How to write about genetically modified products?

How to write about genetically modified products?

Genetic engineering is a relatively recent (in the last 5-10 years) area of food production. The methods of transformation are still at the initial stage of development.

There is a rapid release of transgenic plants with new useful features to the market. In 1996, in the US, transgenic plants occupied an area of 3 million acres. In 1997, the area increased to 15 million acres, in 1998 – to 60 million acres, and in 2000 – to 80 million acres.

The pace of expansion simply amazes with its speed. Since the main transgenic forms of corn, soybean, cotton with resistance to herbicides and insects have proven themselves well, it is not difficult to guess that the area for genetically engineered plants increased by about 4-5 times in 2001.

In April 1998, there was the following percentage of transgenic forms of plants in agriculture: corn – 6%; soybean – 12%; cotton – 15%; tomatoes – 1%.

Since the number of people has increased from 1.5 to 6.5 billion in the last century, and by 2030, it is expected to grow to 9 billion, there is a serious problem facing humanity – the huge increase in food production. Despite the fact that production has increased by 2.5 times over the past 40 years, it is still not enough.

Another problem is connected with medical treatment. Despite the enormous achievements of modern medicine, today’s medicines are so expensive that a part of the population of the earth relies entirely on traditional pre-scientific methods, first of all, on untreated remedies of plant origin.

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In developed countries, by 25%, medicines consist of natural substances obtained from plants. The discoveries of recent years indicate that plants will continue to be a source of useful biologically active substances (BTS) for a long time, and that the plant cell’s ability to synthesize complex BTS still far exceeds the synthetic ability of a chemical engineer. Stress in a genetic engineering argumentative essay that scientists focused on the problem of creating transgenic plants due to this reason.

The history of genetic engineering of plants is usually counted from 1982, when genetically transformed plants were first obtained. One of the most common methods of transformation is a technology based on processing of tissue with microparticles of gold (or other heavy metals) covered with a solution of DNA. All cultivated commercial varieties of plants are obtained mainly with the help of this method.

The modern arsenal of transformation methods is quite extensive and includes such approaches as the introduction of DNA into bare cells (protoplasts), electroporation of cells, microinjection of DNA into cells, virus-mediated infection, and so on.

It’s worth adding in a “Genetic engineering in agriculture” essay that the researchers went further. Since many plants are susceptible to attacks and eating by insects, GE scientists conducted an experiment with the long-known bacterium Bacillus-Thiringiensis which produces a protein. It turned out that it is very toxic for many kinds of insects, but at the same time, it is safe for mammals. The activated protein binds to receptors of insect’s midgut, which leads to pore formation and lysis of the cells of the intestinal epithelium.

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The interaction of toxins with receptors is strictly specific, which complicates the selection of the combination toxin-insect. In nature, a large number of Bacillus-Thiringiensis strains have been found. Their toxins act only on certain types of insects. Such preparations have been used for decades to control insects in the fields.

So, you may emphasize in your argumentative research essay on genetic engineering that embedding the protein gene in the plant genome makes it possible to produce transgenic plants that are not eaten by insects. But this method required a lot of work in terms of selecting the necessary strains and creating genetic structures that give the greatest effect for different classes of insects. In addition to the specific behavior of insects, the incorporation of prokaryotic delta toxin genes into the plant genome did not result in a high level of expression, even under the control of strong eukaryotic promoters.

Presumably, this phenomenon arose due to the fact that bacterial genes contain significantly more adenine and thymine nucleotide bases than plant DNA. This problem was solved by creating modified genes. One of the natural genes was excised. Certain fragments preserving the domains encoding the active parts of the delta toxins were added. So, for example, with the help of such approaches, the potato resistant to the Colorado beetle was created.

Cloning of animals

Cloning, in the most general sense, means accurate reproducing of object any number of times. Creation of animals and plants with specified qualities has always been something very tempting, because it meant creation of organisms that are unique and necessary, resistant to diseases, climatic conditions. They may give the necessary amount of meat, milk, fruits, vegetables and other products.