Perspectives in Genetic Engineering
IDH 2121 Valencia Community College
Dr. John Bledsoe
26 April 2005
The Impacts of Genetic Engineering
The scientific discoveries in genetics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are numerous in their potential as well as risk. To understand the risks as well as potential of genetic engineering in the future, one must first become familiar with not only the prospective fields of usage, but the resulting effects of such usage in the spheres of agriculture, medicine, and the environment. According to the World Book Encyclopedia, genetic engineering describes techniques that alter the genes (hereditary material) or combination of genes in an organism. Within agriculture, genetic engineering is used to develop additional plant and livestock varieties which result in greater food production for mass consumption. The potential or positive impacts of such breakthroughs in genetically engineering plant life impact crop production through high yield, low input crops that have other added benefits. Other trials in genetic engineering have wrought farm animals with the purpose of increased meat production and in dairy cattle additional milk production. Conversely, the dangers of genetically engineered sources of food lie in the possible allergic responses to those who ingest them. Further cause for alarm rests in fears of ecological complications resulting from the cross pollination of these different modified forms of plant life. In medicine, genetic engineering is used to combat numerous illnesses. Among the numerous positive effects of such research lies in the field of gene therapy which is identified as an experimental technique for treating or preventing diseases by inserting a gene into a patient's cells. Then again possible negative effects lie in possibility of science being able to genetically engineer ones own children. To finish an overview of perspectives in genetic... [continues]
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