Types of Genetic Engineering

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What Does It Mean?
Genetic engineering in humans means that some part of the DNA of a person has been altered in some way.

It is possible through genetic engineering people could be given bigger brains or any other structural alterations.

Human genetic engineering promises to cure disease and increase the immunity of people to viruses.

The potential of genetic engineering is
To cure medical conditions and hopefully prolong life.
Genetic engineering could also be used to change people’s genomes, which could enable people to re- grow limbs and other organs. It could also be used to make people stronger, faster and even smarter.

Changes at Conception
Genetic engineering is easily accomplished by making changes just before the first division of the embryo. This is done so the gene will be expressed throughout and will carry on to children, grandchildren, and all other generations.

Types of Engineering
There are two main types of genetic
engineering. Somatic and Germline.

Somatic modifications involve adding genes to cells other than the egg or sperm cells. For example, if someone had a disease caused by a defective gene a healthy gene could be added to the affected cells in order to treat this disease. The main characteristic of somatic engineering is that it is non- inheritable, which means that the new gene will not be passed on to the recipient’s offspring.

Germline engineering would change the genes in the eggs, sperms, and very early embryos. This type of engineering is inheritable, which means that the modified genes would appear in any children resulting from the modification and any future generations.

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