Genetic Engineering – Some Facts You Need to Understand

The art and science of changing the genetic make-up of certain living organisms to derive the intended benefits for the human being is known as Genetic Engineering. It is the manipulation of the genes of the living organisms beyond their natural reproduction processes and behaviors, mostly used in crops but also in humans, animals and other living organisms.   In genetic engineering, the DNA structure is modified using molecular cloning and some other methods.   

Genetic Engineering aims at providing new features and characteristics for making certain types of crops resistant to herbicide, introducing new attributes, producing new protein and enzymes, and modifying the organisms to be more productive.  

The benefits reaped through Genetic Engineering are higher, especially for crops. But it also has some disadvantages at the same time.  

Advantages:

  1. Crops grown by Genetic Engineering are pest-and disease-resistant. These types of crops tend to grow fast in any climate.
  2. Crops or plants grown in this method have much longer lifespans which help reduce the amount of food wasted.
  3. A higher level of nutrition and vitamins are found in genetically grown crops.  
  4. If the exact gene causing the problem is correctly identified, it would be plausible to remove it from the DNA and may even be eradicated from the gene pool forever.

Disadvantages:

  1. People belonging to different religious sects are against the act of changing the DNAs of humans or animals.
  2. The risk of new illnesses and diseases is there while altering the genes.  
  3. Since this research field is comparatively new than the other scientific fields, even the scientists are not aware of the effects which may come after many years.

As long as genetic engineering is safe and beneficial to humans, let it be a boon and not a bane.

Rajat CHAKRABORTY Written by:

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