such as making a crop resistant to a herbicide, introducing a novel trait, or producing a new protein or enzyme. Examples include the production of human insulin through the use of modified bacteria, the production of erythropoietin in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, and the production of new types of experimental mice such as the OncoMouse (cancer mouse) for research, through genetic redesign.
position of many genetic engineers is that they do not need to do so, since the outputs of their work are 'substantially the same as' the original organism which was produced by the original genome(s).
sequencing of the human genome, as well as the genomes of most agriculturally and scientifically important plants and animals, has increased the possibilities of genetic research immeasurably. Expedient and inexpensive access to comprehensive genetic data
has become a reality, with billions of sequenced nucleotides already online and annotated. Now that the rapid sequencing of arbitrarily large genomes has become a simple, if not trivial affair, a much greater challenge will be elucidating function of the extraordinarily complex web of interacting proteins, dubbed the proteome, that constitutes and powers all living
Proponents of current genetic techniques as applied to food plants cite thebenefits that the technology can have, for example, in the harsh agricultural conditions of Africa. They say that with modifications, existing crops would be able to thrive under the relatively hostile
Proponents say that genetically-engineered crops are not significantly different from those modified by nature or humans in the past, and are as safe or even safer than such methods. There is gene transfer between unicellular eukaryotes and prokaryotes. There have been no known genetic catastrophes as a result of this. They argue that animal husbandry and crop
In August 2002, Zambia cut off the flow of Genetically Modified Food (mostly maize) from UN's World Food Program. Although there were claims that this left a famine-stricken population without food aid, the U.N. program succeeded in replacing the rejected grain with other sources, including some foods purchased locally with European cash donations. In rejecting the maize, Zambians cited the "Precautionary
When treating problems that arise from genetic disorder, one solution is gene therapy. A genetic disorder is a situation where some genes are missing or faulty. When this happens, genes may be expressed in unfavorable ways or not at all, and this generally leads to further complicatons.
The idea of gene therapy is that a non-pathogenic virus or other delivery system can be used to insert a piece of DNA--a good copy of the gene--into cells of the living individual. The modified cells would divide as normal and each division would produce cells that express the desired trait. The result would be that he/she would then have the ability to express the trait that was previously absent at least partially. This form of genetic engineering could help alleviate many problems, such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or other genetic diseases.
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