Genetic Technology

by Josh

The Future

The idea of genetic technology is something that would not have been discussed many years ago. Scientific advancements continue to change the world everyday as humans continue to discover more about the world and what we are capable of doing. Genetic technology has come a long way from the discoveries of genes made by scientists. Two ideas of genetic technologies that will be discussed are genetic engineering and recombinant DNA.

Genetic Engineering

What is it?

The process of genetic engineering is manually joining new DNA to an organism. The main goal of this is to add a single or multiple traits that have not been found in a specific organism.


How does it work?

Genetic engineering is also known as transformation, in the fact that the process works by essentially removing a desired gene from one organism and inserting it to a different organism. This will ultimately give the recipient of the new genes to have the ability to express what trait was given by that specific gene. According to AgBiosafety, the most common way transformation is done is through the use of bacteria. Another method is the known as the gene gun method in microscopic gold particles coated with the transgenes are shot into cells of an organism. After the creation of a transgenic organism, traditional breeding of a species is still apart of the process as it will improve the transferred characteristics from the base organism.


How is this used?

In April of 2015, researchers in China released the results of experimenting with genetic engineering within human embryos that could not develop. This ultimately caused a surge of controversy and backlash as the testing of genetic engineering on humans has not been informal enough and in some views morally unacceptable, however the results were better than the opinions of the people. The team of scientists injected 86 human embryos with an engineered DNA sequence that was focused on removing defective DNA strands and replacing them with healthy ones.


Is this good?

Comparing genetic engineering to traditional breeding, both have their pros and cons. Genetic engineering manually transfers genes from one organism to another while traditional breeding moves genes through the process of mating. Traditional breeding is much more effective in improving traits, however genetic engineering eliminates the need for mating and can move genes from an organism to any species. This ultimately concludes that the use of genetic engineering is good in comparison to the process of a more natural approach to transferring genes.

Recombinant DNA

What is it?

Recombinant DNA is the combination of two artificially constructed strands of DNA. The purpose of Recombinant DNA is to create unique DNA strands for different specific purposes.


How does it work?

The process of creating Recombinant DNA involves the use of a donor organism. A basic procedure to begin the creation involves the activity of extracting and cutting DNA from such organism into fragments varying from one to several genes. This will ultimately allow the fragments to place themselves into small repeatedly replicating DNA molecules such as bacterial plasmids. This vector molecule that has been made involving the transfered DNA is what is known as Recombinant DNA. The creation of such is very similar to the idea of genetic engineering.


How is this used?

Over the years, rDNA has been increasing in importance for human advancements. One use for rDNA is to modify an organism that may produce a needed material that can benefit us humans. An example of this would be the production of the protein insulin that many people lack in production in their bodies, which ultimately leads to diabetes mellitus. The technology of Recombinant DNA has addressed this medical issue by allowing genetic engineers to place the genetic code of humans that produces insulin into bacteria which will continuously generate.


Is this good?

Recombinant DNA has proven to be very helpful in the time that the technology has existed. With the ability to make edits in genetic code, there have been improvements in medicine, livestock, crops, prevention of genetic diseases, and overall helping with the medical conditions of human lives. The main issue that rDNA causes happen to be ethical and concerns of public safety, however at a bigger standpoint it appears to be only positive.

What's Next?

The technology of rDNA and idea of genetic technology itself are both high peaks in the future for scientific research. The ability of extracting DNA may seem unconventional at the current state of society, however the benefits that have been allowed through this process is able to benefit many human lives to come. As we advance technologically and as a society, the growth of DNA studies may be the difference in changing the whole world soon.