Genetic Engineering and a Brave New World

Topics: DNA, Gene, Genetics Pages: 5 (1702 words) Published: April 6, 2011
Genetic Engineering is one of the current hot button topics of our world today and its also the fundamental theme in widely know novels such as Brave New World and My Sister’s Keeper. But what exactly is Genetic Engineering? What exactly does Genetic Engineering entail? Genetic Engineering in its self is a mammoth and board field, yet not many people actually know or even understand the diversity that Genetic Engineering entails.

When most people perceive the slightest sound of the word Genetic Engineering they robotically think about cloning. A massive ninety seven percent of people in the Unites States of America have heard of cloning at least once in their lives has a from of Genetic Engineering. Most undoubtable because of infamous blockbusters such has Jurassic Park, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Stepford Wives. Yet a low forty eight percent of people in the United States of America have heard about genetic modification at least once in theirs lives. Yet genetic modification of our crops is the unsung hero of what helps and keeps our society full and ready to move. Just about 99 million acres were devoted to genetic modified in the Unites States of America and Argentina alone.

A basic definition of the Genetic Engineering is it fact a little complex. In laymen terms Genetic Engineering involves the directed alteration of an organism's DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that is, its genetic material. This technology has been applied to microbes, plants, and animals, and consequently used to modify foods, animal feedstuffs, and food-processing reagents. (Peter Goldsbrough).

If genetic engineering is defined as changing an organism's DNA to make it more beneficial, genetic engineering has been going on for a very, very long time in the form of selective breeding.  However, actually going into a cell and changing its genome by inserting or removing DNA is a very new technology. (History of Genetic Engineering) The early up bringing of Genetic Engineering was quit noble in its infancy. It all started with people wanting theirs petite alluring pets to have certain traits. Various individuals sought after elongated wooly coat, others wanted their animals to scamper more rapidly, hurdle further, heck maybe even slumber longer. Selective breeding has been going on for innumerable generations, possible even since the first lights of time. In fact, it is even mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 30:25 - 43).  In the account, Jacob was employed as a shepherd under his father-in-law Laban.  Instead of receiving wages, Jacob received the black, streaked, and spotted sheep, and Laban kept all the white sheep.  Jacob craftily arranged for his black sheep to mate with Laban's white sheep, producing streaked and spotted sheep.  Jacob did so well with this scheme that Laban's family began to get mad at Jacob, and he eventually had to leave (History of Genetic Engineering). The downfall to this is of course is the fact that the process takes an extremely long time. Some times hundreds of years for the traits with witch are desired to surface in the nest generation, plus there is no guarantee that theses traits will ever be transferred to the offspring.

After countless century’s and decades of the slow, unknown process of selective breeding we the populace moved on in order to form a more perfect technique be obtain what we desire. Modern genetic engineering began in 1973 when Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen used enzymes to cut a bacteria plasmid and insert another strand of DNA in the gap.  Both bits of DNA were from the same type of bacteria, but this milestone, the invention of recombinant DNA technology, offered a window into the previously impossible -- the mixing of traits between totally dissimilar organisms.  To prove that this was possible, Cohen and Boyer used the same process to put a bit of frog DNA into a bacteria.         Since 1973, this technology has been made more controllable by the discovery of new enzymes to...
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