There are three types of human genetic engineering: somatic, germline and cloning. Somatic engineering adds genes to body cells. Germline engineering adds genes to human eggs, embryos or sperm, and cloning creates a copy of an organism.Continue Reading
The genes of living cells can be altered by inserting a new gene into a virus-like organism. This organism is then allowed to enter cells and insert a new gene into the genome. This procedure is performed by either somatic or germline engineering.
Somatic engineering targets specific genes of the body in specific organs and tissues, and it does not affect the genes in the eggs or sperm. This type of genetic engineering treats or cures existing conditions, but it does not alter an individual’s entire genetic makeup.
Germline engineering targets the genes in eggs, sperm or embryos during very early stages of their development. All the cells in embryos are genetically affected. This type of modification causes more controversy because it renders permanent gene changes. Future generations can inherit the changes from germline engineering, whereas somatic genetic modifications cannot be inherited.
Finally, there is cloning, which can be performed in three ways. DNA cloning is when a DNA fragment is transferred from one organism to a self-replicating genetic element so that the DNA can replicate itself in a foreign host cell. Reproductive cloning, however, creates an organism with the same nuclear DNA as another currently or previously existing organism, such as Dolly the sheep. Finally, therapeutic cloning, or embryo cloning, describes the production of human embryos for research.Learn more about Biology
Plasmids are used in genetic engineering to reproduce recombinant genetic material. When a plasmid is inserted into a bacterium, the bacterium is encouraged to multiply, creating more copies of the recombinant DNA.Full Answer >
Organic foods are grown using traditional growing methods that promote environmental health and without chemical fertilizers, pesticides and industrial processing, and genetically modified organisms are plants or animals that have been modified using genetic engineering techniques to directly alter the organism's DNA. While GMOs can be grown using organic techniques, the genetic modification generally renders the plants ineligible for the organic label.Full Answer >
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is used in the human body in order for an organism to reproduce, develop and survive as well as in science for genetic engineering, forensics, bioinformatics, evolutionary history and information storage. A human's DNA code contains about 3 billion bases and 20,000 genes in 23 pairs of chromosomes.Full Answer >
The National Institutes of Health defines therapeutic cloning as cloning an embryo only for the purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell. Therapeutic cloning aims to create stem cells for the express purpose of experiments so that researchers gain a better understanding of disease and work to develop effective treatments for diseases in humans.Full Answer >