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GENETICS. Definition, uses, disadvantages, advantages of selectiv...

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GENETICS. Definition, uses, disadvantages, advantages of selective breeding, genetic engineering, cloning and artificial insemination.

  • June 28, 2004
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A) SELECTIVE (ARTIFICIAL BREEDING)

Definition: Selective breeding is when the plants/animals from the existing stock that have the characteristics they want are selected and are allowed to breed. The offspring will hopefully display the characteristics which are required. The best offspring are then bred from, until all offspring display the characteristics that are wanted. This leads to new breeds of animal being produced.

Uses:

* High yielding crops, such as wheat are produced by collecting the seeds from only the plants that have a good yield of wheat.

* Disease resistant crops can be developed.

* Animals on farms are bred so that they produce more food, e.g. cows with better meat, hens that lay more eggs.

* Animals such as dogs and cats are bred for fashion. They may also be bred to do a particular job (e.g. sheepdogs).

Advantage: Humans will get the breed of a plant or animal that has all the characteristics that they want when they can manipulate it to their liking. This could be used for several purposes, and could assist humans greatly.

Disadvantage: There are many ethical concerns where people claim that we are 'acting as God' and it is somehow immoral. There is also the risk of mutation which could lead to unwanted consequences.

Impact on society: The impact on society will depend on to the extent of where the manipulation of plants and animals is taken. If it is generally mild, the majority of society may accept it, however there are also ethical issues involved and religious groups could be strongly against it.

B) GENETIC ENGINEERING

Definition: Genetic Engineering is the alteration of an organism's genetic, or hereditary, material to eliminate undesirable characteristics or to produce desirable new ones.

Uses: Genetic engineering is used to increase plant and animal food production; to help dispose of industrial wastes; and to diagnose disease, improve medical treatment, and produce vaccines and other useful...