled factory setting. During this time, the main use of genetic engineering was to produce medically useful substances such as insulin. Over the past four years, there has been an unrestrained expansion of genetic engineering into agriculture. By 1999 almost 80 million acres of North American farmland were...
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