The 20th century brought the humanity many innovations that made its lives easier. However, the most influential one was certainly the realization of power of genes and the development of genetic engineering. Yet, the science evidently shows that genetic engineering has many potential benefits and can solve many current problems of the modern world. It may be of great help in many spheres, including medical, pharmaceutical, animal breeding and plant cultivation, agricultural, environmental and cultural. However, since its foundation, this area has been much criticized as the effect of the inserted genes could be unexpectedly harmful. Although the genetic engineering has a considerable number of disadvantages, its potential benefits make people develop this industry as it has much to offer.
Benefits of genetic modification
Before the foundation of genetic engineering, people required much time to produce new varieties. The selective breeding took much time, costs and effort, and the results were less satisfactory than the ones of genetic engineering. This new program allowed transferring the selected genes from one organism to another within different species. It has never been possible before, and only now the transfer of genes allows getting modified organisms with the necessary characteristics. One of the main benefits of these modifications is that they do not need to wait long as genes allow obtaining the desired feature in the shortest time possible.
Genetic engineering is potentially beneficial for the prevention of various diseases. That concerns people, animals, and plants as well. It is especially useful in case of treating hereditary diseases. Thus, the gene therapy has already gained significant success. Such therapy involves curing the defective genes or inserting the corrected ones. Moreover, it becomes possible to treat infectious diseases by means of implantation of the appropriate genes. The genetic engineering practices allow even to grow the organs and transplant them to humans (Bruce and Bruce 145).
The development of gene modification gives hope to find approaches to complete elimination of genetic diseases and successful treatment of not genetic ones. Moreover, these technologies make it possible to grow new muscle cells for transplantation that could replace damaged or not working ones. Also, these new programs can be useful in curing the genetic defects even before a person’s birth. In addition, the embryo can get certain genetic features before implantation into a mother. Accordingly, genetic engineering can help to understand the nature of human diseases better and offer new efficient treatment and improved therapies.
Besides offering new ways of disease treatment, genetic engineering aids the global pharmaceutical industry to make a step forward and support the supply of effective medicines. The new ones became available due to the cloning of the necessary genes. Moreover, the scientists cannot make them in any other way except genetic modification. Thus, this method gave millions of people the necessary pharmaceuticals that saved their lives. The development of genetic engineering in this industry will allow lowering the doses and side effects of the medicines. In addition, it is vitally important to find the treatments that have the right effect on the certain body organs. In the future, the patients would get the medicines that suit their personal genome, and thus, the positive results of a medication would increase.
The genetic engineering programs allow getting the desirable characteristics in animals and plants, increasing the useful and decreasing the harmful ones. As a result of genetic modification, the scientists can get more varieties and involve this genetic diversity in creation of the new useful species. The genetic engineering will make it possible to cultivate animals that can grow bigger or produce more meat, milk, wool or any other required products. Furthermore, it helps to increase the effectiveness of the photosynthesis, make plants consume more CO2, and thus, reduces the harmful emissions. These new technologies offer the alternatives to fossil fuel and aid in control of global pollution. In addition, this innovation may help to prevent the global warming and reduce other worldwide threats.
The introduction of genetic engineering received much recognition in the agricultural industry. The maintained system of agriculture required many funds for treatment of the crops and reduction of damage done by insects, weeds, and diseases. However, the harvest yields tended to be low, and the costs were high. The potential benefits here are tremendous as during many centuries the agrarians struggled for the results genetic engineering now offers them.
First of all, genes provide the plants with resistance to herbicides and lower the overall usage of pesticides in various crops. With the help of manipulation of genetic material, it is possible to increase the drought tolerance and frost resistance of many cultures. This fact will decrease the dependence on the climate in many areas worldwide and help to save the resources. Moreover, it can diminish the damage caused by diseases, and thus, it will increase the yields and overall profit of the industry (“The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops” 215).
Also, the genetic engineering will allow increasing the productivity of the crops, and thus, will get more food from the same area. Among the beneficial consequences of such innovation are also the decrease of price for food and its greater availability. That can help to feed the growing population on the planet, provide the consumers with nutrition of higher quality and expand their choices.
The development of genetic engineering allowed the scientists to better understand the DNA and its role in the various fields. With the help of these technologies, scientists can find cures for various diseases and create new efficient medicines, reduce environmental degradation and increase agricultural yields. Thus, genetic engineering offers great opportunities for humanity. Its development can increase the living standards on the planet and supply people with almost everything they need. However, the controversial side of this issue delays the wide implementation of these programs to life. The numerous disadvantages pose a threat to the future of humanity as nobody can predict the consequences of genetic engineering. Hence, it depends on people, how they will use this power of genes. The results are completely unpredictable as it can either bring happiness and prosper or destroy everything we have.