Sunday, June 17, 2018

What is genetic engineering?

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) defined genetic engineering as a process of inserting new genetic information into existing cells in order to modify a specific organism for the purpose of changing its characteristics. It is also known as Recombinant DNA technology, gene modification, and gene therapy.

Genetic engineering is a set of techniques that are used to achieve one or more of three goals: to reveal the complex processes of how genes are inherited and expressed, to provide better understanding and effective treatment for various diseases, (particularly genetic disorders) and to generate economic benefits which include improved plants and animals for agriculture, and efficient production of valuable biopharmaceuticals.

Genetic engineering can be utilized to improve the function of various metabolic and functional processes within an organism of interest. Genetic engineering of plants offers significant potential for seed, agrichemical, food processing, and specialty chemical and pharmaceutical industries to develop new products and manufacturing processes.

The production of vaccines and the application of methods for transferring genes for commercially important traits such as milk yield, butter fat and higher proportion of lean meat is likely to benefit animal husbandry. For example, the bovine growth hormone produced through genetic engineering has been used since late 1980’s to boost milk production by cow.

Introducing genes from various organisms into crops and livestock has long been regarded as a promising way to ensure the continued productivity of agriculture.

Genetic engineering is rapidly replacing traditional plant breeding programs and has become the mainstay of agricultural crop improvement. The technology allows transferring genes for nitrogen fixation; improving photosynthesis (and therefore yield); resistance to pests, pathogens and herbicides; and tolerance to frost, drought, increased salinity; and improved nutritional value and consumer acceptability.
What is genetic engineering?
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