Humans can be solved by genetic engineering

Humanshave domesticated plants and animals since long time, using selective breedingor artificial selection in which organisms with desired characteristics areused to breed them to improve the characteristics of animals and plants. Thisconcept is similar to the modern concept which is genetic modification in whichthe scientists alter the structure of the DNA of certain species for differentpurposes and those modifies organisms are called GMO. The GMO or geneticallymodified organism is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered in alaboratory using genetic engineering. GMOs are used in biological and medicalresearch, protection of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine, genetherapy and agriculture. Genetic modification is usually done by transferring agene from one organism to another giving it new traits which can make plantsresistant to disease and parasites. Genes transfer to crops such as corn is agood example of non-plant organism’s genes transfer. GMOcorn of various types has been bioengineered to include genes taken from otherplants in order to produce better quality corn that resist pests and parasites,produce larger yields and withstand wider range of environmental conditions.Oneof the problems that can be solved by genetic engineering is making corn moreresistant to insect because insects are most likely to affect corn.

Pollen fromBacillus thuringiensis corn caused a high rate of deaths in monarch butterflycaterpillars. These caterpillars do not consume corn but milkweed plants, butthere is a possibility that pollen from BT corn may be blown by wind onto theneighboring milkweed field and hence the caterpillars will consume them anddie. Unfortunately, Bacillus thuringiensis toxins extensively kill many insectlarvae species, it’s impossible to produce a BT toxin that only kills peststhat are crop-damaging and remain safe to other insects this is done by takinggenes from a soil bacteria called Bacillus Thuringiensis, BT.

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It produces acrystal (protein that disrupts the gut of insects that ingest corn). GMO cornnow have the insect killing ability. Anotherproblem that is found in corn but solved by genetic modification is diseaseresistance. Corn can be infected by plant diseases including fungi and bacteriabut some plants can resist diseases that attack corn.

Diseases caused bybacteria include Holcus leaf spot, Stewart’s wilt, Goss’s wilt, and bacterialstalk rot. Bacterial diseases generally enter the plant through wounds causedby insects, wind, hail, or blowing soil. Therefore the genes are taken fromthese plants and inserted into corn which makes it resistant to diseases.GMOhas many advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, the disadvantages includesenvironmental problems such as genetically modified crops that are oftensprayed with powerful pesticides and herbicides and fertilized with chemicalfertilizers that can contaminate the environments by travelling through the airor into the ground where they end up in fresh water sources. The genesthemselves in these GMO crops may have an effect on human health hence unpredictableside effects of genetic engineering. Allergy emergence is one of the mostcommon human health threat posed by genetically modified foods. The BT corn hasthe potential to trigger an allergic response because the actual DNA of thecorn has been altered introducing new proteins into the food supply.

Growingcorn with BT endotoxin means that we are consuming pesticides in every bite ofcorn. On the other hand, the major advantage of BT corn is that it reduces theneed to use different types of insecticides. BT corn is toxic to insects butnot to humans. Most pesticides that are sprayed onto the crops kill all insectsincluding the harmless and beneficial ones, BT is specific for few types ofinsects and only kills insects that that have ingested BT corn. Since there isless usage of chemical pesticides of BT corn, cost of production lowers andexposure the hazard chemicals by the farmer is reduced. So far the research isattempting to demonstrate the positive effect of genetically modified corn on humanby experimenting it on rats where it had damaged its liver, heart and otherorgans.

Thus, scientists couldn’t find any damages on human because ofgenetically modified.    Genetically-modified crops may be the probable solution tomany of global hunger problems, and to aid in preserving and protecting theenvironment by minimizing dependence upon chemical herbicides and pesticides,and increasing crop yield. Although it kills a lot of beneficial insects otherthan the insects that injest BT corn, it also effects human health some way. Inmy opinion, BT corn is not that bad from the envitonmental side but when itcomes to human’s health, I prefer eating non-GM corn. 

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