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The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Engineering

820 words - 3 pages

Genetic engineering is the growing science of the world and is increasingly under the spotlight over ethical issues. Is biotechnology going to save lives, rather than destroy them? and will the benefits outweigh the risks? The main problem with such questions is that we don't know the answer until we try them out. Like all sciences it is hard to predict outcomes, so far there have been more failures being told than success stories.
Genetic engineering is the splitting of DNA out of an organism’s gene, and then transplanted and recombined into a hosts DNA sequence. This method allows the host organism (if successful) to then show the desired trait or characteristic. This method promises to give us plants that can grow throughout droughts or mice that can grow human organs, the boundaries seem to be limitless.
Pros to genetic engineering seem to be very promising and sometimes not believable. For example cross splicing a bacteria with a plant, so as the plant can produce its own toxin, and thus be safe against pests. This has already been done in Australia with the cotton plants, which are being ruined by bollworms. But with every pro there is a con. So far in the rest of the world, the success stories aren’t quite as renown. Some farmers are losing up to 1 million dollars a year due to deformities in the cotton plants with their bolls falling off. Something like ¼ of the acreage used for cotton farming in the USA is ruined by biotechnology and its creation of deformed plants.
Genetic engineering also promises to splice a herbicide tolerant gene with a common crop gene, which will create a herbicide tolerant crop. This means that the chemical’s poisonousness doesn’t affect the crop any more, in which case will allow us to be rid of weeds in areas where crops grow. Possible problems with this would be that if it bred with a wild relative, the relative would then show the characteristic of being herbicide tolerant and would then be immune to any chemicals sprayed on it, thus the creation of a superweed. This is also the case with pesticide tolerant crops, but this time the farmers can use any toxic chemicals that kill everything including pests and the crop will remain unaffected. These techniques show signs of promise in that it will help us reduce the number of weeds and pests, but...

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