Genetic modification describes vast scientific procedures that alter the genetic makeup in animals, plants, or microorganisms. Ideally, this process focuses on transferring some desirable qualities from a piece of DNA to another through target removal of genes.
In the past, genetic modification was mainly employed in the product of medicine and vaccines. Ideally, this means that most of the common medications in the past were extracted from blood donors, animal parts, and cadavers. Genetically removed drugs, unfortunately, come with some challenges, including increased risk of disease transmission, quality inconsistencies, and unreliable supply.
Genetic Modification in Plants
Genetic modification in plants is meant to address things that could affect the yield; weeds, insects, and weather. However, some genetically modified plants are now being tested for enhanced nutrition.
Today, the biggest beneficiaries of genetic modification are farmers and agricultural companies. As far as farming is concerned, genetic modification offers a list of benefits that most final consumers might not be aware of. These benefits range from reduced costs, less soil erosion, high yields to easy weed control.
There are four primary methods employed when genetically modifying plants. These include:
- Selective breeding: Two strains of plans are used to produce a plant with some desirable features
- Mutagenesis: When plants are exposed to radiations or chemicals to alter the genetic makeup
- RNA interference: Removal of undesirable genes
- Transgenetics: Introducing a gene in a plant to introduce a desirable trait
Genetic Modification of Animals
Animals, particularly livestock, are selectively bred to improve yield, muscle mass, growth rate, and disease resistance. In light of this, you can have certain chickens growing 300 times faster than they did in the 1960s. As far as humans are concerned, researchers have been altering the genetic makeup in animals to help treat human diseases such as cancer and aid in muscle repair. Genetic modification in humans, however, is a highly controversial subject.
It is evident that the vast majority of genetic modification advances are not yet ready to be tested on humans. Instead, it remains that genetic modification is designed to solve problems that affect humans.