Genetically Modified Chicken Essay

1674 words - 7 pages

Genetically modified food is a vital issue that affects all of us. While most of us only care about what we eat and the taste of our food, there is very little attention devoted to how our food are produced. In this essay, I would like to discuss how genetically modified chicken is produced, its dangers and benefits, and highlight some social concerns regarding this issue.

To know genetically modified food ,we need to understand genetic engineering, which is an artificially way to modify an organism's genes, that does not occur under natural conditions. Genetically engineering involves the use of recombinant DNA techniques, but does not include traditional animal and plant breeding or mutagenesis. Any organism’s genes are modified by this technology is considered to be a genetically modified organism.

Dated back to the period between 1997 and 1999, genetically modified (GM) food suddenly appeared in 2/3 of all US processed food. The reason was that Supreme Court (an authority court in the USA) ruling that allowed GM food to become a kind of merchantable commodity. Since then thousands of applications for experimental GM organisms, no matter local or abroad, have been applied with the US Patent Office. Some of these organisms that will undergo the experiments are quite unusually.

Chicken has always been a popular food among us. So many merchants tried to find ways to genetically modify them so as to obtain better raw materials for their use. The popularity of GM chicken has increased significantly over the past few years.

The classification of GM chicken: Gallus (Genus), Gallus gallus (Specise). GM chickens have to undergo the same procedures as other GM organisms to become more favorable and useful in certain aspects. Genetically modified organisms have specific changes of their DNA by genetic engineering technologies. However, genetic modification involves the insertion or deletion of genes, this could be an insertion of genes from a same or a different species. In fact, this can naturally occur when the DNA that is came from other organisms penetrates the cell membrane. To do this in artificial, it may require attaching virus to a nucleus of the cells, which let the virus enter the genes by itself. And there are other ways which just insert the extra DNA into the nucleus of the intended host with a very small syringe, or with very small particles fired from a gene gun which will recombinant the DNA, these two ways can not succeed without using microscope. Another way is genetically modify is totally different which is by using the sperm cell as the medium. In detailed, people make some change to make the sperm have the ability to carry the exogenous genes then use these sperm cells to insemination the hen. And the cost of this way to do genetically modify is only one tenth of the former one. For example, to insert the antiviral protein Mx gene into normal chicken’s cells, which enhance their ability to counteract the H5N1 flu...

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