The advancements of biotechnology and genetic engineering haven’t been constrained to the lab. Biotechnology is constantly working in agriculture to, reduce the use of pesticides on our crops as well as develop crops that are able to grow in salty soils or in drought conditions, farmers are now able to make more money as crops are growing in quality and in some cases, are increasing in yield. People at home can now keep their fresh food products longer than ever before as science develops foods with an increased shelf life. Pharmaceutical also have a lot to gain as gene therapy allows us to treat and cure genetic diseases that were once thought to be incurable .
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Crops that have been manipulated by biotechnology produce larger crop yields by providing natural mechanisms of pest control in place of chemical pesticides. This can all happen without clearing additional land, which is especially important in developing countries. The fact that biotechnology provides natural pest-specific control, insects that help with pest control will not be harmed. Herbicide-tolerant crops decrease soil destruction by allowing farmers to use conservation cultivation. The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy’s (or NCFAP) 2004 report, showed that in 2003 the 11 biotech crop varieties adopted by U.S. growers increased crop yields by 5.3 billion pounds, thus saving farmers $1.5 billion
by lowering production costs, and reduced pesticide use by 46.4 million pounds .
In the field of medicine gene therapy shows promise for helping people who have suffered from a heart attack. What most people don’t know is that after a heat attack the pain doesn’t subside, it can actually get worse, as scared tissue tense up making once elastic parts of the heart stiff. This prevents the heart muscles from fully contracting and can possible go on to minimize the amount of oxygen carrying blood traveling throughout the body. One solution to this problem is a heart transplant, but it is very difficult to find compatible hearts and there aren’t enough donors for all of the survivors to gain treatment. This new study randomly selected eighteen pigs that were recovering from a heart attack to receive injections of a gene expressed under a promoter (forcing it to be expressed) or the same solution without the gene. The result showed promising results where the pigs with the gene had greater success rates of pumping blood with each heartbeat, in addition to procuring more heart muscle cells (Scientific American Global RSS). If this works in humans as well it could boost patient recovery rates as well as improving gene therapy’s reputation.
Biotechnology is still in its younger years leading to a few issues. People are unsure of biotechnology products’ long-term effects because this science is still fairly new. A crop that is herbicide resistant may transfer some of its traits to a weed, then this ‘superweed’ would be too strong for herbicides to kill. They could cause allergic reactions with people who suffer from some type of food allergy. A decrease in...