Genetic Engineering - Monroe County Schools

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Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering is the design and construction of new
biological parts, devices and systems that do not exist in the
natural world and also the redesign of existing biological
systems to perform specific tasks.




DNA code is regarded as the software that instructs
life, while the cell membrane and all the biological
parts inside them are regarded as the hardware
that need to be put together to make living
organisms.






So At the heart of genetic
engineering there is a strong belief
that every part of life can be made
synthetically by chemistry,
engineered and assembled to
produce working organisms.




Genetic engineering represents an important
change in the direction of genetic technology,
which has been focused on gene sequencing in
order to identify and understand the role of genes
found in nature.





Huge supporters insist that genetic engineering is
the key to cheap
biofuels
, a cure for malaria and
climate remediation. This biology also means
cheaper and accessible tools to build
bioweapons
.


Millions of dollars of government and corporate
funding are already flowing into these biology
labs.






Genetic engineering can be used for biological,
agricultural, industrial, and medical reasons.










Although many food animal species have been
genetically engineered in research settings, no
genetically engineered animals have been approved for
uses as human food in the United States.





Environmental issues were the greatest science
-
based concern associated with the genetic
engineering of animals.





Genetically engineered animals are those that
carry and transmit one or more copies of
recombinant DNA sequence.





One genetically engineered animal commercially
available in the United States is a fluorescent red
zebrafish

called
GloFish
.





In short term it seems more likely that genetic
engineering will be used mostly for biomedical
applications.



Genetically engineered proteins have been made
and secreted in milk, blood, eggs, urine, and semen
of livestock, although to date most commercial
production favors the mammary gland.



“Transplantation
-
friendly” genetically engineered
pigs are currently being developed to help alleviate
the critical shortage of organs for human
transplantation.




Modern human genetic engineering entered
the scientific realm in the nineteenth century
with the introduction of Eugenics.



Genetic engineering in its broadest sense has
been around for thousands of years, since
people first recognized that they could mate
animals with special characteristics to produce
offspring with desirable traits, and use
agricultural seed selectively.





Genetic Engineering generally has three methods
used to introduce a foreign gene into a plant or
animal.

The three methods are:


Plasmid Method
-

to alter the genome of a bacteria and
implement the gene into plants or animals.


Vector Method
-

viral vectors transmit the DNA to a host
and it will replicate the trait itself with its own genetic
information.


Biolistic

Method
-

slivers of metal coated in the desired
trait are fired into the cell of a host. The host is cultured
to replicate the gene. Most used in plant cells.









Civil society and social movements, particularly
those that have campaigned against genetic
engineering and the patenting of life, recognize
that ‘’extreme biotech’’ is a dangerous technology
that must not be developed in the absence of
widespread societal debate and legally binding
regulation.























For some, the quest to build new, living organisms
in the laboratory crosses unacceptable ethical
boundaries
-

a reductionist science that raises
profound implications for society.

Sources:


Eenennaam
, Alison. "Genetic Engineering and Animal Agriculture."
(2005): 3. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.


Russell and Hall, Hilary and Peter. "
Septin

Genomics: a road less
traveled."
Bio. Chemistry
. 392. (2011): 4. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.


Cavaleri
, Franco. "Genetic Engineering
Whats

germinating." 30.
(1992): 7. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.


Extreme Genetic Engineering."
introduction to Synthetic Biology
.
(2007): 17. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.