Benefits and dangers of genetic engineering

CommentarySyndicated 14 By Anastasia Bodnar and Karl Haro von Mogel It seems like every news article about genetic engineering gives a nod to unknown risks to the environment or human health that are unique to genetic engineering. What are those risks, and are they really unique?

Benefits and dangers of genetic engineering

Advanced Benefits and risks of the genetic engineering process The transfer of genes directly into the potato nuclear genome can be achieved by several methods. However, the dominantly used process is utilizing the natural mechanism of DNA transfer of the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens, while infecting wounded plant tissues.

We will review benefits and risks associated with this method, that are generic to the technology itself and not trait specific. What are the benefits? The use of A. This new genetic information can be a single gene or polygenes up to a physical limit of about Kb The genetic information can be engineered to tailor new gene expression profiles and combine genes that would be otherwise impossible to bring together.

This is an insertion of the foreign genetic material in a single region of the chromosome, without interfering with the expression of endogenes. Benefits are numerous over conventional techniques. The method is both time and cost efficient; it allows the use of new genes with customized gene expression and integrates in a precise and stable manner.

Contrary to the conventional techniques it does not carry over undesirable genes, which have to be removed by time-consuming and costly backcross screening procedures. What are the risks The insertion of foreign DNA in the plant nuclear genome causes genetic alteration?

The insertion of DNA into the nuclear genome is sometimes perceived as carrying risks for the safety of the food product. Several scientific facts disagree with this generic risk associated with the process of gene insertion.

First of all, DNA insertion in the nuclear genome is not unique to genetic engineering. Plastid DNA is found in the nuclear genome, and probably all plant genomes are subjected to mobile DNA elements coming in and out. Therefore, a single insertion event by transgenesis is just one of the many insertion events that occur naturally.

In addition, the cultivated potato is a tetraploid plant, which means that each DNA sequence exists in 4 almost identical copies.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens bacteria are carried over with the transgenic variety There is a risk of persistence of A. Plants are known to naturally host endophytic symbionts.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the persistence of A. However, such plants are automatically eliminated once the molecular proofs of foreign gene insertion are conducted.

Hence, a GE potato variety can and should be certified to be free of the original infectious bacteria used for the transformation process.

This can easily be checked through proper testing and reported in serious documentation of the various molecular tests. The precision of the insertion of the foreign DNA has yet to be fully characterized. Indeed, it might be advisable to discard transformed lines with unwanted vector sequences, i.

Again, this quality of the insertion event can and should be certified in the appropriate documentation of the transformation events. The antibiotic-based selectable marker is a threat to human health As mentioned above, the process of transformation of potato plants requires a positive selection for these rare events.

This has been and is still achieved through an antibiotic resistance gene, generally conferring resistance to kanamycin. The concerns that this antibiotic resistance gene poses a threat to human health are not justified.

9 Big Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering

The kanamycin antibiotic resistance gene is ubiquitous in the environment and in human gut flora. Every human hosts millions of bacteria with kanamycin resistance genes. The gene present in plants has been tailored to function in plants and as such it is innocuous when transformed to bacteria.Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering.

1. Has associated consequences and possible irreversible effects Even scientists themselves believe that genetic engineering can have irreversible side effects, especially with hereditarily modified genes.

The use of genetic engineering and the creation of genetically modified crops has resulted in many benefits for the agricultural world.

The most noticeable benefit is that genetic engineering has made it possible to produce more crops in a shorter time period. Mar 06,  · Benefits and Risks of Genetic Engineering. written by: Paul Arnold•edited by: Paul Arnold•updated: 3/6/ The goal of genetic engineering is to make debilitating diseases a thing of the past.

While this is a noble goal, this branch of science also has risks. Learn about the pros and cons of genetic engineering and decide for.

Genetically modified organisms -- plants and animals whose genes have been changed by scientists -- aren't just thought over, they're fought over.

Benefits and dangers of genetic engineering

GMOs often make news related to the environment. Apr 21,  · In the Going Further section, we provide resources for investigating the gene-editing process in more detail and considering the benefits and risks of additional genetic engineering applications, including editing human DNA.

The 4 Pros of Genetic Engineering. Genetic engineering offers benefits such as: 1. Better Flavor, Growth Rate and Nutrition Crops like potatoes, soybeans and tomatoes are now sometimes genetically engineered in order to improve size, crop yield, and nutritional values of the plants.

Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering - HRF