What Genetic Engineering In Agriculture Can Achieve

Genetic engineering in agriculture has the potential to improve crop yields and to greatly reduce the risk of crops being lost to extreme weather conditions. This is the aspect of genetic engineering which has reached the furthest developed stage, with the aspects relating to animals and human genes lagging far behind. There are already commercially available genetically modified foods, although the long term effect of these on the ecology of the planet and even the human body itself remain hard to quantify, leaving many people doubtful as to the wisdom of using them.

There are several dimensions of genetic engineering which can be applied to crops and commercial plants, starting with the obvious consideration of making them more resistant against pests and disease. The use of chemicals in agriculture has at least stemmed the advance of pest driven crop waste, but it has done so at a price. Much of the food which is sold on the open market in developed countries has been treated with chemicals, and these leave a residue which will be consumed by the eater of the food. If crops can be produced which are resistant to these chemicals, agriculture could become much safer.

The next generation of genetic engineering following this will aim to reduce the threat to crops from natural sources, such as sudden temperature change or extreme drought. In countries which have a temperate climate, it is inevitable that a proportion of the crops grown there will be lost to weather conditions, as the temperature can vary wildly from the average at any given time of year. Growing crops with a greater temperature resistance will improve crop yields, and these crops can also be produced to grow more food per acre in any case.

types of genetic engineering

There are also some uses of genetic engineering in agriculture which are not designed to improve the crop yield, but to use the plants in other ways to grow other resources which are needed. The best example of this is vaccines and other drugs, which can be produced from crops grown in fields using genetic engineering. Many of these drugs are inherently expensive to produce an other way, so this technology offers the possibility of cheaper drugs and a greater supply. This could reduce expenses for medical services in countries which have a state medical system, and also allow more supplies to be diverted to the Third World.

The use of genetic engineering for agricultural purposes is controversial in the extreme, and while those in favor seem to have the backing of officialdom throughout the developed world, there are many dissenting voices. There are several potential difficulties, and it has to be admitted that we know far too little about DNA and its structures to be entirely sure of anything. There is a possibility that the altered crops could spread over wide distances, affecting anything which they come into contact with. The effect of genetically modified substances on the human body can also not be predicted, as there are too many unknown variables.

genetic engineering

If you want to make up your own mind about genetic engineering in agriculture, you will have to carry out extensive research on the Internet. Most of the available information is strongly biased one way or the other, coming as it does from either those with a vested interest in promoting this technology and benefiting from it, or those who are actively campaigning against it. You will need to be able to study both sides to be able to form an honest unbiased opinion, and try to judge the potential effects of genetic engineering in agriculture.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

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

Science Daily

New molecular scissors act like a GPS to improve genome editing
Science Daily
. capable of acting like a GPS in order to identify its destination within the intricate map of the genome. The high precision of Cpf1 will improve the use of this type of technology in repairing genetic damage and in other medical and .

and more »
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First large-scale genomic analysis of key acute leukemia will likely yield new therapies - Medical Xpress

Medical Xpress

First large-scale genomic analysis of key acute leukemia will likely yield new therapies
Medical Xpress
The study involved sophisticated analysis of multiple types of genomic data, led by Yu Liu, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in Zhang's Computational Biology laboratory and first author of the study. Their analyses identified 106 driver genesEUR”those whose .

and more »
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New Molecular Scalpel Acts as GPS to Improve Genetic Editing - Bioscience Technology

Bioscience Technology

New Molecular Scalpel Acts as GPS to Improve Genetic Editing
Bioscience Technology
New Molecular Scalpel Acts as GPS to Improve Genetic Editing. Fri, 07/07/2017 - 9:47am Comments . The high precision of Cpf1 will improve the use of this type of technology in repairing genetic damage and in other medical and biotechnological .

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IARPA seeks tech to ID bioengineered life forms - FCW.com (blog)

FCW.com (blog)

IARPA seeks tech to ID bioengineered life forms
FCW.com (blog)
WHAT: A new bio-detection tech development effort to help defend against human engineered biological threats. WHY: With advances in genetic engineering and gene editing, the intelligence community is concerned about possible threats from chimerical .

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UCSF Cancer Researcher Leads Team to Win First Ever AI Genomics Hackathon - UCSF News Services

UCSF News Services

UCSF Cancer Researcher Leads Team to Win First Ever AI Genomics Hackathon
UCSF News Services
A UC San Francisco cancer researcher has led a team of data scientists and engineers to win a first-of-its-kind Artificial Intelligence (AI) Genomics Hackathon competition. Jyotika 'Jo' Varshney, DVM, PhD, a UCSF postdoctoral fellow, and her three .

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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 .
Peter Thiel Is Funding the Effort to Bring Woolly Mammoths Back to LifeMIT Technology Review

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