Genetic engineering is the alteration of genetic code by artificial means, and is therefore different from traditional selective breeding. Genetic engineering examples include taking the gene that programs poison in the tail of a scorpion, and combining it with a cabbage. These genetically modified cabbages kill caterpillars because they have learned to grow scorpion poison (insecticide) in their sap. Genetic engineering has given us the power to alter the very basis of life on earth. sssssGenetic engineering has been said to be no different than ancient breeding methods. In contrast genetic engineering allows us to combine fish, mouse, human and insect genes in the same person or animal. Genetic engineering therefore has few limits - except our imagination, and our moral or ethical code.
Human cloning is a type of genetic engineering, but is not the same as true genetic manipulation. In human cloning, the aim is to duplicate the genes of an existing person so that an identical set is inside a human egg. The result is intended to be a cloned twin, perhaps of a dead child. Genetic engineering in its fullest form would result in the child produced having unique genes, as a result of laboratory interference, and therefore the child will not be an identikit twin. Genetic engineering could create crops that grow in desert heat, or without fertilizer. Genetic engineering could make bananas or other fruit, which contain vaccines or other medical products. Genetic engineering will alter the basis of life on earth - permanently, unless controlled. This could happen if mutant viruses, or bacteria, or fish or reptiles are released into the general environment.
Genetic Engineering has been studied consistently in some way or another over the past century. The first basic understanding came from Gregor Mendel a monk from the monastery in Brno, Austria. In 1856 he came up with some results from a garden pea inheritance experiment.