Benefits and dangers of genetic engineering

It can be described rather generally as any genetic manipulation that allows an organism to perform new functions or produce new substances.

Benefits and dangers of genetic engineering

Advanced Benefits and risks of the genetic engineering process The transfer of genes directly into the potato nuclear genome can be achieved by several methods. However, the dominantly used process is utilizing the natural mechanism of DNA transfer of the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens, while infecting wounded plant tissues.

We will review benefits and risks associated with this method, that are generic to the technology itself and not trait specific. What are the benefits? The use of A. This new genetic information can be a single gene or polygenes up to a physical limit of about Kb The genetic information can be engineered to tailor new gene expression profiles and combine genes that would be otherwise impossible to bring together.

This is an insertion of the foreign genetic material in a single region of the chromosome, without interfering with the expression of endogenes.

Benefits are numerous over conventional techniques. The method is both time and cost efficient; it allows the use of new genes with customized gene expression and integrates in a precise and stable manner.

Contrary to the conventional techniques it does not carry over undesirable genes, which have to be removed by time-consuming and costly backcross screening procedures. What are the risks The insertion of foreign DNA in the plant nuclear genome causes genetic alteration?

The insertion of DNA into the nuclear genome is sometimes perceived as carrying risks for the safety of the food product.

Applications

Several scientific facts disagree with this generic risk associated with the process of gene insertion. First of all, DNA insertion in the nuclear genome is not unique to genetic engineering. Plastid DNA is found in the nuclear genome, and probably all plant genomes are subjected to mobile DNA elements coming in and out.

Therefore, a single insertion event by transgenesis is just one of the many insertion events that occur naturally. In addition, the cultivated potato is a tetraploid plant, which means that each DNA sequence exists in 4 almost identical copies.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens bacteria are carried over with the transgenic variety There is a risk of persistence of A. Plants are known to naturally host endophytic symbionts. Therefore, it is not surprising that the persistence of A. However, such plants are automatically eliminated once the molecular proofs of foreign gene insertion are conducted.

Hence, a GE potato variety can and should be certified to be free of the original infectious bacteria used for the transformation process. This can easily be checked through proper testing and reported in serious documentation of the various molecular tests.

The precision of the insertion of the foreign DNA has yet to be fully characterized. Indeed, it might be advisable to discard transformed lines with unwanted vector sequences, i. Again, this quality of the insertion event can and should be certified in the appropriate documentation of the transformation events.

The antibiotic-based selectable marker is a threat to human health As mentioned above, the process of transformation of potato plants requires a positive selection for these rare events. This has been and is still achieved through an antibiotic resistance gene, generally conferring resistance to kanamycin.

The concerns that this antibiotic resistance gene poses a threat to human health are not justified.

Benefits and dangers of genetic engineering

The kanamycin antibiotic resistance gene is ubiquitous in the environment and in human gut flora.They say genetic engineering poses risks that scientists simply do not know enough to identify.

In fact, based on what little is known about GMOs, many scientists have identified a variety of ways in which genetically engineered organisms could adversely impact both human health and the environment, so there is reason to be concerned.

Is a risk unique to genetic engineering as a whole or risks of individual traits of categories of traits? Each individual trait, whether bred or engineered, must be examined for safety and appropriateness in the situation in which it will be used. They say genetic engineering poses risks that scientists simply do not know enough to identify.

In fact, based on what little is known about GMOs, many scientists have identified a variety of ways in which genetically engineered organisms could adversely impact both human health and the environment, so there is reason to be concerned.

Is a risk unique to genetic engineering as a whole or risks of individual traits of categories of traits? Each individual trait, whether bred or engineered, must be examined for safety and appropriateness in the situation in which it will be used.

The benefits of human genetic engineering can be found in the headlines nearly every day. With the successful cloning of mammals and the completion of the Human Genome Project, scientists all over the world are aggressively researching the many different facets of human genetic engineering.

Risks must be assessed case by case as new applications of genetic engineering are introduced. In some circumstances, it is possible to assess risks with great confidence.

For example, it is vanishingly unlikely that genetically engineered palm trees will thrive .

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