For discussing the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms, we have to understand what are genetically modified organisms? How are they produced? Is the process is natural or artificial?
What are genetically modified organisms?
Plants and animals that are produced genetically modified in order for the advancement having useful and desired traits are called as genetically modified organisms. Genetic engineering is a process used for producing the genetically modified organisms. The DNA or genetic material molecules from the different sources are combined to create a whole new set of genes by the technique known as Recombinant DNA technology. Based on the origin of DNA used there is the formation of 2 different types of genetically modified organisms that are transgenic and cisgenic by transferring the DNA into an organism.
The idea of making a genetically modified organism is good but unfortunately yet the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms are not studied. So let’s understand the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms.
Advantages of Genetic Engineering – genetic engineering is very useful in many different fields like agriculture, pharmacy, medicines, etc. Let’s have a look at some of the important and helpful applications of genetic engineering.
1. Human Insulin – one of scariest disease in today’s world is Diabetes. In this, the patient that is suffering is unable to produce enough Insulin so to overcome the demand. So the only treatment is to take insulin from outside but insulin is not taken from someone it is rather produced. With the help of genetic engineering, human genes that are responsible for the production of Insulin are transferred into other mammals for the production of Insulin. Mammals that are used are sheep, goat, horse, etc.
2. Gene Therapy – the genetically modified organisms mainly viruses are nowadays are used in gene therapy for the treatment of various genetic disorders and diseases like cystic fibrosis, muscle dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, etc.
3. Creating new organs – due to the inability of organs for transplantation in patients that have a severe failure of an organ dies at a very large scale. By the help of genetic engineering, we can create new organs in order to supply for the patients that are in need. There is a method in which regeneration of tissue is induced by using a growth factor by a tissue injector and another method is in which a scaffold is made of biodegradable polymers.
4. Agriculture – genetically modified plants and crops are used in order to increase the nutritional value, make it tastier, pest resistant, increase in production of the crop, etc, for example, inducing gene in a crop that will produce more iron will be helpful for human’s health in a positive way.
Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering
1. Harmful Effects on Crops – the genetically modified crop that is grown in a field will have same genetic makeup, so if any virus that will be new or unknown attacks the crop will affect the whole crop and destruct it.
2. Artificial methods – for making genetically modified organisms the artificial methods are used thus the natural methods for producing organisms are destructed.
3. Destruction of natural genetic information – the insertion of genes by genetic engineering is done in a living cell. So it cannot be decided where the DNA sequence is and where the gene is to be inserted.