Do The Pros Of Genetic Engineering Outweigh The Cons?

Pros of genetic engineering are considered by those in favor of it to outweigh the possible negatives and the moral considerations which concern it, although it is far too early for those to be properly quantified. Genetic engineering is at its most advanced stage when dealing with plants and crops, and many genetically modified foods are already being sold in different countries of the world despite concerns over labeling and safety. When genetic engineering is applied to animals and even humans, there are other greater benefits to be gained, but also with increased risk and danger.

The most obvious benefit of genetically modified food is that it will give increased crop yields for the same area of space, over the standard unmodified crop. This increases the possibility of the human race being fully fed, although this could obviously only happen if there were political changes throughout the world. The modified crop is resistant to pesticides and artificial fertilizers, making it possible to use more chemicals against possible destructive insects and other pests. They can also be more resistant against diseases which can easily spread from one crop to another.

When genetic engineering is applied to plant foods in this way, there is also the possibility of the crop being made more durable. This is the second generation of genetic engineering, and is not yet universally applied. Where it is applied, the crops become more resistant to climatic conditions which can wreak havoc in certain parts of the world. In regions where the temperature can very greatly from the average, there is always the possibility of extreme cold wiping out crops which are grown across a large area, and at best this will cause prices to rise. Drought is a threat in other parts of the world, and genetic engineering can create crops which need far less water.

types of genetic engineering

The pros of genetic engineering in the case of animals are far less easy to define, although there is obviously the potential to create a higher yielding farmyard stock. Cows can be engineered to produce more milk for the same size of herd and space taken, and all animals reared for their meat can be grown to larger sizes. It is not just food products which can be improved, as the sheep which are sheared for their wool can also be engineered to produce more. Animals can be used for other purposes, such as the testing of drugs and even the use of organs for transplants, but these are far more controversial.

There is also a possibility of human genetic engineering, which is the most controversial use of all. Part of this involves using genetics to cure illnesses which are caused by faulty genes in the first place, and this has already successfully been carried out on several occasions. Using genetic engineering to overcome infertility is possible, but this is highly controversial as it involves using eggs from a different mother, giving the child three genetic blueprints instead of two.

genetic engineering

The pros of genetic engineering are obviously encouraging many to implement it, even at this early stage when so little is understood of the potential risks. Even in the apparently relatively safe area of plant genetics, there is the risk that genetically modified plants will spread to other areas and that the entire ecology will be severely affected. The positive sides at the moment are outweighing these considerations and genetically modified food is becoming commonplace. It is only in the coming years when we see the results of this that we will know whether or not the downsides outweigh the pros of genetic engineering.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

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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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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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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Dengue deaths are on the rise, but India's wait for a vaccine continues - Livemint

Livemint

Dengue deaths are on the rise, but India's wait for a vaccine continues
Livemint
An indigenous dengue vaccine developed by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in collaboration with Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd is in the pre-clinical trial stage. Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of the .

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FDA panel recommends approval for gene-altering leukemia treatment - The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe

FDA panel recommends approval for gene-altering leukemia treatment
The Boston Globe
The treatment requires removing millions of a patient's T-cells EUR” a type of white blood cell EUR” and genetically engineering them to kill cancer cells. The technique employs a disabled form of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to carry new genetic .
FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia TreatmentNew York Times
BLA 125646 Tisagenlecleucel 1 FDA Briefing Document Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee Meeting BLA 125646 .FDA
FDA Panel OKs What May Soon Be First Gene Therapy Approved in USHealthDay
National Cancer Institute
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Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell cancers - Science Daily

Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell cancers
Science Daily
The team's preclinical research shows that natural killer cells derived from donated umbilical cords can be modified to seek and destroy some types of leukemia and lymphoma. Genetic engineering also boosts their persistence and embeds a suicide gene .

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Gene therapy to kill cancer moves a step closer to market - CNET - CNET

CNET

Gene therapy to kill cancer moves a step closer to market - CNET
CNET
An advisory panel says it's time patients had access to gene therapy. If approved, the first such treatment to make it to market would take on a stubborn form of .

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