Genetic Engineering: The Future Of Mankind? Essay

Genetic Engineering The Future Of Mankind Term paper

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Genetic engineering, the transfer of genetic material from one organism to another, is often a hot topic of debate among scientists and the general public alike ;yet, what is the controversy behind this ground breaking medical procedure? Although the procedure, in its numerous forms, could greatly benefit society in many ways, the ethics of the whole idea have many concerned. Types of Genetic EngineeringThere are several types of genetic engineering and they all vary slightly in the technique and the results. The first is natural selection, in which humans play no controlling role. The most powerful and fit organisms compete with others to survive in the circle of life. Although this method is, by far, the slowest, it allows the truly fit to survive and allows organisms to evolve and adapt to their changing environments naturally. Particular genes, which are characteristics in the form of chemical messages passed down from generation to generation, called transposable elements, move around the functional parts of the genes to maximize the likelihood to creating better genes in the organisms. This has proven to be effective, a prime example being the evolution of homo sapiens. The next type of genetic engineering is known as selective breeding, which is man s basic attempt at genetic engineering. This is done by selecting a few humans with certain characteristics to breed, therefore, resulting in desired characteristics found in the offspring. The technical aspect of this particular process are simple. Parents could produce a large number of fertilized eggs through in vitro fertilization. The eggs would be grown in vitro and then examined for specific traits. Then, the parents could pick an egg with the desired characteristics to be implanted into the mother s womb. However, this method does have its drawbacks. For example, it is extremely difficult to find an egg with a large number of desired characteristics. For this specific reason, some may choose to consider genetic manipulations instead. Genetic manipulations and gene therapy are also another part of genetic engineering, and has proved to be very useful. These methods involve bringing desired genetic materials into an existing cell or organism, rather than creating a brand new cell, or altering the genes inside the cells. For example, defective genes which are in use in a tissue can be corrected with gene therapy. Finally, the last form of genetic engineering is creating completely new genes and organisms. Cloning is included in this section, as new embryos are created from existing cells. Genetic scientists now understand the genetic code and have the power to create different proteins, yet creating then for a specific purpose within an organism is something that hasn t been grasped yet. Further research in this field is being done and more is being learned about mixing and matching the components of proteins and organisms. How it s Done-The BasicsDNA is a two strands of molecule wound around one another. A gene is a segment of the DNA strand that codes for a particular protein, which play very important roles in the daily function of a human body. The either help with the bodies structure, or with physiological, an example of which is hemaglobin which carries oxygen throughout the blood. The complex DNA code is translated into amino acid patterns in proteins for the body to use, by RNAs, which are single stranded molecules. The DNA molecule is unravelled and the cell makes a copy of the relevant part, in the form of RNA s. How it s Done-The Specifics Cloning is the process of creating a new organism from pre-existing cells from another organism. The process itself is fairly straight-forward, although it was a scientific breakthrough which took years to perfect. The procedure is, generally, as follows:1. Remove cells from the human to be cloned.2. Grow the cells until there is a sufficient amount.3. Place the cells into a minimal media where the cells will stop dividing and will enter quiescence, which is when the cells lose the differentiality and become totipotent. 4. Remove the nucleus from an unfertilized human egg cell.5. Implant one of the quiescent cells in the coat around the egg.6. Electroshock the egg, which will induce the fusion of the two cells. 7. Create several clones, as many of them will not survive due to various reasons, such as cellular damage.8. Allow the embryos to grow and divide.9. Implant the embryos in human mothers.Genetic manipulations can be done in a few different ways. It generally involves the transfer of genetic material from one organism to another. The transfer then forms recombinant DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), which is the attachment of a piece of DNA from one organism to another, followed by the insertion of the hybrid molecule into an organism. Scientists isolate desired molecules of DNA from cells, then segments
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