How Genetic Engineering Of Plants Can Improve Yields

Genetic engineering of plants is the subsection of this discipline which is most advanced, and which has already reached the stage where products are commercially available. The entire subject is surrounded in controversy, as there is so little evidence to prove what will happen when the technology is employed consistently over a long period of time, and there are many who believe the consequences will be extremely negative. In the case of plants, it is impossible to predict just how much the altered genes may spread to other areas, causing change elsewhere.

There are many reasons why scientists are seeking to use genetic engineering with plants. The first and most obvious is to produce new strains of food crop which are more resistant to disease. In the agricultural system in use today, there is heavy use of chemicals to kill of insects and other pests which can devastate food crops, and this brings with it several dangers. The chemicals themselves will remain on the food product as residues where they can be absorbed be human consumers, and there is always the chance that the pests will evolve more resilient strains as has happened with hotel bed bugs.

There are other dimensions to the use of genetic engineering in plants which have the potential to golf even further than this. The next generation of genetic modification is aimed at producing trains of crops which are more resistant to natural dangers such as drought and extreme cold. In a temperate climate where the temperature can vary wildly from the average at any given time of year, there is always a risk that crops will be killed off by extreme weather conditions. It is possible to genetically alter crops to be more able to survive in harsh conditions, and this could dramatically increase food yields.

types of genetic engineering

Not all genetic engineering of plants is aimed at producing a better or more durable crop. In some cases, the plant is only being used as a container for other developments. There is an increasing tendency for plants to be used to carry drugs and vaccines as part of a drive to produce these more cheaply. The use of drugs throughout the world is increasing, and there are many more cases where drugs would be used if the financial resources to obtain them were available. Producing drugs in this way could be highly beneficial to world health over time.

Despite these great and far reaching benefits which can come from genetic engineering, there are still many who believe that it is not something we should be getting involved in. There are potential risks and dangers of altering nature's genetic blueprint, and these risks are hard to quantify. It is not known to what extent the altered genes can spread to other crops, and the effect on the human body remains unclear. More research is needed into the effects of genetic engineering, but even experiments carried out in open conditions carry with them an element of risk.

genetic engineering

There are many people who hold strong opinions on genetic engineering of plants, both in favor and against. The person who is new to the subject will need to carry out extensive research in order to form an opinion one way are the other, so as to avoid bias. The best resource for being able to do this is the Internet, which carries websites of official bodies given the task of implementing these technologies, the government departments which oversee them to see that they are being implemented properly, and the sites of dissenting protest groups. From the whole, you may be able to form your own view of the genetic engineering of plants.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

Quest to colonize space demands boost from biotechnology, synthetic biology - Genetic Literacy Project

Genetic Literacy Project

Quest to colonize space demands boost from biotechnology, synthetic biology
Genetic Literacy Project
Examples of how genetic engineering can help in this area include onsite synthesis of drugs, a capability that will be vital to colonizations, since drugs are vulnerable to radiation, making the prospect of transporting medicines from Earth unattractive.

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Genetically Engineered Corals Could Help Save the Coral Reefs - Interesting Engineering

Interesting Engineering

Genetically Engineered Corals Could Help Save the Coral Reefs
Interesting Engineering
One of the reasons it's so resilient to changes that kill other corals is because it has more genetic variation than most other types of algae. . The usual, well-established genetic engineering methods wouldn't work on this particular species .

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Seeds in space EUR how well can they survive harsh, non-Earth conditions? - San Francisco Chronicle

Newsweek

Seeds in space EUR how well can they survive harsh, non-Earth conditions?
San Francisco Chronicle
A second ISS mission called EXPOSE-R included only the three types of Arabidopsis seeds. These received a little over double the dose of . The 11 Arabidopsis plants that did grow from both the wild type and genetically engineered seeds did not .
Frontiers | Phenotypic Changes Exhibited by E. coli Cultured in Space | MicrobiologyFrontiers
Beating Bacteria on Earth -- and in Space | NASANASA

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Around the web: Concerns with human genetic engineering, Gary Cohn on tax reform, and more - American Enterprise Institute

Around the web: Concerns with human genetic engineering, Gary Cohn on tax reform, and more
American Enterprise Institute
Since then, she's been meeting with stakeholdersEUR•unions and business types and the likeEUR•about how San Francisco, and California, might explore such a thing. Among the issues with a robot tax: What is a robot? Even roboticists have a hard time agreeing.

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