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Genetic Engineering is used for medical treatment as well as for agriculture. It brings a lot of benefits to make use of Genetic Modification but there are also scientists that are very critical about this new opportunity.

What is Genetic Engineering?

Genetic modification gives humans the power to determine the genetic make-up of any living creature, including human beings. While farmers have been selectively breeding plants and animals for thousands of years, they relied on natural selection, which meant they had to wait for a random mutation to occur to get an organism with desirable traits, such as really big cows or chickens.

Let’s look at the two types of genetic modification in more detail.

Gene silencing turns off genes that are harmful or not useful from the human perspective. An example of genetic silencing is the Arctic Apple. These genetically modified apples will not turn brown after being sliced because the genes that control the enzymes responsible for browning have been turned off.

Organisms also can be genetically modified via the addition of new genes to their genome, which can impart new traits, such as frost-, drought-, or pest-resistance. GloFish are an example of such a genetically modified organism. These pets have been modified through addition of a gene that produces a neon pigment that glows in black light.

What are the advantages of Genetic Engineering?

On the one hand, there are a lot of positive aspects affecting the farming industry. It is possible for plants to grow under poor conditions with Genetic Modification. Vermin or dry arable land wouldn´t be a problem any longer. So, it is not necessary to spread pesticides and insecticides what is very practicable because the ground water is not contaminated with chemicals any longer.

Additionally, you are able to earn a huger amount of goods from the same size of land. The indigents of some vegetables and fruits could be changed. For instance: one can increase the percentage of proteins in wheat to prevent deficit syndromes for vegetarians.

On the other hand, there is Medical Genetic Engineering. This way of science maybe cures cancer in a few years. There are therapy methods to destroy cancer cells. Otherwise, drugs like insulin or vaccine are produced by scientists with genetic modification.

What are the harms of Genetic Modification?

All of the aspects above sound very positively and useful but there is also a shady side of Genetic Engineering.
Looking back to the agricultural aspect we have to remember that plants like soya, corn and canola were biological changed in structure. Thinking about this there is the possibility of uncontrolled dispersion.

Furthermore, it is proofed that a change in biological structure can causes allergies. In general, the impact of Genetic modification on human beings isn´t well explored. This might be the reason why the bigger part of interviewed people is not supporting the usage of Genetic Modification.

Besides, bees are spreading genetic changed cellular by transporting pollen from one place to another so honey gets easily contaminated. Products that are containing genetic engineering do not always have a sign on it. This means that you cannot be sure if you are consuming it or not. There is a lack of transparence. Even some banknotes are containing changed structures.

Last but not least Genetic Modification is a great possibility to solve a lot of problems especially in developing countries. But it should be controlled by the government that is working together with scientists which can give some important advises.


SOURCE: Lisa-Marie Wala/