Although not completely related to genetic disorders, genetic engineering has its applications in genetic diseases area. In the world around us today, thanks to the progress of science and technology, man has to a large extent taken the responsibility of shaping as well as the mutating the natural world around us in a way that can prove to be more profitable to all of us. Genetic Engineering is, in, such a scenario, a tool that is gradually coming in more and more focus as a means of shaping the world to map to our needs and requirements.
Where can we see genetic engineering around us today?
While going out for grocery shopping, we often come across fruits, vegetables, as well as cereals, all of which have been genetically engineered or modified to mutate their nature structure in order to make them more hygienic, more palatable as well as more nutritious. In some cases, the use of genetic engineering is also conducted to remove the harmful ingredients of a substance in order to make it more accessible for people who have certain maladies. An example of this could be genetically engineered potatoes in which the sugar content has been removed to allow them to be consumed by diabetics.
However, the use of genetic engineering can have certain pitfalls and negative aspects as well, which has led to a huge debate world wide amongst scientists and technologists.
What is genetic engineering?
The DNA can be said to be the main point of origin of the living body which is in actuality a sort of blue print which allows the shaping and growth of every aspect of a living organism. Through the process of genetic engineering, the DNA of the living body is transformed and mutated by scientists, who can, through this process engineer the growth as well as the different qualities and characteristics which make up the living being.
How is genetic engineering different from the process of traditional breeding?
The science of genetic engineering has often been compared to other and older versions of the process such as traditional breeding of cells. However, the most important difference between the two processes of genetic engineering as well as the traditional breeding process is the fact that in the case of the process of traditional breeding, the mutation of the genes of the living organism is carried out as an external process.
However, in the case of the more recent processes of genetic engineering, the cells of the living organisms are mutated, modified, created or destroyed while they are within the organism itself. These processes are in turn dependent on the twin processes of molecular cloning as well as transformation, through which the qualities of the genes of the organism are transformed to add or destroy the natural characteristics of the organism.
Can genetic engineering be used in the cases of human beings?
Though the field of the studies associated with human genetic engineering is an extremely vibrant one and studies are still on to discover more facets to it, the field today has shown immense potential in displaying an ability to cure several diseases which are associated with or formed due to an abnormality or deficiency in the structure of the human genes.
Genetic engineering can be seen to have the potential to cure several diseases and also act as a medium in order to change an individual’s appearance, voice, intelligence, behavior as well as his or her characteristics.
How is genetic engineering carried out in the case of human beings?
The science of human genetic engineering works by using various scientific processes to modify or transform the genotype of the individual by selecting and opting for a specific phenotype of the human being in the case of infants as well as new born babies. On the other hand, in the cases of matured adults, the science aims to change the natural phenotype of the individual with a phenotype that has been customized.
Advantages of using genetic engineering
Though there are several debates which are raging all around the world both for and against the science of human genetic engineering, the advantages of using human genetic engineering in the process of curing several presently incurable diseases which stem from the human genetic structure cannot be ruled out. If used properly, the science of human genetic engineering can help in curing diseases such as:
- Chronic heart ailments
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Cancer, as well as a host of others.
Besides this, the science can also be used to ensure that all babies are born healthy as any form of genetic disorder observed in the fetus can be cured before the baby is born.
Disadvantages of using genetic engineering
There are also several disadvantages which are associated with the science of genetic engineering. Notable among this is the fact that while using this, man will again be a product of mechanics and science. Out individuality will be lost. Besides this, the process can be quite expensive and many third world countries may not be bale to use this even for treating critically ill patients.