Saturday, March 7, 2009

Genetic Engineering

I think that genetic engineering should continue being studied for various reasons. Genetic engineering is the alteration of genes and DNA in living organisms by scientists. DNA can now be added to animals, or plants with the technology that we have today.(1) it all started with Gregor Mendel. He is known for his famous pea plant experiment, which was the starting point of selective breeding. Selective breeding is when you breed a specific plant, animal, etc… because of its superior qualities when compared to its species.(5) For example, you could mate two German shepherds. One could be strong and fast, while the other dog was reliable and smart. The end result (the puppies) would have all of the positive traits of both of its parents if the traits were homozygous and dominate. This is just one easy example of what genetic engineering can do. Everyday new information is being discovered about genetic engineering, and there is still much more information that is unknown.(5)

Genetic engineering is a very broad topic that needs to be looked into further so that everyone can discover all the numerous benefits. Scientists have only been able to learn about a few of the thousands of genes that they have found. There are eight genes that have been found in around 30 different organs showing that cells have many different types of genes that do specific activities. Approximately 90,000 genes have been identified since the first experiment, but most of their uses are still a mystery. There are 2,500 known genes that are used for the formation of the eye. Each gene’s function is unknown. With the little information that scientist have gained they can keep making new discoveries. 80- 100,000 genes discovered in humans are being thoroughly studied as we speak for every aspect that can be understood about them. All of the new discoveries are starting to challenge some of the other known information about cells, genes, chromosomes, etc… With the knowledge gained from continuing genetic engineering and all of the opportunities that have been discovered, it would be considered wasting all of the information found if scientists were encouraged to stop. Everything that is being learned is opening new and exciting unknown information that can allow the continuation of gene research for many decades. If scientists had not continued studying space, then all the planets, stars, galaxies, etc., would still be unknown. Most of the research being done now is thought to be new and complicated. In a few years gene splicing, selective replanting, and cloning could be as simple and normal as determining the pH level of different chemicals. I think that it is extremely important to learn everything that you can possible learn about genetic engineering.(3)

There are many different methods used when it comes to genetic engineering. Everyday more information is being discovered, so new methods are being created. Currently there are three main methods used when adding DNA or other genetic materials to living things. They are identified as plasmid, biolistic, and vector. Each is used for a specific task. Plasmid is the process of combining certain DNA with the DNA of bacteria by using restrictive enzymes. After the DNA is absorbed or connected with in the bacteria’s DNA, the bacteria can then be placed in the desired organism, so the genetic material can be added. Biolistic method or bioballistic method is very useful and efficient. A piece of metal (like tungsten) is coated with the genetic material that is wanted to be added. It is then shot out of something that resembles a shotgun that is aimed at specific cells. The cells that are hit by the metal sliver are now connected, and replicate the genetic material as if nothing happened. The vector method is very similar to the plasmid method. Instead of using bacteria, it uses viral vectors. The viral vectors transmit the genetic material or DNA into the area wanting to be changed. This method is reliable because viral vectors transfer the needed material from one cell to another using a kind of virus.(1 and 5) After the DNA is implemented, it replicates the information as if it had always been there. All three of these methods are very useful and extremely important to genetic engineering. (5)

With all the advancements that are being made, scientists have discovered numerous uses for genetic engineering. In order to find out the uses of genetic engineering, they had to first study, locate, determine the function, and characterize each gene needed.(4) By using the information gained while doing everything required, scientist discovered a way to treat certain types of dwarfism. They also learned how to increase milk production by transferring a specific bacteria to the cow’s stomach. There are now several different types of lab-grown bacteria that are used to produce human genetic material.(6) Scientists first started testing genetic engineering on plants and animals. Genetically modified plants (GM) have not yet been able to be tested to see if it is equivalent to our natural food because of its chemical make up and the lack of knowledge of what is known as acceptable food. After undergoing several tests, they found that GM may be able to discourage food born pathogens. When scientists began changing the plants’ genetic material there motives were to enhance the production and cultivation of particular plants. Until there is a standard made for the quality of food, GM food is considered different, but not unhealthy or dangerous from our normal food. (3) In 1982 scientists made copies of human insulin and used them to help treat diabetes patients.(6) When scientists find what genes cause certain disease, they will be able to change them and possible prevent them. Scientists can change any living organism due to genetic engineering. There are already several different uses for genetic engineering that benefit us. If we keep studying more uses are going to be discovered.(2 and 3)

Of course when you are dealing with altering living organisms there can be many pros and cons that come along with it. There can be many changes made to genes that will decrease the chances of medical problems, such as CMT and scoliosis. Food may soon be created with more nutrient and at a cheaper cost. Genetically modified food may also prevent diseases with in the food. In a few years we might be able to change the physical appearance of unborn children.(3) But when we are given the power to change things, we also must think of how it is affecting everything else. Changing our natural growing plants may cause new genetic problems to occur in humans and animals. Some plants may have unexpected defects. (3) Trying to correct diseases in genes may cause worse effects or not affect the diseases at all. While changing certain imperfections scientist can harm other genes in the process.(2) Even though genetic engineering is unsure of its outcomes, it does present information that has been able to help a lot people.(6) I think that scientists will be able to modify and perfect animals, plants, and humans with out problems if they think of all the possible outcomes, and ways to prevent them. By taking the right precautions genetic engineering can be a very important part of our future.

I think that genetic engineering should continue to be studied for various reasons. There are several unwanted results that could occur, but the possibilities and uses that can come from genetic engineering are much more important. (3) No one will know exactly what was stumbled upon when it was first discovered until every fact is known from every gene.(5) If scientists are pushed away from studying genetic engineering humans will never know what they could be missing. When something new is discovered you can’t just stop learning about it. We wouldn’t know anything about chemicals and atoms if scientists decided to stop testing because they thought that they had learned all that was there. The unknown uses, the possible important information, and knowledge that can be gained from genetic engineering shows that continuing to study it is essential.(3 and 6) There is no reason to stop researching of any new discoveries. Genetic engineering is the technology of the future, and we need to know as much as we can as soon as we can.

You can order a high-quality custom essay, term paper, research paper, thesis, dissertation, speech, book report or book review from our professional custom writing service. We have employed more than 500 highly qualified Ph.D. and Master's academic writers to provide students with professional academic writing help. Feel free to contact our company right now!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.