Genetic engineering is important because it provides benefits in the areas of agriculture, production of valuable proteins, production of vaccines and disease-resistant plants. These benefits are often realized with a lower cost, quicker production time and higher production volume than alternative solutions.Continue Reading
Genetic engineering in agriculture offers crops that have improved nutritional quality, resistance to disease and fewer post-harvest losses. These crops also use the minerals in the soil more efficiently and have better nitrogen fixation, which reduces the exhaustion of the soil's nutrients.
The proteins produced by genetic engineering include human insulin, growth hormone and an antiviral called interferon. Before the production of human insulin, diabetics relied on insulin taken from the pancreas of a pig. Due to the difference in the gene sequencing, some patients had trouble tolerating it. As of 2014, human insulin in the market is available at a cheaper rate than pig insulin. Interferon stimulates immune processes that function to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.
Genetically engineered vaccines provide safer choices as they don't contain live viruses. These vaccines are produced by copying the DNA of a virus instead using of the method of using weakened forms of live viruses. This eliminates the possibility of accidental infection due to the virus.Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA
Active transport requires energy because it is pumping particles, such as proteins, ions and sugar molecules, against a concentration gradient: from areas of lower to higher solute concentration. The main energy source for active transport is adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, although electrochemical and light energy are also used.Full Answer >
Edible vaccines are mucosal-targeted vaccines that have been created by injecting antigenic proteins into edible plants. When consumed, the proteins are uncloaked and recognized by the body's immune system when they enters the bloodstream. The proteins are then responsible for stimulating both systemic and mucosal immune responses.Full Answer >
The genetic code is important because it provides instructions for protein synthesis. All organisms on Earth utilize proteins in chemical reactions to facilitate physiological functions. Differences in genetic code result in different proteins, and thus different genetic variations in organisms.Full Answer >
The genetic code is said to be universal because nearly all living organisms on Earth use the same four-letter code to direct their metabolic functions and build bodies. A single sequence of nucleotides is able to synthesize a single protein, regardless of the species it is in.Full Answer >