How Genetic Engineering Benefits Modern Society

Genetic engineering benefits are often being touted by those in the scientific profession who have a great belief in this technology, and by the politicians who see it as a way of solving many of the pressing problems of their country and indeed the wider world. The benefits and potential benefits are there for everyone to see, and few doubt that they are genuine. The controversy comes with the potential side effects which the technology can inflict upon the environment or upon human beings who use genetically modified products.

The most commonly stated benefits of genetic engineering are those which affect food crops and yields. The system of agriculture which is used today is heavily chemical based, and this in itself draws plenty of criticism from environmentalist sources. The need to use pesticides is often quoted because of damage which insects and other pests can do to crops, lowering yields and sending prices higher. A genetically modified crop will be resistant to this damage and will be far more consistent in its harvest yields. There will also be more food produced per acre of space as the crop will be engineered to grow as large and productively as possible.

This is not the full extent of the benefits which genetic engineering can bring to food crops. In many parts of the world the quality of the harvest depends upon a varying and fickle climate, to the extent that unseasonably cold or dry weather can completely destroy a crop and waste a lot of resources. New strains can be developed which are able to survive at lower temperatures, and there is always the possibility of cultivating a crop which needs less water. The ultimate benefit of this will be lowered food prices, greater availability, and the possibility of feeding more people in the Third World.

types of genetic engineering

If anything the genetic engineering benefits become even more extreme when you look at the possibilities with animals and human beings, although the expense of implementing the plans and the risks involved will also grow. It is possible to cultivate animals which will grow larger, cows which will have greater milk yields or sheep which will produce more wool, but as of now this cannot be done at a price which makes it viable. There are also potential benefits to humans in having animals used as a testing ground for new drugs, or possibly even growing organs which can be transplanted into human beings.

The benefits of genetic engineering in humans are real, but are shrouded in controversy. Immune system deficiencies have already been successfully treated with genetic therapy, but in some cases leukemia developed as a side effect. Using genetics for other purposes is far more controversial, and many believe the difficulties could outweigh the benefits. A case in point is fertility, which can be solved by genetics but only at the expense of bringing a third genetic profile into the unborn child. This is extremely serious, as it will be passed down through the generations.

genetic engineering

There are many genetic engineering benefits which have already been realized, mainly in the area of plant cultivation and crop yield improvement. It is too early to say yet whether or not any extreme side effects will occur, but for now the system is working. Most of the controversy comes from the fact that many jurisdictions are not applying mandatory labeling to genetically modified food, although this is very difficult to do with accuracy. Better labeling could also serve to raise awareness of the improvement of the crop yields and the genetic engineering benefits.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

Alcohol and cancer: This is how booze damages DNA inside cells - Cancer Research UK (blog)

Cancer Research UK (blog)

Alcohol and cancer: This is how booze damages DNA inside cells
Cancer Research UK (blog)
To do this, they used lab-based genetic engineering to create mice whose blood stem cells didn't produce the enzyme ALDH2, meaning they couldn't break down acetaldehyde. They then gave these mice diluted ethanol, the purest form of alcohol, and used .

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Pakistani database to help deal with genetic disorders - SciDev.Net

SciDev.Net

Pakistani database to help deal with genetic disorders
SciDev.Net
[ISLAMABAD] Pakistan, a country with a high rate of marriages among close relatives, has taken a step towards dealing with inherited disorders by establishing a genetic mutation database, or mutome, that the developers say will help provide genetic .

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Virus stampingEUR”a versatile new method for genetic engineering of single cells - Phys.Org

Phys.Org

Virus stampingEUR”a versatile new method for genetic engineering of single cells
Phys.Org
For decades now, scientists have used viruses as vehicles for introducing new genes into cells. Different types of viruses such as lentivirus, herpes simplex and adeno-associated viruses can be used to genetically engineer individual cells or cellular .

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Bacterial cells designed to reflect sound waves for ultrasound imaging - Drug Target Review

Drug Target Review

Bacterial cells designed to reflect sound waves for ultrasound imaging
Drug Target Review
Prof Shapiro hypothesized that these structures, called gas vesicles, could bounce back sound waves in ways that make them distinguishable from other types of cells. Indeed, Prof Shapiro and his colleagues demonstrated that the gas vesicles can be .

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Get the scoop on the benefits of organic food - Miami County Republic

Get the scoop on the benefits of organic food
Miami County Republic
. describe organic agriculture as the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing .

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