Genetic Engineering Essay Example
Genetic Engineering Essay Example

Genetic Engineering Essay Example

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  • Pages: 14 (3697 words)
  • Published: December 24, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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Aim: to introduce new characteristics or attributes physiologically or physically Such as: making a crop resistant to herbicide, introducing a novel trait, enhancing existing ones, or producing a new protein or enzyme Recombinant DNA (radar) technique, or gene splicing:oldest of these methods wherein DNA of the desired gene is inserted onto the DNA of another organism to produce a desired gene. Paul Berg- a molecular biologist who created the first recombinant DNA in 1972 from the cancer-causing monkey virus SF 40 and virus lambda.

This marked the birth of the field of genetic engineering.

Interventions/ Ethical Considerations WI Issues

Extrinsic Concerns are based on the doubts about the technology, it's potentiality, newness and applicability to all life forms. Advantages: It provides a great opportunity for solving


hunger, food Insecurity, and malnutrition. It can be made for all environmental conditions It can help in increasing quantity and quality of food. Disadvantages: The safety of food In eating is uncertain. It Is risky to one's health.

People fear that some genes will be transmitted to them. Summary: Many people think genetic engineering is unnatural and call it as Franken Foods. It Is difficult to say whether the food Is safe or unsafe. Americans have been eating GM food for a decade but in Europe, many people are not willing to accept GM foods because of the risks Nags around the world raised the concerned that growing genetically modified crops will be harmful for the environment and genetic modification will result In "supersedes. " GM crops are unsafe for other organisms that feed on them.

However, extensive scientific studies found this was not true GM crops an

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foods will result in the loss of biodiversity. However, scientific studies have not been conclusive; there may be benefits in some environments and societies and not In others. There have been reports both In favor and against genetic modifications which are not confusing people. Intrinsic concerns are based on how people view personal emotions and values. There is a feeling that mixing up genes in the organisms for our use is"Playing God" and human beings should not intervene In God's realm.

Crossing natural species boundaries is creation of new life forms and inventing a new world through technology. Genetic engineering disrupts the beauty, integrity, balance of medicines involve playing with God and agriculture was started by disrupting nature. Also hybrid plants and animals like mules are cross-species organisms and exits. In fact mules have been cloned and can reproduce in that way! It is also argued that people eating meat harm the life of sentient beings.

Supporters of GM food consider these concerns are not valid and do not provide any solution to pragmatic issues like avian the environment and improving environmental conditions, solving hunger and malnutrition, preventing loss of biodiversity etc.

Diagnostic Procedures

Wide Variety of Techniques Loss of function -such as in a 'knockout experiment' in which an organism is engineered to lack the activity of one or more genes. -This allows the experimenter to analyze the defects caused by this mutation, and can be considerably useful in unearthing the function of a gene. Logical counterpart of 'knockout experiment' Gain of function experiments - these are sometimes performed in conjunction with knockout experiments to more inanely establish the function of the desired gene.

-process is the same as that in knockout engineering, except that the construct is designed to increase the function of the gene, usually by providing extra copies of the gene 'Tracking' experiments - which seek to gain information about the localization and interaction of the desired protein. Expression studies -aim to discover where and when specific proteins are produced. Promoter bashing: by altering the promoter to find which species are social for the proper expression of the gene and are actually bound by transcription factor proteins Other Procedures Microeconomic A gene from another organism is injected into the recipient cell where it automatically enters into the nucleus and incorporates itself into the host cell's genetic material and replicates Ballistics Insertion of small silver particles coated with genetic material into the recipient cell Electrification and chemical portion Pores are created using weak electric currents or chemicals, respectively, in cell surface to transfer genes.


Successful endeavors include the following: Manufacture of human insulin through the use of modified bacteria - In 1982 the iris genetically engineered drug, human insulin was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration -programming: is the application of genetic engineering to produce pharmaceutical chemicals.

Manufacture of retrofitting in Chinese hamster ovary cells Production of new types of experimental mice such as the Uncommonness (cancer mouse) for research Other Applications In 1986 the FDA approved the first genetically engineered vaccine for humans, hepatitis B. Since then GE has expanded to supply many drugs and vaccines Creating Smog's or Genetically Modified/Manipulated Organisms such as foods and Engineering and Research Although there has been a tremendous revolution of biological science since the past

twenty years, there is still a great deal that still remains to be discovered.

The completion of the human genome, as well as the gnomes of other agriculturally and scientifically important plants and animals has increased the potential and the possibilities of genetic research immeasurably. Prenatal Diagnosis Prenatal diagnosis is the diagnosis of disease or condition of a fetus or embryo before it is born. It is also used to determine the sex of a baby. The test is done on in vitro-fertilized embryos to detect genetic disorders known as precipitation genetic diagnosis.

Can be by: Invasive method- when probes are inserted into the placenta Non-invasive method- called "screens" which can only evaluate the risk of a condition and cannot determine 100% if the fetus has a condition, If an abnormality is indicated by a non-invasive procedure, a more invasive technique may be employed to gather information. Main purpose: to detect birth defects such as Town's syndrome, neural tube defects, chromosome abnormalities,etc. ISSUES Physical and socioeconomic factors can increase the risk of developing health problems and poor birth outcomes.

Are the risks of prenatal diagnosis, such as amniocentesis worth the potential benefit? Some fear that this may lead to being able to pick and choose what children parents would like to have. This could lead to choice in sex, physical characteristics, and personality in children. Some feel this type of eugenic abortion is already underway (sex-selective, etc. ) Knowing about certain birth defects such as spinal biffed and dermatome before birth may give the option of fetal surgery during pregnancy, or to assure that the appropriate treatment and/or surgery be provided immediately after birth.


of the value of mentally/physically disabled non-directive and supportive way. That parents are well informed if they have to consider abortions vs.. Continuing a pregnancy.

Non-Invasive Methods

examining the mother's enters from outside the body ultrasound detection - commonly dating scans sometimes booking scans from 7 weeks to confirm pregnancy dates and to look for twins. Later morphology scans from 18 weeks to check for baby's sex and abnormal development.

To identify higher risks of Down syndrome, specialized uncial scan at 11-13 weeks may be used using footloose or Doppler ultrasound fetal heart monitor to listen to fetal heartbeat external fetal monitoring - also known as non-stress test -means that the baby's heartbeat is detected by placing a small round ultrasound (high-speed sound waves) disc with ultrasound gel on your abdomen and held in place by a lightweight stretchable band or belt..

Less Invasive Methods

Second trimester maternal serum screening (APP Screening, triple screen or squad screen) -can check levels of alpha petitioner, B-HCI, inhibit-A and stories in the mother's serum. First trimester maternal serum screening -can check levels of free B-HCI and PAP-A in the mother's serum and combine these tit the measurement of uncial translucency (NT). Some institutions also look for the presence of fetal nasal bone on the ultrasound. Integrated, sequential and contingent screening tests -use serum samples from both first and second trimester, as well as the uncial translucency measurement to calculate risk.

With integrated screening. A report is produce after both samples have been analyzed. With sequential screening, a first report is only produce after the first trimester sample has been submitted and a final report after the second trimester

sample, after which they high or low risk will get ports after the first trimester sample has been submitter, only patients with moderate risk will be asked to submit a second trimester sample, after which they will receive a report combining information from both serum samples and the NT measurement.

Detection of fetal blood cells in maternal blood using blood cells from the fetus, that have made their way to the mother's bloodstream. Tests such as baby gender mentor allegedly use this method to determine the sex of a baby as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. MORE INVASIVE METHODS Chronic villous sampling - involves getting a sample of the chronic villous and testing it can be done earlier than amniocentesis, but is a more risky procedure - can be done earlier between 9. 5 weeks of gestation and 12. Weeks gestation Amniocentesis - can be done once enough amniotic fluid has developed to sample. - cells from the baby will be floating in this fluid, and can be separated and tested. - can be done from about 14 weeks gestation, and usually up to about 20 weeks Embryos and photocopy - involve putting a probe into a women's uterus to observe (w/ a video camera), or to sample blood or tissue from the baby.


Some genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis, abnormality can be detected if DNA is obtained from the baby. An invasive method is needed to do this.

Cystic fibrosis- an inherited genetic disease that affects the exocrine glands, resulting in the abnormal secretion of thick, sticky mucus If genetic disease is detected, often no treatment can help the fetus until

it is born thus giving the parents the option to abort the baby. If abortion isn't an option for the couple, invasive prenatal diagnosis is unhelpful for it puts the child at risk and result doesn't help the child. Genetic counseling can help families make decisions regarding results of prenatal diagnosis.

Other purposes:

To enable timely medical or surgical treatment of a condition before or after birth To give the parents the chance to abort a fetus with the diagnosed condition To give the parents the chance to "prepare" for a baby with a health problem or disability, or for stillbirth Having this information in advance of the birth means that healthcare staff can better prepare themselves( have suitable treatment) and parents( provide counseling) for the delivery of the child with a health problem. In vitro fertilization -abbreviated as IF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish.

When the IF procedure is successful, the process is combined with a procedure known as embryo transfer, which is used physically place the embryo in the uterus. ISSUES Risks: Psychological stress Depression Bloating Mood swings Headaches Ovarian hyperventilation syndrome Side effects of fertility drugs Higher probability of giving birth to premature babies Higher probability of multiple pregnancy Egg retrieval and the use of layperson carry the typical risks related to anesthesia Slight risk of bleeding, infection and damage to the bowel, bladder or a blood vessel Separation of intuitive-procreative dimension of the conjugal act

Creating embryos in the laboratory entails that fertilization occurs apart from sexual intercourse. Thus, the intuitive-procreative dimension of the conjugal act is lost. The child

must be a gift not a product. The child has the right to be the fruit of the specified act of the conjugal love of his parents' (ICC 2378). Massive destruction of human life Collecting eggs from the woman involves the usage of drugs causing side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, etc. Destroying of defective embryos contradicts the statement of Pope John Paul II implying that human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception.

Aborting "excess" embryos (pregnancy reduction) Obtaining sperm from masturbation may be morally objectionable

Diagnostic Procedures

Stimulation - this is also known as superannuation because multiple eggs are injected to stimulate the female's ovaries to release mature eggs. This drug contains considerations, which are naturally produced by the female's body. The two considerations that stimulate the production of eggs are the follicle stimulating hormone and the Latinizing hormone. Follicular Aspiration - this is a procedure that involves the retrieval of eggs from the follicles inside the ovary.

Minor surgery is done to remove the eggs from the female's body. Using ultrasound as a guide, a thin needle is inserted through the vagina. A suction tube that is connected to the needle collect the eggs Insemination and Fertilization - the insemination process involves the mixing of the male's sperm with the female's eggs (collected using follicular aspiration). Fertilization can be done in two ways: allowing the sperm to naturally enter the egg, or injecting the sperm into the egg in a process known as internationalism sperm injection. Embryo Culture - the fertilized egg divides and becomes an embryo.

Embryo culture is a process wherein

the embryo is allowed to grow on an artificial medium. In this stage, precipitation genetic diagnosis may be conducted for high-risk couples. Embryo Transfer - the resultant embryo is transferred to the female's uterus through a thin tube.

Treatment/ Prevention

Transferring no more than four embryos per IF cycle will yield optimal results -this reduces the possibility of having multiple pregnancies, which increases other complications What happens to the leftover embryos must be discussed thoroughly with the physician with regard to the course of action to be taken.


  • Reasons for Performing IF: Infertility in Females
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Endometriosis
  • Poorly functioning Fallopian tubes Impotency of Males Males suffering erectile dysfunction (DE) or premature ejaculation Infertility in Males
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Blockage of sperm transport

The following are the rate of IF success: -30 to 35% of women under age 35 -25% for women ages 35 to 37 -15 to 20% for women ages 38 to 40 -6 to 10% for women ages over 40 IF has fully revolutionized the way of pregnancy but as it is fully operated with technology, the peril of danger is still high.

It is an alternative way for those who are impotent, infertile and couples who Just don't want to do it their way. Still, it is not recommended and if possible should avoid it since the odds are high and sometimes may get awry which will lead to complexities of the well-being of the couple mainly bombarded with stress and of the child. Sperm and Zygote Banking sperm bank, semen bank or coronary -is a facility or enterprise that collects and stores human sperm from sperm donors for

use by women who need donor-provided sperm to achieve pregnancy.

Sperm donated by the sperm donor is known as donor sperm, and the process for introducing the sperm into the woman is called artificial insemination, which is a form of third party reproduction. -The prefix "cry" comes from the Greek word "sorry," meaning cold or frost. The science of cryogenics deals with the effects of extremely cold temperatures on matter. -The purpose of crossbreeding semen (sperm banking) is to help ensure the possibility of conception in the future.

When choosing a sperm bank, it is important to find a facility that will be in business for many years to come so that the sperm can be safely stored long-term Zygote Banking (Embryo Certification or Embryo Freezing) a method used to preserve embryos by cooling and storing them at low temperatures. They can then be thawed at a future date and transferred to the uterus, providing additional opportunity for achieving conception The rights of the sperm donor. -The identity of the donor shall remain anonymous. The clients have no right to learn the identity of the donor or solicit donor identifying information from any other source.

The donor shall also be free from any responsibility to the biological offspring produced by his sperm. The rights of the clients (who are purchasing the sperm). The clients have the right to be informed of the limitations and potential complications involved with sperm donation but the sperm bank cannot completely guarantee that the sperm they provide is disease free or free of genetic abnormalities. The client also must understand that she/he is fully responsible for the offspring conceived by

use of the specimens. The criteria by which sperm are collected (I. E. Choosing a donor who has certain traits). Sperm banks differ in their selection of sperm donors. All are highly selective, but some are more selective than others. The amount of sperm that a single man can donate. A donor can produce a maximum of ten children with his sperm. Storage Sperm is frozen with the use of certification. Corporately is slowly added to the fresh ejaculate. Researchers learned that sperm could not survive freezing without adding agents that prevented cells from rupturing during freezing and thawing. These agents are called correctness's composed of:Glycerol, proteins, minerals, salts and other buffering agents.

The sperm is gradually cooled and then frozen in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of -195 degrees centigrade in order for sperm to remain vital for long-term storage. Selection -sperm banks allow people to choose the characteristics they want for their children Regulation -In the United States sperm banks are regulated by the FDA with new guidelines in effect May 25, 2005. -There are also regulation in different states including New York and California. Outside the US, the EX. is working on similar regulations as the FDA. Screening of donors -A sperm bank takes a number of steps to ensure the health and quality of the sperm which it supplies.

They will try to select men as donors who are particularly fertile and whose sperm will survive the freezing and thawing process. If a man is accepted onto the sperm bank's program as a sperm donor, his sperm will be constantly monitored, the donor will be regularly checked for infectious diseases, and

samples of his blood will be taken at regular intervals. -Donors are subject to tests for infectious diseases Embryo Freezing/ Zygote Banking Embryos can be frozen at different times after fertilization. Most typically, embryos are frozen 1, 3 or 5 days after the sperm and egg were put together.

Freezing is a stressful process for an embryo, and only embryos that are growing well in the laboratory will tolerate the freezing procedure.

  • Step 1. Before an embryo can be frozen, all the water that it contains must be removed. Since water expands in size as it turns to ice, water inside the embryo would burst (kill) the embryo if we simply placed it in the freezer. To prevent the embryo from shrilling as the water is extracted, we replace the water with antifreeze. Antifreeze is a solution that does not expand in size when it freezes. The embryo is cooled to room temperature as the water is replaced with anti-freeze.
  • Step 2. When most of the water has been removed the embryo is inserted into a carefully labeled vial, or more typically a small straw, and placed in the cooling hammer of a controlled rate freezer.
  • Step 3. The embryo is then cooled very slowly at -0. 3 degrees Celsius per minute. Slow cooling like this allows the embryologist to have precise control over the freezing process, to maximize water extraction from the embryo and to prevent formation of large ice shards that could pierce the embryo.
  • Step 4. The cooled straw is placed into carefully labeled metal canes and lowered into the tank with other frozen embryos.

The entire process takes several hours and

the embryo(s) are stored frozen at -196 degrees Celsius in liquid nitrogen. Liquid From a medical perspective, a pregnancy achieved using donor sperm is no different from a pregnancy achieved using partner sperm, and it is also no different from a pregnancy achieved by sexual intercourse. Embryo/ zygote preservation is a delicate and complex multiples process. Why do men freeze their sperm? Artificial of sperm into the female's vagina or cervix) Men who face an injury to the reproductive system.

Men who face the prospect of sterilization such as vasectomy, certain chemotherapy's that have a side effect of dramatically reducing the production of sperm in the testes. Radiation exposure, surgery, and high-risk environmental exposure. Insurance against a future in which there can be no guarantees that their reproductive health will not be Jeopardized unknowingly.

Genetic Testing/Screening -allows genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited disease and to determine person's ancestry.

  • Every person carries 2 copies of every gene, one from their and father and one from their mother. 5000-35000 genes is the human genome contain.
  • Genetic testing includes biochemical tests for the possible presence of genetic disease or mutant forms of genes associated w/ increased risk of developing genetic crosiers. It identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins.
  • Testing is used to find changes associated w/ inherited disorders.

Results can rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person's chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder. Since Genetic testing open up ethical or psychological problems, it is accompanied by genetic counseling. 2 ways in which DNA can be analyzed: > Direct DNA testing: direct examination of the genes; it is fast and

sensitive but can only be used if the gene is known. >lenience DNA testing: the use of markers or linkage analysis; it is used if the type f gene mutation that causes the disease is not yet identified Genetic Testing- is performed on individuals considered as "at risk" Genetic Screening- is done on a target population


The physical risks associated with most genetic tests are very small, particularly for those tests that require only a blood sample or abacas smear.

The procedures used for prenatal testing carry a small but real risk of losing the pregnancy because they require a sample of amniotic fluid or tissue from around the fetus Many of the risks associated with genetic testing involve the emotional, social, or financial

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