Benefits and Restraints of Genetic Engineering and the Use of Recombinant DNA

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Benefits and Restraints of Genetic Engineering and the Use of Recombinant DNA

Genetic engineering and recombinant DNA have many useful purposes

which benefit humans in many different ways in many different fields.

The latest bio-technological breakthroughs allow the use of

recombinant or 'mixed' DNA to be used more and more and in

increasingly safer conditions. However there are still many problems

and restrictions with using recombinant DNA such as side-effects or

long term changes and the effect a new characteristic will have on its

surrounding environment, be it the human body or a whole environmental


Whilst genetic engineering has been beneficial in many ways increasing

plant yields or improving human health, the statement, "The use of

recombinant DNA can only benefit humans", can be discussed and in

almost all situations it is found not to be true as discussed below.

Genetic engineering is used frequently in the agricultural industry

for many purposes :-

For resistance to disease such tobacco mosaic viruses or potato

blight. Making plants resistant to such diseases by inserting the

correct resistance gene by genetic engineering means that more of the

crops grown can be sold and so the farmer makes more money, the main

incentive to most industrial processes.

Resistance to the herbicide, glyophosphate can be achieved by genetic

engineering. This means that crops can be sprayed with this herbicide

and weeds will be killed but the crops will remain healthy, thus

saving money and also reducing the need for labour to manually remove


Plants can be made to produce an insecticide using the Bacillus


... middle of paper ...

...cells must be

actively dividing for the operation to be successful and most human

liver and lung cells are not, and so have to be forced to do so, which

is harmful to the patient.


So it becomes clear that gene therapy is not as simple and successful

as it may at first seem, as was the case with genetic engineering in


In conclusion, I think that genetic engineering and the use of

recombinant DNA can be very successful and helpful to humans as long

as the implications are considered and as humans we are not guided by

the greed for money without considering the consequences.


1. Bio-factsheet No.13, September 1997, "Genetic Engineering"

2. Bio-factsheet No.69, April 2000, "Genetic Engineering In


3. Bio-factsheet No.51, September 1999, "Gene Therapy"

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