April 16, 2013
Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering is the changing of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material to get more desirable traits in them (Genetic Engineering). Genetic engineering has both positive and negative effects, but the good effects weight out the bad.
Genetic engineering is very important in the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. If it weren’t for genetic engineering, they wouldn’t be able to resurrect extinct dinosaur species. This is because they wouldn’t be able to insert the dinosaur DNA into an egg with the added DNA from frogs and birds to fill the different strands of DNA. They got the dinosaur DNA from fossilized mosquitoes preserved in amber. They sucked the DNA rich blood of different dinosaurs and then got stuck in tree sap which over time turns into amber (Jurassic Park). Genetic Engineering can be performed in many ways, one of which is by inserting a segment of DNA into a chromosome of an organism. In plants the process of getting the desired trait involves inserting the DNA with a micropipette, or by bio-ballistic DNA delivery with a gene gun (MacMahon). In animals, the techniques used to carry out genetic engineering are different from plants. These include pro-nuclear micro-injection, embryonic stem-cell manipulation and nuclear transfer (Panse). In addition to these, there are more ways of moving genes to produce desirable traits. A more traditional method of getting desired traits in an organism is through selective breeding. For example, if you have a plant with a desired trait, you can breed that plant with other plants to produce more plants with the desired trait (Genetically Modified Organisms). In the future genetic engineering could become extremely advanced as technology gets more and more advanced. If advanced technology allows genetic engineering to become more and more advanced, then it therefore enables organisms to be made more and more advanced since genetic engineering uses advanced technology. You could imagine some of the things genetic engineering could do in the future, such as fixing health defects by removing bad genes, larger produce that could help end world hunger, and more. In the future, it could be possible to eliminate birth defects and cure diseases. “If future research produces more effective and accurate processes to manipulate human DNA, scientists will be able to create cures for diseases that are not curable today. Even birth defects could be almost totally eliminated if doctors were able to change a child’s genes before birth. The process could also be adapted to cure hereditary diseases and prevent them from passing to future generations. It could also allow people with family histories of diseases, such as cancer, to "fix" their genetic predisposition to the disease” (McPhersson). However, genetic engineering could also have negative effects in the future. A negative effect genetic engineering could have on the future is if genetic engineering is used for destructive purposes such as biological weaponry. “These weapons could be resistant to medicines, or even targeted at people who carry certain genes. Genetically engineered organisms used for biological weapons might also reproduce faster, which would create larger quantities in shorter periods of time, increasing the level of devastation” (McPhersson). “The danger of genetic engineering to the biosphere has been compared to the use of nuclear weapons and atomic energy. We simply do not know the consequences of this large uncontrolled genetic experiment we have started. In the near future we may suffer massive genetic pollution and loss of genetic diversity, but we are presently taking no steps to prevent the disaster” (MacMahon). Animals can be genetically modified to have different benefits. If farmers breed animals that are specifically engineered to produce more meat, faster and easier than normal, then food