Genetic Technology RWE
By: Hewane Melkie
In 2003 the human genome project was finally finished. Since then we have come a long way in the genetic field of medical research. Genetic technology is taking advantage of natural genetic variations, modifying genes and transferring genes to new hosts. There are many types of genetic technology but today this newsletter will be focused mainly on two; genetic engineering and recombinant DNA.
Recombinant DNA is DNA that has been formed artificially by combining constituents from different organisms. Its basically when one organism the one that is under study is donating DNA, this organism is called the donor organism. The basic procedure is to extract and cut up DNA from the donor genome into fragments. These fragments contain one to many genes. These fragments will insert themselves individually into opened up small independent replicating DNA. Recombinant DNA technology has many benefits such as larger crops and plants. It helps with genetic mutations that cause illness to patients such as cancer and clones and identifies which gene is mutated.Then to replace the defected gene a healthy gene of the same function is taken and multiple copies are made through cloning. The good gene replaces its self with the defective one. Also it has helped with fertility. This technology has allowed scientists to produce hormones that make women ovulate more and makes women more fertile. Moreover, now that we have named the good we must name the bad. According to http://www.biology.lifeeasy.org/5128/recombinant-dna-disadvantages some disadvantages to this technology are the genetically modified plant or animals could interbreed with the natural organisms and which could contaminate the environment by whatever their baby becomes. We don't know what a mutant cow and normal cows baby will act or produce milk it could be different due to these changes as they build up over the generations on our environment. Secondly, http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2006-01/1138123684.Mb.r.html claims that genetically modified food the chemicals they use are not very good for us humans since are bodies are not fully adapted, plus what human wants to eat chemicals that they are told is bad for their bodies. Finally it could lead to resistant insects. Insect resistant plants produce a chemical that is harmful to insects obviously but, throughout the generations they will become adapted to the chemicals and mutate making it harder for them to be killed; causing the farmers to use more chemicals to kill the mutated insects.
This an example of the recombinant DNA process occurring.
This is a chart of genetic engineering to help you better visually understand the process.
By definition genetic engineering is the modification of an organism's genetic composition by artificial means. Basically saying that you could go find the certain tiny specific genome that codes for dark brown hair and modify it so it coded for blonde hair. You could do this with many other traits as well. These would be some of the problems we as a society are currently facing today. The fear of making "designer babies". In addition to the disadvantages of genetic engineering their are many benefits we could find the specific genome in a person that codes for a bad pancreas or under functioning pancreas and turn that pancreas fully functional, curing that person's diabetes. Also according to http://occupytheory.org/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-genetic-engineering/ some more benefits would be better an highly-graded pharmaceutical products, potential of increasing the life span of people, and it could cure many unknown or incurable diseases. Genetic engineering acts as an aide for genetics, this results to better medicine to help humans fight their illnesses and diseases. According to the studies of scientists, genetic engineering can increase the life span of a person between 100-150 years. The technique is being applied on healthy individuals; changing their genomes which results in slowing down the aging process. "There are scientists who believe that the existence of hereditary modified genes can have an irreversible effects and associated consequences." states http://apecsec.org/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-genetic-engineering/ basically meaning if we do all of these thing now their children could have some type of new disease due to the mutated and modified genes that is impossible to find the answer to since the genes will become irreversible over time and as they age. There could become antibiotic resistant bacteria which is very similar to the bug situation I described in recombinant DNA. There are side effects and possible allergic reactions as well.
In conclusion genetic technology is a good and bad thing. It's a very helpful and interesting tool we need to use for the good of our society. We could learn and help many people using this new technology. Personally, I feel we should put restrictions on this level of technology. Only allow it to be reached for medical reasons. Something important and not let others ruin the chance for our entire society by trying to create a designer baby. This is a breakthrough in science that should not be taken away from us. This technology could cure cancer and may other diseases and conditions that people have been looking for the answers to for decades probably longer. scientists should research as much as possible and start testing as many people and animals and plants as possible this technology could save lives and completely change the way things wok in the medical field forever. We need to act upon this informational and stop worrying about what if's and just try it. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages.