Which Types Of Genetic Engineering Are Safe?

Types of genetic engineering are defined by the exact nature of the genes which are being worked on, along with the purpose to which they are being put. The most common type of genetic engineering at the present time is that which deals with food crops, aiming at the simple goal of dealing with pesticides more efficiently and decreasing the possibility of the crop being destroyed by insects and other predators. This type of genetically modifying food is proven to be successful, although some of the side effects are still unknown.

The next generation of plant based genetic engineering is that which is aimed at making the crop more resistant to the ambient weather conditions. In many cases, this will mean making them more hardy against extreme cold, at least extreme by the standards of the region in which the crop is being grown. There are limits as to what can be achieved, but even a small percentage increase in durability can save a large proportion of the crops which would otherwise have been lost. It is also possible to make plants more resistant against drought by reducing the amount of water they need over a given period of time.

It is not only the health of the plant itself which can be considered when genetic engineering is used. There are plans to use genetically modified plants to produce drugs in greater quantities than they can be produced in now. This will not substantially alter the nature of the drugs themselves, but it will mean that they can be produced in quantity far more cheaply. In a major Western country, the potential savings to the state sponsored medical service could be substantial. It is even possible that some of the drugs could be diverted to the Third World, where they are needed but cannot be obtained for financial reasons.

types of genetic engineering

Using types of genetic engineering on animals is possible, but it has not yet been realized in any meaningful commercial way. There are several potential objectives, the most obvious being to increase the size of farm animals are to improve their milk yields. This is perfectly possible, but economic considerations make it less likely because there a cheaper ways to achieve the same result. There are also plans to produce animals which are more similar genetically to humans, so that drugs can be tested on them.

Genetic engineering applied to humans is the most controversial of all, although even this has seen some initial success. The relatively simple procedure of altering DNA in one individual can have an effect on genetically inherited illnesses, and several people have already been cured of immune system deficiencies. The technology has not yet advanced to the level where it is safe to use, as some of the test volunteers contracted leukemia from the treatment they were given. There are other uses of genetic engineering in humans, but this the use which has the least potential for disaster and the greatest possibility of saving lives.

genetic engineering

Other types of genetic engineering which can be used on humans include the impregnation of barren women using the eggs of a second mother. This is a procedure which has potentially frightening consequences, as any child produced by it will have three genetic blueprints instead of two. This will be passed down through the generations, and the consequences are impossible to predict. As with most other forms of genetic engineering, it remains at the moment only a possibility, but there will be many new challenges for politicians and governments in the coming years, deciding whether or not to allow certain types of genetic engineering.

 

 

 

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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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-altering treatments. If approved, the first to make it to market would take on a stubborn form of .

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A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body - MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body
MIT Technology Review
Valerie LeBleu, assistant professor of cancer biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is working on genetically engineering exosomes to carry molecules that seek out pancreatic tumor cells to keep the cancer at bay. Her team .

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Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell . - Science Daily

Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell .
Science Daily
Immune cells with a general knack for recognizing and killing many types of infected or abnormal cells also can be engineered to hunt down cells with specific .

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