Genetic Engineering Is the Key to a Better Future

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  • Topic: DNA, Biotechnology, Gene
  • Pages : 6 (2217 words )
  • Download(s) : 203
  • Published : March 29, 2011
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In February 1997, Dolly, the first mammalian clone was born in Edinburgh, Scotland (Wilson, 2003, p104). With this achievement, the public starts to give attention towards the study of genetic engineering and recombinant of DNA. Since that successful achievement onwards, people, governments and organizations had been aroused by the genetic engineering issues. The consequences of this debate had been a public protest against the use of such experimental procedures – genetic engineering. The exploration of genetic engineering is just the beginning and this field of study should not be protested because it has a lot of advantages to improve the quality of life for all. The discovery of DNA was the very beginning of genetic engineering. Before that, what is genetic engineering? Genetic engineering is also known as genetic modification which is the human manipulation of organism’s genetic material in a way that does not occur under natural conditions. It involves the use of recombinant DNA techniques, but does not include traditional animal and plant breeding or mutagenesis. Besides that, it is also the use of various methods to manipulate the DNA (genetic material) of cells to change hereditary traits or produce biological products. The techniques include the use of hybridomas (hybrids of rapidly multiplying cancer cells and of cells that make a desired antibody) to make monoclonal antibodies; gene splicing or recombinant DNA, in which the DNA of a desired gene is inserted into the DNA of a bacterium, which then reproduces itself, yielding more of the desired gene; and polymerase chain reaction, which makes perfect copies of DNA fragments and is used in DNA fingerprinting (Arora, 2007). This new technology of genetic engineering dates back to the 1950’s. In 1951 three scientists, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and James Dewey Watson, were credited with the discovery of DNA (Wilson, 2003, p1 & p11). Later, they were presented the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1962 (Lewin, 1984). DNA is also known as deoxyribonucleic acid and it carries a living organism’s genetic code. The discovery of DNA was the very beginning of genetic engineering. Later they were presented the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine in 1962. In 1972 Paul Berg created the first recombinant DNA molecules by combined DNA from the monkey virus SV40 with that of the lambda virus. The first genetic engineering company, Genentech, was founded by Herbert Boyer and Robert Swanson in 1976. Genetic engineering could be used to enhance people’s lives by its application to plants and animals used for food (Wilson, 2003, p115). Genetic engineering should be allowed to progress because of the potential benefits for the human species. For example, it will be possible for cows to will be genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals in their milk. This means that vaccination shots and pills would become obsolete. Babies could be brought up immune to diseases by simply being fed this milk. Imagine the impact on the quality of life for people who live in third world countries like Somalia. Countries could be made healthy and immune to disease. Malnutrition, a common problem in many third world countries "where impoverished people rely on a single crop such as rice for the main staple of their diet" (Whitman, 2000), could also possibly be cured with genetic engineering. Rice does not provide all of the nutrients that the body needs in third world countries and other food is very scarce. If rice or bread, another major staple, is genetically engineered to contain additional necessary vitamins and minerals then we could go a long way towards wiping out malnutrition all over the world. In addition, farmers who breed plants and animals specifically can be engineered to produce more meat or fruit, faster and easier than normal, then food would become cheaper and more plentiful. Furthermore, better tasting and more nutritious foods, fruits and vegetables with...
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