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Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

            Genetic engineering is an aspect of biotechnology which involves the manipulation of organisms genes and is made possible by DNA. DNA is a hereditary substance that contains a complete set of information which determines the structure and function of a living organism. Genetic engineering is rapidly expanding and is currently used to make a wide range of substances. Genetic engineering is an extremely controversial issue as there are many angles to consider it from. It can be considered as just another technological development which was bound to surface with time, however it wasn't until now advances in technology gave the power to create, change and formulate life. In theory genetic engineering could lead to many benefits in the world. Genetic codes are the determining factor of appearance, personality, health and aging so quality of life and general health could be improved. Agriculture could also be improved through improving animals and crops to better serve humans and it may be the answer to curing life-threatening diseases. One problem though, no one knows the long term effects!.
             In the medical profession, drugs i.e. insulin is able to be created in large quantities for low expense through gene manipulation. It is also believed that through gene manipulation, there is the possibility of increasing our life spans through boosting human immune systems. Not only this, genetic therapy could also save future lives by eliminating genetic disorders ranging from cancer to blood, liver and lung disorders. At present, scientists believe cystic fibrosis could also be cured if they could somehow enter a gene in to the cells that line the lungs. Critical proteins which cystic fibrosis patients lack would then begin to be produced. All these reasons imply genetic engineering has many benefits to be gained, however we are forgetting gene therapy carries risks like any other treatment. Scientists were reminded of this when a patient they were treating died in 1999.

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