Genetic engineering is often considered one of the most controversial techniques in biotechnology today. The process involves the use of genetic material from one species to another in order to create a new, desirable trait that will be used for a variety of purposes. The controversy arises because it is unknown what the precise effects of this new addition will be. This technique could create a new “superfood” or herb that could increase your life expectancy or even enable you to have a child that may be different than your own.
It is estimated that at least 95% of all plant and animal genes are similar between related plants and animals. Most of these similarities can be explained by natural gene function, which occurs in a system without any sort of external control. Some of the examples of natural gene function that is being studied under the field of genetic engineering are the traits that are specific to species, like anti-bacterial, anti-viral or anti-fungal properties. These traits are called superantips. Another example is the insertion of foreign DNA into the human genome, which is referred to as horizontal transfer.
There has been some controversy about what is genetic engineering. One concern is that if a species is able to produce its own insulin, this could potentially create a super species. In essence, they would be creating human insulin with no outside aid. This raises concerns about genetically modified insulin for diabetes. Just like any other new technology, there are concerns about the unintended consequences.
Another concern is what happens if the new traits are harmful to the organism in its natural environment. If the organisms can produce their own insulin, this raises the prospect of them escaping the environment and causing an environmental catastrophe. It also raises questions about whether or not traditional breeding methods should be employed because these new processes open up all sorts of new possibilities.
The concern with what is genetic engineering can also be raised because of the potential for people to misuse the information. This might include inserting genes that cause cancer into animals or mosquitoes. While it is possible to do this, it is probably not a wise idea. Creating life is one thing, creating something that could end up harming us is another.
One concern that is not always raised is what happens when an animal produces a modified plasmid that then affects the production of insulin. Perhaps some animals can produce a modified plasmid that makes them more likely to gain weight. This would allow them to survive in a human diet but, of course, this was not mentioned in the original study and is therefore not covered under the ethical code. However, there is some concern about the potential use of such a modified plasmid to make humans more prone to obesity. It also raises questions about what would happen if we modified the human genome to allow for increased weight.
There are a number of concerns about what is genetic engineering and why it is considered such a frightening process. Scientists understand that modifying genes in organisms is sometimes necessary to create the traits desired. Still, they caution that the process is very risky and may have unforeseen consequences. If there is not careful handling of the modified material, it could introduce unwanted characteristics into the genome that are not desired. It also raises questions as to what would happen if, after using the altered material to alter the traits of a human being, that person becomes overweight or develops some other illness associated with the altered traits.
What is genetic engineering? It is the altering of a DNA sequence to introduce or change a desired trait and then creating or encouraging the formation of a host cell or T cell to respond and perform the desired trait. This process occurs when the engineered DNA is introduced into a host cell, where it causes the formation of the desired trait in the host cell.