Scientists and researchers are making genetically modified organisms for the past many years. It has resulted in a whole lot of organisms, ranging from sweet corn to hairless cats.
Organisms that exhibit particular characteristics are chosen to reproduce subsequent generations have been confined to naturally happening variations.
Advances in Genetic Engineering
However, in the last decade, advances within genetic engineering have allowed for specific control over the genetic modifications introduced into an organism. Today, we can insert new genes from one species into a completely unrelated species via genetic engineering. Thus we can optimize agricultural performance or facilitating the manufacturing of precious pharmaceutical substances. Crop plants, farm animals, and soil bacteria are examples of organisms that are developed by genetic engineering.
Genetically Modified Plants
Agricultural plants are one among the maximum frequently referred to examples of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Some benefits of genetic engineering in agriculture are improved crop yields, reduced prices for meals, or drug manufacturing. It also reduces the need for pesticides, more superb nutrient composition and meal quality, resistance to pests, and disease. Genetically modified organisms are beneficial in ensuring food security. Advances have been made in developing plants that can tolerate aluminum, boron, salt, drought, frost, and other environmental stress. Thus plants can grow in such environments where they were unable to produce.
Genetically Modified Animals
Several animals have also been genetically engineered to increase yield and reduce susceptibility to disease. For example, salmon were engineered to develop larger and mature faster. Cattles were arranged to show off resistance to crazy cow disease. Many industries stand to gain from additional GMO research. For instance, some of the microorganisms are being considered as destiny clean gasoline producers and biodegrades.
Applications of GMOs in the Health and Pharmaceutical sector
Besides, genetically modified flowers are used to supply recombinant vaccines. The idea of an oral vaccine is expressed in plants (culmination and vegetables) for direct consumption by people. Oral vaccines are examined as a possible option to treat the ailment in underdeveloped countries. It would significantly reduce the expenses associated with conducting large-scale vaccination campaigns. Work is presently underway to develop plant-derived vaccine candidates in potatoes and lettuce for hepatitis B virus (HBV), enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), and Norwalk virus.
Scientists are also looking into the manufacturing of different commercially treasured proteins in plants. Examples include spider silk protein and polymers that are used in the surgical operation or tissue replacement.
Genetically changed animals have even been used to develop transplant tissues and human transplant organs. This idea is referred to as xenotransplantation.
Concerns of GMOs
Despite the reality that the genes being transferred occur evidently in other species. There are various concerns and unknown effects of genetic engineering. After all, such changes can change the organism’s metabolism, increase fee, and/or respond to external environmental factors. Potential health dangers to people include the opportunity of exposure to new allergens in genetically modified foods. As well as the transfer of antibiotic-resistant genes to intestine flora is also a concern regarding GMOs.
Horizontal gene transfer is also a major concern regarding GMOs. Horizontal gene transfer of pesticide, herbicide, or antibiotic resistance to different organisms might put human beings at risk. However, the possibility of horizontal gene transfer is very low between GMOs and different organisms but can’t be denied.
Genetically Modified Organisms are advantageous to mankind. It has various applications in food, health, agricultural and industrial sectors. If used wisely, genetically modified organisms help in boosting the economy of developing nations. This technology can alleviate hunger and sickness worldwide. However, the full ability of GMOs can’t be found out. Research is to be carried out to find out whether the GMOs are good or bad.