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The Genetic Engineering Industry

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Ever wish chocolate was healthy and could have the same nutrients and vitamins as fruit and vegetables? Food, one of three necessities of life, affects every living organism on Earth. Although some foods are disliked because of taste or health issues, recent discovery will open up new prosperities and growth in agriculture. Genetic engineering has the capability to make foods taste better, increase nutrient value, and even engineer plants to produce aids for deadly health issues. Every day the progress, understanding, and development of genetic engineering is digging deeper and with this knowledge virtually anything is possible.

Genetic engineering is a growing, prosperous industry and strikes interest in many people, some positive and others negative. Foods that have had foreign genes, genes from other plants or animals, inserted into their genetic codes would be a simple way of explaining genetic engineering. When it is broken down into a more scientific explanation, a plant’s genetic makeup has been altered through a process of recombinant DNA, or gene splicing, to give the plant desirable traits. Recombinant DNA uses bacterial plasmids and viruses to transport the new genes into the host cells. Plasmids are circular DNA found in bacteria that can effectively have the selected genes added to their genetic code, and then inserted into the host. Viruses, which would normally infect the host plant cells, are instead disabled and carrying the new genes, are implanted into the plant cells, without infection. Bioballistics brings forth another approach of genetic engineering where, “the use of tiny slivers of metal that are coated with the genetic material are shot into the host cells using a gene gun” (Bren 1). Once these sliver...

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...ran, Rakesh S. “Genetic Engineering- Part 2: Pros and cons of genetically engineering crops.” West Virginia Extension Service. West Virginia Farm Bureau News, February 2001. Web. 23 February 2011.

Franchino, Jen, Winnie Verruto, and Allison Zuckerbrow. “The Cons of Genetic Engineering of Plants, Crops, and Genetically Engineered Food.” University of Delaware, 8 May 2000. Web. 23 February 2011.

Heit, Jeffrey. “Genetically Engineered Foods.” U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, 12 May 2010. Web. 23 February 2011.

McAfee, Kathleen. “Geographies of Risk and Difference in Crop Genetic Engineering.” Geographical Review 94.1 (January 2004): 80-106. JSTOR. Web. 23 February 2011.

“Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms.” Office of Biological and Environmental Research. The Human Genome Program, 05 November 2008. Web. 23 February 2011.
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