Genetic Modification Essay

Submitted By Tylerneilcollins
Words: 1627
Pages: 7

Genetically modified organisms: social, ethical and legal implications Tyler Collins

Genetic modification is the process by which an organism, plant or animal has had its genetic material changed in a process that does not occur naturally. The process works by either isolating a gene of an organism and joining it with the genes of another organism or by altering the already existing DNA in order to produce a desired quality in the organism or to gain more insight into genetic technology.(Phillips, T. 2008)( What is genetic modification? 2007)

A genetically modified organism is an organism that has had it’s genetic material altered by a synthetic process, which involves joining a gene from one organism with the genes of another organism or altering existing genes. Genetically modified food is when food producing companies use the same process of altering DNA as above but do so in order to produce a crop or live stock that has a higher profit margin and does not effect(or increases) the nutritional value of the product. (What is genetic modification?2007).

A recently developed vaccine using biotechnological procedures is the tuberculosis vaccine commonly used in the UK called the BCG vaccine. This vaccine is obtained by using the germ that causes tuberculosis in cattle; since the 2 variations of the disease are similar, the BCG vaccine works effectively because it is harmless to humans and prepares the body for an attack by the human tuberculosis virus. (GM vaccine could fight tuberculosis, 1999)

Bt-corn is an example of a genetically modified plant(crop) that offers additional protection against pests than it’s organic form. The “Bt” refers to the host organism used to produce the desired gene, in this case Bacillus thuringiensis is the organism used. BT endotoxin is the protein that the genes codes for and is used because it is particularly lethal against European corn borers and some other larval insects, but does not effect the large majority of insects.(Bessin, 2010)[pic]
Genetically modified corn (Kimble-Evans, 2010)

Over the last decade, a variety of scientists have worked on developing (genetically modifying) a pig to produce more human-like organs(using human genes) that people are less likely to reject and more specifically has looked at transplanting cornea’s(a vital component of the eye). They have successfully transplanted the organ but they are often quickly rejected and do not offer a permanent solution to failed organs.(Adams, 2011)

A bacterium capable of cleaning(consuming) oil is Alcanivorax borkumensis; it’s rarely found in the oceans but easily thrives in a marine ecosystem. Though much of oil is biodegradable, the portions(such as nitrogen and phosphorous) that are not are used to produce energy in the organism.(Biello, 2006)
Bio-diesel fuel is an alternative fuel source that is composed of long chains of fatty acids generally obtained from a plant or an animal. The fuel may be a mixed with typical petroleum diesel or it may not be.("Biodeisel explained," 2006)

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Fresh Bio-diesel (Addison)

Magainin Pharmaceuticals patented the gene Interleukin-9(Il-9), Il-9 is a gene that plays an integral part in the formation of the mutation Met-Interleukin-9 which allows for less susceptibility to some allergies, primarily Asthma. They have chosen to produce it because it is one of several genes related to the development of Asthma; it is a vaccine that offers greater resistance to the development of Asthma. They want to prevent(cure) Asthma in order to reduce possible medical costs and other difficulties; in order to fully “cure” Asthma they have to continue research on the topic. (Philipkoski, 2000)

In my opinion, it is hard to patent genetic material because it already exists around us in some sort of organism so no one can really lay claim to creating it, however they could patent the procedure to how they produced it or the actual act of production legally…