Why shouldn't we genetically engineer/modify microorganisms?
Why not? Whats the dangers? Any links?
Thank you in advance.
- protexyaLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
In looking at the pros and cons of genetic engineering, we'll consider the technology in the fields of agriculture, food production, and medicine.
The science of indirectly manipulating an organism's genes using the techniques like molecular cloning and transformation to alter the structure and nature of genes is called genetic engineering. Genetic engineering can bring about a great amount of transformations in the characteristics of an organism by the manipulation of DNA, which is like the code inscribed in every cell determining how it functions. Like any other science, genetic engineering also has pros and cons. Let us look at some of them.
Pros of Genetic Engineering
Crops like potato, tomato, soybean and rice are currently being genetically engineered to obtain new strains with better nutritional qualities and increased yield. The genetically engineered crops are expected to have a capacity to grow on lands that are presently not suitable for cultivation. The manipulation of the genes in crops is expected to improve their nutritional value as also their rate of growth. Biotechnology, the science of genetically engineering foods, can be used to impart a better taste to certain foods.
Engineered seeds are resistant to pests and can survive in a relatively harsh climatic conditions. The recently identified plant gene known as At-DBF2, when inserted in tomato and tobacco cells is seen to increase their endurance to harsh soil and climatic conditions. Biotechnology can be used to slow down the process of food spoilage. It can thus result in fruits and vegetables having a greater shelf life.
Genetic engineering in food can be used to produce totally new substances such as proteins and other food nutrients. The genetic modification of foods can be used to increase their medicinal value, thus making available homegrown edible vaccines.
Genetic engineering has a great potential of succeeding in case of human beings. This specialized branch of genetic engineering, which is known as human genetic engineering is the science of modifying the genotypes of human beings before birth. The process can be used to manipulate certain traits in an individual.
Positive genetic engineering deals with enhancing the positive traits in an individual like increasing longevity or human capacity while negative genetic engineering deals with the suppression of the negative traits in human beings like certain genetic diseases. Genetic engineering can be used to obtain a permanent cure for certain dreaded diseases.
If the genes responsible for the exceptional qualities in some individuals can be discovered, these genes can be artificially introduced into genotypes of other human beings. Genetic engineering in human beings can be used to change the DNA of individuals to bring about desirable structural and functional changes in them.
Cons of Genetic Engineering
Genetic engineering in food involves the contamination of genes in crops. Genetically engineered crops may supersede the natural weeds; they may prove harmful for the natural plants. Undesirable genetic mutations can lead to allergies in crops. Critics believe that genetic engineering in foodstuffs can rather hamper the nutritional value while enhancing their taste and appearance.
Horizontal gene transfer can give rise to new pathogens. While increasing the immunity to diseases in plants, the resistance genes may get transferred to the harmful pathogens.
Gene therapy in human beings can manifest certain side effects. While treating one defect, the therapy may lead to another. As one cell is responsible for many characteristics, the isolation of the cells responsible for a single trait is indeed difficult.
Genetic engineering can hamper the diversity in human beings. Cloning can be detrimental to individuality. Moreover, such processes may not be affordable for the masses, thus making gene therapy, an impossibility for the common man.
Genetic engineering may work wonders but it is after all a process of manipulating the nature. It is altering something that is not an original human creation. Modifying something that one has not created is always challenging.Source(s): http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-ge... http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles...
- KeyloggerLv 410 years ago
"Horizontal gene transfer can give rise to new pathogens. While increasing the immunity to diseases in plants, the resistance genes may get transferred to the harmful pathogens."
This is practically a non-argument. As far as I know, no plant genes have been transferred to viri or bacteria. Sure, there might be some fungi that can induce diseases but there is no gene transferring from crops to bacteria, viri or fungi.
"Gene therapy in human beings can manifest certain side effects. While treating one defect, the therapy may lead to another. As one cell is responsible for many characteristics, the isolation of the cells responsible for a single trait is indeed difficult."
Sure, but that could be said to all things in life. Name one harmful side effect, then you'd have a case. So this argument is too vague and general applicable, this could be applied to all research. Even bible studies have 'harmful side effects', it might give people false hope. (see how stupid that sounds, this argument can be applied to anything so it is not a good con)
"Genetic engineering can hamper the diversity in human beings. Cloning can be detrimental to individuality. Moreover, such processes may not be affordable for the masses, thus making gene therapy, an impossibility for the common man."
The question is about micro-organisms, regulation would never allow us to engineer 'the superhuman'. It's already incredibly difficult to introduce a medicine or have animal studies so why would you think this would be allowed.
"Genetic engineering may work wonders but it is after all a process of manipulating the nature. It is altering something that is not an original human creation. Modifying something that one has not created is always challenging.
This also is an incredibly naive argument. What is nature? As far as i know, farmers have been selecting and breeding crops/cattle for centuries? Could you call the result a product from nature? I certainly wouldn't.
The rest of the arguments are pretty ok, so the only disadvantage might be transferring of a gene to a pathogen. (although you can take some actions to prevent this)
- 10 years ago
That would be like cloning or growing things from stem cells, which is not ok. Once humans start creating and modifying organs and organisms we will all be doomed in some way. We will be overpopulating the Earth and not allowing the cycle of life to happen. As great as it may sound, it really isn't that amazing once you look at what will happen five ten year down the road from the time we can do that. Cloning, stem cell research, and genetically engineering/modifying microorganisms will ruin us.
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- Anonymous4 years ago
inspite of her answer being voted down, I could desire to accept as true with Nicole C. the main reason maximum cancers expenditures are increasing is using the fact human beings stay longer than they have been a hundred or maybe 50 years in the past. interior the twentieth century human beings have been way lots extra in all hazard to succumb to infectious illnesses which incorporate influenza and pneumonia than to stay long adequate to get maximum cancers. maximum cancers is brought about with the aid of mutations interior the DNA and because DNA is being replicated someplace on your physique at any given time, the longer you reside the lots extra in all hazard you're to enhance some maximum cancers. As for the question of genetically changed ingredients, i in my view don't have something against it. inspite of media paranoia approximately 'frankenfoods,' there are actual no study proving they have a detrimental result on human wellness. quite a few study element at harm to the interior reach environments the place genetically changed plant life are grown, yet even those study have improper designs. people who're great afraid of ingesting genetically changed ingredients tend to no longer in all hazard comprehend the way those ingredients are created. at first, human beings have been genetically modifying nutrition because of fact the 1st farmers began breeding their plant life to be hardier, to undergo extra and tastier fruit or prettier flora. fantastically much all the plant life you notice have been changed from their unique varieties with the aid of human beings. the only distinction is that we now have the technologies to actual insert genes to alter those characteristics. there is likewise lots hype approximately say, fish genes being positioned into the DNA of potatoes. besides the shown fact that this is important to comprehend that once you have that small piece of DNA from the fish, there's no longer something inherently fish-y in it. we've the comparable DNA as fish, as plant life, and merely approximately all existence on earth. The DNA merely codes for various characteristics. So while you're technically putting DNA derived from a fish right into a plant, you do no longer make some variety of mutant fish-potato. For extra evidence of the advantages and the aptitude hazards of genetically changed organisms, i prefer to recommend the information superhighway website below.