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Genetic Engineering: A Blessing or a Catastrophe - Research Paper Example

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Chris Glodde Mr. Berry Comparative Studies 367.02 22 May 2012 Genetic Engineering: A blessing or a catastrophe? Every living organism from the microscopic bacterium to large whales and the intellectually superior human beings, carry within themselves a set of instructions in the form of messages and codes in their genes…
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Genetic Engineering: A Blessing or a Catastrophe

Download file to see previous pages... The manipulation of these genes results in an altered from of organism and this practice is termed as genetic engineering. These genetically modified organisms can be microscopic bacterium, animals or even human beings and the modifications result in newly gained features or loss of any past qualities (Morgan 7). Genetic engineering has become a popular scientific practice and is incorporated in agriculture, biofuel production, human cells modifications, cattle reproduction, farming, antibiotic synthesis and other areas of industry and medicine. Different schools of thoughts exist in the scientific world regarding the outcomes of genetic engineering. Some consider this manipulation of life as a scientific achievement and the future of a successful and flourishing world. However, others view genetic engineering as a source of various health risks and against various ethics of life, medicine and religion. The history of genetics can be estimated 100 years back when the humans first considered the concept of genes and genomics. Gregor Mendel crosses the mind as the first person who introduced the importance of genes in the determination of traits and characteristics of the organisms. In 1913 genes word was used for the first time in the Dorland’s Medical Dictionary. Wilhelm Johanssen was the first who coined this term. In 2003 Lee Keekok proposed that the information and knowledge put forward by Mendel should be studied more and the investigations in this aspect should not be restricted or minimized. Watson and Crick put forward the double helix structure of the DNA thus laying the foundations for the genetic engineering we are familiar with today. By 1996, scientists in Great Britain had created the first cloned mammal, Dolly, the sheep. In 2001, the U.S. Congress banned all forms of human cloning. In 2002, cloning attempts on mice were attempted. In 2005, the Korean scientists claimed the creation of first cloned dog which they named as Snuppy (Herring 15-21, 31). Genetic engineering has thus developed remarkably both in terms of scientific advancements and political approval since the word “genes” was coined. Humans have always tried to improve the appearance of animals and plants for many years. Production of different types of crops and different breeds of cattle has been tried by farmers. But selective breeding has proved to be a slow and uncertain process with fewer benefits. Genetic engineering serves as a helping hand that helps in altering as required the particular genes of the animals or plants thus resulting in a new product with altered abilities and qualities. One important breakthrough is in the human and animal medicine. The insulin used for treating diabetes had been initially achieved from pigs which was not identical to human insulin. By employing genetic engineering, human protein can be manufactured and administered in diabetic patients. The gene for insulin is attained from the human chromosome, removed using cutting enzymes and then inserted into bacterial DNA. This altered bacterial DNA is inserted into bacterial cells which continue to grow the human insulin and can then be used for therapeutic purposes. The product obtained is pure and is also a cheap and effective method for getting insulin. However, problems of impurities like viruses in the newly obtained products are also an important issue, for instance, the growth hormone given to some ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Discussion on Genetic Engineering
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