Genetic Engineering


The engineering of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is entirely new, yet genetics, as
a field of science, has fascinated mankind for over 2,000 years. Man has always
tried to bend nature around his will through selective breeding and other forms
of practical genetics. Today, scientists have a greater understanding of
genetics and its role in living organisms. Unfortunately, some people are
trying to stop further studies in genetics, but the research being conducted
today will serve to better mankind tomorrow. Among many benefits of genetic
engineering are the several cures being developed for presently incurable
diseases. Genetics has also opened the door way to biological solutions for
world problems, as well as aid for body malfunctions. Genetic engineering is a
fundamental tool for leading the world of medicine into the future; therefore,
it is crucial to continue research in this field.

Today\'s research in genetic engineering is bringing about new methods for curing
and treating major medical illnesses. The Human Genome Project has allowed
geneticists to map the genes of human beings. This project is far from complete,
as the DNA sequence of humans is extremely long, yet it will eventually show
geneticists which genes are responsible for certain inherited diseases.
Identified genes could be repaired, resulting in the irradiation of inherited
diseases, such as cancer. Just last year, the locations of genes for several
diseases were confirmed and may soon be correctable. Secondly, research in
genetics has brought about a new medical field, genetic counseling. Couples
planning to have children can visit a genetic counselor and identify what
medical difficulties their child may have. With continued research in genetics,
couples will have the opportunity to become aware of a greater number of
medical conditions that may affect their child and can make the proper
adjustments needed in advance. Lastly, and perhaps the most important
advancement in the curing and treating of illnesses, geneticists are developing
a new method for removing viruses from human bodies—DNA scissors. This new
method works in a similar way that antibiotics does. When antibodies enter our
internal system they attack a specific type of enemy cell or virus and destroy
it. Likewise, DNA scissors enter the body and attack a specific type of enemy
virus or cell. DNA scissors are much more effective than conventional
antibiotics because they enter the enemy cell and unravel their DNA. With
dysfunctional DNA, a cell is a pile of lipids and proteins; cancerous tumors
will turn to harmless dumps of organic material, that can be filtered out by
the body. DNA scissors will affect things that antibiotics cannot, like AIDS.
(Not even AIDS can function without DNA). One day the only thing that will stand
between medical diseases and their cure will be the analysis of their DNA.

Genetics now offers a new way to solve the general problems of the world. First,
genetic research makes it possible for food to be grown safer, better, and
faster, without doing any damage to the environment. With today\'s knowledge of
genetic engineering, several food companies are investigating possibilities of
making more food in less time. Through a process know as gene therapy,
geneticists have the ability to modify parts of genetic material in organisms.
Geneticists can add attributes to crops, like tomatoes, that would make them
resistant to insects. With such features, dangerous chemicals like DDT that harm
the environment, plants, animals, and humans would not be needed. Other
enhancements would include prolonged life spans for food products after
harvesting. For example, tomatoes have been engineered to last longer so they
do not have to be harvested early. Thus, it is unnecessary to spray chemicals on
them to prematurely change their color. While the US has not yet approved the
new crops, several countries have and are making great profits off them. Finally,
through a proccess known as gene splicing, geneticists are able to cross
different organisms and therefore breed beneficial life forms. The Supreme Court
ruled that scientists can patent newly created life forms, so several companies
have invested in genetic research. General Electric provided the funding for a
team of geneticists to create a new life form; the result was oil eating
bacteria. The bacteria consume oil and are of no threat to the environment, so
far. A major use for the bacteria is to clean shores after an oil spill. It is
impossible to clean every drop of oil on the shoreline, so the bacteria are
released to remove any traces of oil tediously and perfectly. General Electric
is in the process of obtaining , or already has obtained a patent for the
bacteria. It is quite clear that genetics will have an