The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering Essay
608 Words3 Pages
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering has been a major topic of discussion ever since 'Dolly' the sleep was cloned. Its raises ethical, moral and religious questions due to the fact it is tampering with the makeup of organisms, and certain religions believe it is not our right to do this.
Genetic engineering involves the re-arranging of DNA sequences, artificial horizontal gene transfer and cloning. There has been little progress in the re-arranging of genes in the last several years, due to the complexity of the problem, as there is no technique developed to analyse the sequence of DNA quickly. The analysis of E-coli DNA sequence took 12 years!…show more content…
Genetically engineering crops can also increase the shelf life our food, reducing amounts of waste, as products will keep longer.
Animals can be genetically engineered to contain human genetic disorders, allowing us to carry out tests on them. This allows us to develop treatments for them that can later be administered to humans.
These advantages seem hopeful, but they are yet to be proven. There are also many consequences and beliefs that genetic engineering is wrong for moral or religious reasons.
The first disadvantage of genetically engineering crops is the likelihood of genes transferring from GM (genetically modified) crops to other crops. For example, oilseed rape can cross-pollinate wild relatives. This would reduce the variation of crops across the world, so if a new plant disease appeared that attacked that particular form of oilseed rape, then the possibility of some of the crop having any form of immunity to it is extremely unlikely, as they all have the same genes.
Another disadvantage is any environmental damage would only show several years later, by which time it is too late. Any gene would have spread too far to be able to trace it all. There aren't any 100% effective methods of testing the safety of genetically modified crops so it is not possible to be certain that a crop will have no negative effects on the environment before it is
The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering
- Length: 424 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering
During the last 30 years, genetic engineering has been on the
forefront of many scientists’ minds, and the but of many people’s
discussions. Are their any disadvantages with treating diseases by
implanting genes which code for specific antiviral proteins which in
turn are specific to each antigen? Throughout this essay, I will be
discussing the advantages and disadvantages of Genetic Engineering.
One of the main advantages of genetic engineering is genetically
modified crops. Genetically modified crops (transgenic) may provide
increased profits to farmers while providing cheaper and more
nutritious food. Genetic engineering also has helped make crops
available that could not otherwise tolerate adverse environmental
conditions .This is particularly useful to countries with extreme
weather climates such as Ethiopia , Sudan when before hand , they
couldn’t produce many crops of their own , and relied heavily on
international aid. The genetically modified crops are capable of
resisting pests, generating higher yields, and producing food with
high nutrient content. They are considered an effective means of
dealing with pest problems while reducing production costs.
Another of genetic engineering is that diseases could be prevented by
detecting people that are genetically prone to certain hereditary
diseases, and preparing for the inevitable. As well as preventing
disease, with genetic engineering infectious diseases can be treated
by implanting genes that code for antiviral proteins specific to each
Another advantage of genetic engineering is that animals and plants
can be made to have desirable characteristics which could help solve
some of the world’s problems. For example in trees, genes could be
manipulated to absorb more carbon dioxide. This would help reduce
global warming, and thus solve one of the biggest problems earth
Another advantage of Genetic Engineering is that is could increase
genetic diversity, and produce more variant alleles which could also
be crossed over and implanted into other species. An example of this,
is that genetic engineering could be used to cross over the genetics
of wheat plants to produce insulin.
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As well as the advantages of Genetic Engineering, there are also some
disadvantages. The main disadvantage of Genetic Engineering on plants
is that nature is an extremely complex chain consisting of many
species linked in the food chain. Some scientists believe that
introducing genetically modified genes may have an irreversible effect
on nature as a whole. Another reason why people think that using
genetically modified crops and plants is a disadvantage is that they
think it will increase our reliance on pesticides, which have a
harmful effect on the environment.
Another disadvantage of Genetic Engineering is Genetic engineering
borderlines on many moral issues, particularly involving religion,
which questions whether man has the right to manipulate the laws and
course of nature. Also it brings into question Darwin’s theory of “the
survival of the fittest”, if this theory has worked over the last 20
centuries , why change it ?