Genetically Modified Organisms In Genetic Engineering

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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and advanced biotechnologies have a very large impact on the environment, agriculture and human medicine. Many people including scientists believe this is the way of the future. These people see all of the benefits of being able to produce solutions to worldwide problems. With all of the supporters, come the skeptics. There are a lot of people that do not believe in tampering with genetics.

Genetic Engineering, commonly known as Genetic Modification (GM) is a process by which an organism’s genome can be modified using various biotechnology techniques. The process involves manipulating an organism’s DNA or transferring genes into an organism to create a new and improved version. DNA sequences of certain organisms are inserted into different ones or within the same organism to help us get a more favorable outcome. Genetic modification can be used to increase the disease resistance of the organism, help animals produce extra hormones, and so on. This method of reproduction is different than selective breeding. Selective breeding includes the genes that are originally present in the organisms. Therefore, the offsprings still have the same genes as their parents and are still the same species. But, in Genetic Engineering, there is a modification of genes, hence the term, Genetic Modification. The offspring can have a whole new set of genes and can no longer be called the same species. Genetically modified organisms can also have some prominent extra characters than their previous generations.

Scientists all over the world have come up with new ways to improve our everyday lives. GMO which stands for Genetically Modified Organism, is the organism that is created using the modified gene. One of the benefits that come out of GMOs is, scientists are able to produce genetically modified foods. Today roughly about 80% of the food we consume has been genetically modified. The 10 genetically modified crops of today are alfalfa, apples, canola, corn (field and sweet), cotton, papaya, potatoes, soybeans, squash and sugar beets (www.gmoanswers.com). In 2000, the first genetically modified rice was introduced into the world. The original name of the Golden Rice was called SGR1. The Golden Rice is genetically modified so that vitamin A is in every grain of Golden Rice. Although the rice plant can naturally make the beta-carotene, an antecedent of vitamin A, it only occurs in the leaf of the rice plant during photosynthesis. However, for the scientists to make the Golden Rice they had to insert the genes of a daffodil and a gene from a soil bacterium into the rice nuclear genome and under the endosperm promoter. By putting the genes in the promoter of the endosperm, Vitamin A was able to be presented in the rice. The Golden Rice was then sent to local rice cultivators in Philippine, Taiwan, and even America. The collaboration to create the first Golden Rice was a major discovery for scientists in all nations because they uncovered the biosynthesis pathway in the field of biotechnology. However, the first Golden Rice did not show effectiveness in raising the vitamin A level to the total daily requirement. This did not prove that it would satisfy the need of people with lower Vitamin A levels.

Eventually, in 2005 the Golden Rice evolved to Golden Rice 2. In the Golden Rice 2, the scientists changed the use of genes from daffodils and changed it to the genes from corn. Then like the first Golden Rice, they inserted the gene from the corn and the gene from the soil bacterium. By changing one of the genes and using the gene from the corn the end products of beta-carotene increased 23 times more than the previous Golden Rice. Although the first Golden Rice was not effective, the Golden Rice 2 showed to be a more effective source of vitamin A. The Golden Rice 2 was a successful genetically modified food that had a chance to help people all around the world. With the high level of beta-carotene in the Golden Rice 2, and as more vitamin A is produced, fewer people are being affected by Vitamin A Deficiency (The Golden Rice Project).

What is Biotechnology? There are many things that biotechnology is used for, especially in the field of agriculture. It can be used to enhance a crop’s protection, increase a crop’s productivity, improve its nutritional value, add flavor to various foods and create overall fresher produce. All of these things are just the beginning as far as biotechnology’s uses in modern-day society. Many crops use biotechnology to grow with a pesticide within the plant itself. This pesticide is really a protein that was placed inside of the plant that also kills pests. This protein is the main ingredient in many natural insecticides. This can save farmers money in the long run because they no longer need to use other fertilizers. A number of biotechnology-derived crops that have been deregulated by the USDA and reviewed for food safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been adopted by growers. Scientists are using biotechnology to try to reduce saturated fats in cooking oils, reduce allergens in foods, and increase disease-fighting nutrients in foods. Reducing these things would allow more people to eat them and provide healthier options. They are also researching ways to use genetically engineered crops to produce new medicines, which may lead to a new plant-made pharmaceutical industry that could reduce the costs of production using a sustainable resource. (Usda.gov) These biotechnology crops would allow farmers to make more money by producing more crops but also help to grow more during times like droughts, or off-season times.

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“Brewing and baking bread are examples of processes that fall within the concept of biotechnology (use of yeast (= living organism) to produce the desired product). Such traditional processes usually utilize the living organisms in their natural form (or further developed by breeding), while the more modern form of biotechnology will generally involve a more advanced modification of the biological system or organism.” (ntnu.edu)

Bread is a prime example of the everyday items used in most houses and restaurants in the world. The process of making bread starts with the starch-digesting enzyme, amylase, breaking down the flour in soluble sugars, transformed by yeast into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process is what makes the bread rise. Enzymes are used for a lot of things; baking, making beer, wine, cheese. Biotechnology allows companies to tailor their enzymes at the consumer’s requests. Consumers can request a certain taste, smell, and size that can be altered by using different enzymes. Also, by requesting certain enzymes certain factors can be affected like a product’s freshness, shelf life or quantity produced.

While there are many obvious reasons biotechnology can be proven to be positive, not everyone is sold on the idea. The media warns people about topics like whether the Genetically Engineered salmon is safe for the environment or if the salmon is harmless for humans. Social Media focuses on the topic of why the FDA has approved the GE salmon and why the FDA has not made the labeling of these genetically modified salmons mandatory. The main concerns surrounding the salmon are mostly about the environment. Consumers are confused about whether GE salmon or wild-caught salmon is a healthier version. Scientists think that this type of salmon poses a threat to the native gene pools. They are concerned that if the fish escape their confinement, they might endanger the wild species of salmon. If the salmon is to escape its confinement, it will not be able to survive as the area surrounds the breeding facility has seawater. Many skeptics think this is ignoring consumers’ right to know how our food is produced.

Many people think that genetically engineering an animal is unethical and cruel. Common social perspectives on genetically modifying animals do sometimes have an effect on people answering whether they truly think this process is ethical or unethical. There is a large section of society that has religious beliefs and thinks that they are playing with nature when scientists try to modify DNA and create new organisms. In addition to people with religious beliefs, there are many people that see these scientists as “Playing God” rather than to just let nature be nature.

In a recent study done by the University of Rochester, the more accurate information and facts people received about GM foods, the more they were likely to eat the GM products. Having more knowledge about GM foods created more positive attitudes and a greater willingness to eat them, and a lowered perception of GM foods as risky. Many people have the assumption that GM foods are unsafe and being pu mped with steroids and fillers to make the food appear to be bigger. However, after doing research, it is very obvious that GM foods are approved by the FDA, and USDA and are helping people every day. Biotechnology Is changing the world as we once knew it. Medically Scientists are finding more natural ways to help people, which is a great way to plan to deviate from the medicinal/ opioid problems being faced today. Golden rice is a perfect example of how far science has come. Finding a solution for VAD has saved lives and will continue to be known for creating a gateway into a world of vitamin deficiency. Biotechnology contributes much to the growing public and global health needs. It has revolutionized mankind since its existence. BT provides effective diagnostics, and much cheaper prevention and treatment measures and vaccines.

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Genetically Modified Organisms In Genetic Engineering. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/genetically-modified-organisms-in-genetic-engineering/
“Genetically Modified Organisms In Genetic Engineering.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/genetically-modified-organisms-in-genetic-engineering/
Genetically Modified Organisms In Genetic Engineering. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/genetically-modified-organisms-in-genetic-engineering/> [Accessed 4 Jul. 2022].
Genetically Modified Organisms In Genetic Engineering [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2022 Jul 4]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/genetically-modified-organisms-in-genetic-engineering/
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