The Debated Applications of Recombinant DNA Technology

“[...] any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.” This statement is often used to describe the fundamental aim of biotechnology around the world. Karl Ereky, one of the foremost proponents of the term biotechnology foresaw that “merging biology and technology could be used to transform living substances into products that are more useful than in their natural state,” thus benefiting society by meeting human needs or demands to improve our quality life. Although the use of living systems to make a product has an established history, the modern definition of biotechnology is usually associated with recombinant DNA technology. The idea of recombinant DNA was first proposed by Peter Lobban but the founding principles were published in 1973 by Stanly Cohen and Hebert Boyer. “Recombinant DNA technology allows DNA to be produced via artificial means. This technology works by taking DNA from two different sources and combining it into a single molecule.” The ideas promoted by Karl Ereky illustrate a direct connection between biotechnology and recombinant DNA.
A widely debated application of this technology is in the production of genetically modified foods. This technology has the function of adjusting certain food needs of modern life, facilitating its production, allowing greater number of annual harvests, making it more resistant to pests or enriching the nutritional aspect. On genetically modified food, there is a great controversy, because on one side there are scientists changing a particular food in order to address the socioeconomic needs, while on the other side there are environmentalists who believe that th...

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...ility of using recombinant DNA technology to produce products with practical application.” Science heroes such as Ereky, Lobban, Cohen and Boyer provided a basis for the transformation of the biotechnology field, engaging popular audiences and the attention of the government. Across the globe biotechnology has been a defining and enduring feature of humanity. Biotechnology has transformed human civilization, economic activity, and transformed the lives of many human beings on the planet. Recombinant DNA technology is a fledging science that provides a prospect the humanity has to discover treatments and cures to the most deadly of diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Studies are needed to establish possible harm that its use may initiate around the world but it is fascinating how the use of this technology has changed the course of history within the last fifty years.

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