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Genetic modification - Essay Example

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Compare and Contrast Paper One published journal article is by Key, Ma and Drake (2008). The researchers have studied genetic modification of plants and human health. Genetic modification is the field of medicine that has gained much attention in recent years…
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Genetic modification
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Download file to see previous pages This may be to express a gene that is not native to the plant or to modify endogenous genes.” They have given full detail on the scientific procedure that is used in genetic modification of plants. DNA is transferred into the target plant; and, although DNA is not harmful to human health in itself because humans consume it with every plant they eat, yet the risky aspect is that scientists only transfer the genes of interest in the food. Also, the genetically modified plants hold more mutations than other plants, which may mean that the level of nutrients has been reduced or the level of allergens and toxins has been increased. However, this depends upon the procedure and intentions. Genetic modification can be used to increase nutritional content of crops, and also increase food production on the whole. If tightly regulated by government and food agencies, the genetically modified crops are safe to eat. The second article regarding genetic modification is, ‘Genetically modified humans: here and more coming soon’, written by Nick Lane (2008). Here, it is about humans and not plants. The thesis statement of this article is that a baby can be created by two mothers genetically which can save him from inheriting dreadful diseases, and this procedure can lead to the development of designer babies. In his article, Lane has illustrated the genetic modification of human beings and has described the procedure that can be used to create babies using the eggs of two women. He tells about the research work that is being carried out by a research team in UK whose purpose is the creation of an embryo with the participation of three parents and without any chance of the baby inheriting dreadful diseases. Lane further tells the role of mitochondria in the procedure. He tells that if the egg from one woman contains defective mitochondria, then these can be replaced by those attained from the donor egg from another woman, and since a mitochondrion itself contains DNA, this would mean that the baby is going to have genes from two different women or mothers. This variation in genes, on one hand, eliminates the chance of delivering mitochondrial diseases to the baby, and on the other, can affect the baby’s whole personality. However, Lane states that this procedure gives the baby chance to live with the healthiest genes. Moreover, the article tells about the fact that male mitochondria has nothing to do with the procedure as these are only present in the sperm tail and do not get the chance of penetrating the egg. Lane further talks about the ooplasmic transfer technique that was used in 1990s to control infertility but was afterwards banned by the FDA due to its vague consequences. He tells that the researchers from UK’s Newcastle University are trying another technique that involves the transfer of cell nucleus only and not the mitochondria. The nucleus of the egg with defective mitochondria is transferred to the donor egg. Male infertility can also be cured by injecting healthy mitochondria into the sperm tail which helps in sperm motility. However, scientists are not sure whether the complete elimination of serious diseases is possible by this technique or not. Comparing and contrasting the two articles shows that although both of these talk about genetic modification, but Key, Ma and Drake (2008) have talked about its impact upon plants ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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