Genetic Engineering: Animal and Plant

Topics: DNA, Gene, Organism Pages: 5 (1496 words) Published: November 12, 2005
"The age of genetic engineering is changing our lives, whether we like it or not" (Tagliaferro 9). This quote by Linda Tagliaferro is an excellent quote to explain how genetic engineering is currently standing, whether one is fore or against genetic engineering. In the old days animals went on with their lives breeding and reproducing in a manner that was unknown to civilization. However, through the years science and technology has surpassed the ways of the old, even though the rest of the world was not willing to move on with the change. It all first all started with the concept of selective breeding, which is still done today by arranging animals to breed together to enhance and increase genetic make-up ("Genetic Engineering" 1 of 2). Today we can use plants to produce and grow the way producers wish. Scientist have now been able to genetically alter plants to be resistant against pests and withstand harsh weather conditions like the one we presently had this past summer. They have also been able to produce animals that are faster maturing with safer productive meat for less money (Virtual High School 1of 2).

Today producers have the ability to produce higher yields in crops to not only earn a higher additional amount of money, but to also produce more for customers that live in and outside the U.S. and why shouldn't they? Americans have the knowledge and technology to advance the world in the area of genetics. Not only should producers optimize their quality and quantity of yields, in crops, and cutability, in animals, but scientists and medical officials must also look at the affects medically, too. They have now been able to cure many diseases by altering and crossing genes. Just think that someday in the future we could cure AIDS and cancer with a simple division of two plant genes. So whether we believe genetic engineering is good or bad we must accept the change and further our knowledge (Virtual High School 3 of 3).

Genetic Engineering, gene splicing, or gene cloning has made it possible for scientists to manipulate genes. The cells of all living organisms carry genes that tell the organisms characteristics and make-up. By splicing genes scientists have been able to produce the strongest, best-tasting, most nutritious plants, and those most resistant to disease (Tagliaferro 25). Roger Beachy best described gene splicing in this quote:

Traditional plant breeding approaches take between five and seven years for a plant breeder to a virus–resistant crop species. What we've been able to do by the new direct gene transfer approach is to produce disease resistance within nine to twelve months. (Tagliaferro 26)

In this quote Beachy explains how advanced crops have become able to resist diseases. He also provides information that proves gene splicing is much faster then traditional selective breeding.
Plants can also be genetically altered to have built-in defense systems against insect pests. This technology means that fewer chemical pesticides would be used, which has become a serious issue for many environmentalists. For example, many researchers at the Monsanto Company have spliced genes from a natural soil called B.t. The B.t. corn is very widely used throughout the U.S. because its ability to be resistant against the very popular and destructive cornbor insect. The Monsanto Company views technology as one way to cut enormous cost of insect damage to crops while reducing the use of chemicals. "This technology will be available to all farmers-large and small-because the benefits are carried in the seeds," says a Monsanto representative. Plants have also been genetically altered to resist herbicides, which kill weeds, to make more use of the land (Tagliaferro 27-28). Not only has genetic engineering helped crops in the field, but it has also changed in the processing stage of crops. By genetically altering crops biofuels and bioplastics are being produced. In today's world...
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