Genetically modified organisms ( GMO’s ) are the organisms which result when a gene is taken from one organism to another organism in the laboratory for improving its functioning ability or for obtaining desirable results. Genetically modified organisms are also called as transgenic.
The process of Genetically modified organisms
GMO’s are created in the laboratory using scientific methods like Recombinant DNA technology and Reproductive cloning.
In Recombinant DNA technology, one or more genes of one organism are inserted into another organism’s DNA. On the other hand, Reproductive cloning involves the extraction of the nucleus from the cell of the organism that needs to be cloned and it is inserted into the cytoplasm present in the cell of another organism. This results in their creation.
Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture
Genetically modified crops are the crops whose genes are modified using genetic engineering techniques. These are also called transgenic crops. The main goal of using GMO’s is to increase the yield of the crop and to produce disease-resistant crops.
An example of the genetically modified crop is Golden rice. It was genetically modified to generate beta-carotene twenty times more than the previous varieties of rice. Golden rice is intended for Asia. One more rice variety was also created to fight iron deficiency. A gene from the bean plant is taken and inserted into the rice gene and the resultant rice helps to fight iron deficiency.
Genetically modified organisms in Medicine
GMO’s in medicine has been nothing short of a revolutionary idea. This helps to cure some disease like diabetes, hypertension, and also helps in rectifying certain genetic disorders. Scientists are conducting research on it since the 1980’s. Insulin is one of the outcomes of such research. Insulin is generated by injecting a gene from the pig intestine into a bacterium. The bacterium with pig gene grows and produces insulin. Many other products like Aspartame, Remicade, Avastin etc. are the result of GMO application in medicine. Certain genetically engineered plants even produce edible vaccines which are used to prevent diseases.
Role of GMO’s the management of the Environment
GMO’s offer many potential benefits related to environmental management. It helps in reducing ecological damage. For instance, certain genetically engineered bacteria could produce biodegradable plastics. A bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha convert glucose and some other acids into a flexible polymer. This polymer is used in the making of plastic.
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