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:

 

The race to revive woolly mammoths using ancient DNA - CBS News

CBS News

The race to revive woolly mammoths using ancient DNA
CBS News
And why they don't get cancer is in their genes. If we can figure that out, we can use this genetic engineering to solve cancer," he said. The author also addressed the ethical concerns related to these types of genetic engineering practices. "The idea .
Woolly Mammoths Coming Back To LifeChronicle Day
Peter Thiel Is Funding the Effort to Bring Woolly Mammoths Back to LifeMIT Technology Review

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New molecular scissors act like a GPS to improve genome editing . - Science Daily

New molecular scissors act like a GPS to improve genome editing .
Science Daily
Researchers have discovered how Cpf1, a new molecular scissors unzip and cleave DNA. This member of the CRISPR-Cas family displays a high accuracy, .

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Israeli university harnesses viruses to fight antibiotic-resistant . - Haaretz

Haaretz

Israeli university harnesses viruses to fight antibiotic-resistant .
Haaretz
A new technique developed by researchers from Tel Aviv University could be a milestone in the battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ultimately even .

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FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment - New York Times

New York Times

FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment
New York Times
The treatment requires removing millions of a patient's T-cells EUR” a type of white blood cell often called soldiers of the immune system EUR” and genetically engineering them to kill cancer cells. The technique employs a disabled form of H.I.V., the .
Panel in US recommends approval for gene-altering leukaemia treatmentThe Straits Times
Gene therapy to kill cancer moves a step closer to marketCNET

all 87 news articles »
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Broad Institute Joins CRISPR Patent Pool Talks | GEN - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)

Broad Institute Joins CRISPR Patent Pool Talks | GEN
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)
The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard said today they have joined discussions to create a nonexclusive CRISPR/Cas9 joint licensing pool being coordinated by .

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Dietitian Q&A: Genetically Modified Organisms - DesMoinesRegister.com

DesMoinesRegister.com

Dietitian Q&A: Genetically Modified Organisms
DesMoinesRegister.com
Genetically modified organisms, or genetically modified seeds, are created using genetic engineering, such as gene splicing, to break natural boundaries in order to produce new species that are not made by nature. It is believed these new species have .

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Human Neural Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Ischemic Stroke | GEN - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Human Neural Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Ischemic Stroke | GEN
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Chronic disability after stroke represents a major unmet neurologic need. ReNeuron's development of a human neural stem cell (hNSC) therapy for chronic .

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