Genetic Engineering may be defined as the mixing of different types of genetic material so as to generate a new type of DNA sequence. It can be defined technically as “Genetic engineering alters the genetic make-up of an organism using techniques that remove heritable material or that introduces DNA prepared outside the organism either directly into the host or into a cell that is then fused or hybridized with the host.
Genetic engineering has vast range of applications whether it be medicine, research, industry and agriculture it’s everywhere along with that it can be used on a wide range of plants, animals and microorganisms as well.
Along with the positives comes the negative as well. There is a widespread perception that eating food from genetically modified crops is more risky than eating food from conventionally farmed crops. However, there is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from such crops poses no greater risk than conventional food and somehow this is more of a mind-set of people then the real truth.
So, According to me Genetic Engineering Should definitely be given a green signal. This generation is basically the technologically growing generation and nevertheless it isn’t posing any harm to the people. It’s basically preparing them for the adverse situations with the alternatives in hand.
It has been used for the cure of various deadly diseases like Parkinson disease and was successful for treatment of White blood cell cancer. It is useful in producing medicines like insulin and various vaccines.
As the population continues to expand and the plant diseases continue unchecked, soils are depleted, and the supply of traditional food sources is depleted by overconsumption and slow renewal, the day is not too far when we face severe food shortages in coming decades. Then it will be the Genetic Engineering which would come into play.
Genetically modified crops have the potential to reduce world hunger: They can be created to grow more quickly than conventional crops, increasing productivity and allowing for faster cycling of crops, which means more food yield. In addition, nutrient-enhanced crops can address malnutrition, and crops engineered to resist spoiling or damage can allow for transportation to areas affected by drought or natural disaster.
Genetic engineering has been impossible until recent times due to the complex and microscopic nature of DNA and its component nucleotides. Through progressive studies, more and more in this area is being made possible. This is the area which has lots of scope to be explored and to be experimented upon.
There are lots of example of Genetic Engineering, some interesting and some magic of the modern technology.
- Glow-in-the-dark cats – It sounds strange, but in 2007, scientists in South Korea altered the DNA of a kitty so that its fur would glow in the dark, and then cloned other cats from it, making the world’s first glowing cats.
- Cloning – One of the most controversial uses of genetic engineering has been cloning, or producing a genetically identical copy of an organism. While the ethics of cloning are hotly debated, the first ever sheep (named Dolly) was cloned in 1996 by scientists.
- Plants that fight pollution – Poplar trees developed by scientists at the University of Washington can absorb polluted water through their roots and clean it before the water is released back into the air. The plants were many times more efficient at cleaning certain pollutants than regular poplars.
- Golden rice – Genetic modification is often used to make “healthier” foods, such as golden rice, which contains beta-carotene – the very same vitamin that makes carrots orange. The result is that people without access to many vitamins will get a healthy dose of vitamin A when the rice is consumed.
- Salmon that grow faster – Salmon do not produce growth hormones year-round, so scientists have looked toward genetic engineering and found a solution: a modification that allows salmon to grow twice as fast than those that are not engineered.
- Environmentally friendly pigs – Genetic modification has helped to create pigs that can digest phosphorous better, which decreases the pig’s phosphorous output. The result is that manure, which is often made from pig waste, is less destructive to the environment due to its lower phosphorous content.
- Faster-growing trees – Demand for wood can be met by trees that grow faster than average. Genetic engineering has produced trees that can ward off biological attacks, grow more quickly and strongly, and create better wood than trees that are not genetically modified.
Genetic engineering benefits are often being touted by those in the scientific profession who have a great belief in this technology, and by the politicians who see it as a way of solving many of the pressing problems of their country and indeed the wider world. The benefits and potential benefits are there for everyone to see.
I will conclude this topic with some open questions: Will the Genetically Modified crops maintain their docile nature and just sit there growing for us? Or will our tinkering have some unintended effect on how these crops exist? If human genetic modification becomes possible, will we be able to do so without causing adverse consequences? Or will nature get back at us with a vengeance?