--Prof. Gregory Pence, University of Alabama (1998)
Genetic Engineering has been hailed as one of the greatest scientific developments of the 21st century. The argument above is one of many, posed to ask human beings to think about whether or not genetic engineering is morally and ethically right. By modifying genes and DNA or by introducing new genes into an embryo, organisms are given new, often beneficial, characteristics. This amazing technology is used to alter the genetic material of living cells in order to make them capable of producing new substances or performing new functions. It is the procedure that allows scientists to basically change the very nature of nature. From adding jellyfish genes to mice to make them glow, to cloning sheep and creating super vegetables, the doors that have been opened and the possibilities that can be explored by this branch of science are endless.
There are two main applications for Genetic Engineering. They are “Somatic” Engineering and “Germline” Engineering. Somatic Engineering involves changing the genes inside cells. The procedure involves modifying defective cells by adding new healthy genes to them in order to fix the deficiencies. The main characteristics of Somatic Engineering are that the cells modified are any cells except the egg or sperm ones and that the traits the organism receives from the modification are non-inheritable, meaning they will not be passed on to the organism’s offspring. The other type is known as Germline Engineering. This type of genetic modification deals with the alteration of germ cells. It is called such because the egg and sperm cells are also known as... [continues]
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