The problem of GMOs has become very popular nowadays. If you turn on the TV or open any page in the Internet, you will come across the information devoted to the harm of genetically modified organisms. Why are people concerned about this issue? Are GMOs dangerous to our life and health? Are there any positive sides of GMOs? These questions are quite relevant. More and more food products are genetically modified and people worry about the impact of this modification on their health. What is a genetically modified organism? It is any organism whose genotype was changed by the methods and techniques of genetic engineering. Such experiments are mostly conducted for scientific and agricultural purposes. Genetic modification differs from the natural or artificial mutagenesis. Genetic material is transported from one organism to another applying the technology of recombinant DNA. If DNA is transported to the target organism from another species, the target organism is called a transgenic one.
Genetic engineering is a relatively new science. With the invention of powerful microscopy and development of medicine scientists have become interested in the possibility of creation of the completely new species of animals and plants. When they managed to extract DNA from an organism, the new era of science began. The idea of genetic engineering is very fascinating. Every organism (bacteria, animals, plants, fungi, etc.) has its specific qualities determined by its lifestyle and the peculiarities of the environment it lives in. Therefore, every organism has its strengths and weaknesses. Some organisms resist extremely low and high temperatures. Others are less vulnerable to diseases and poisons. Some species possess the quality of rapid regeneration and restoration. When scientists learnt about these facts, they decided to cross DNA of different organisms to receive a completely new stronger one.
It is reasonable to introduce GMOs in agriculture. Our planet becomes more and more populated. Overpopulation has already become the most urgent problem in many countries of Asia and Latin America. It is very difficult to feed everyone. Thus, the problems of hunger and poverty are very disturbing nowadays. The most logical solution is to grow more crops to feed hungry people.
However, it is impossible to produce so much food in the natural way. Everybody knows that we live in the dramatic time associated with the climatic change. In some areas it has become impossible to grow crops though twenty years ago this region was perfect for it. The global field of agriculture cannot retrain rapidly. People have to learn about the new cultures that can be grown on their territory inasmuch as it is the only way out. In fact, it is possible to make the old cultures stronger and more resistant to the environmental changes. Genetic engineering is able to do that.
We know that corn has already become the most common genetically modified culture. The USA produces much corn in spite of heat and hurricanes and other climatic threats. This culture is enough strong to resist everything. It is possible to improve other vegetables and fruit in order to make them grow faster or delay the time of their spoilage.
People react to agricultural GMOs calmly but they still protest against such experiments on animals. They are afraid of consuming pork, beef or lamb of the genetically modified animals. Scientists have already conducted numerous experiments on fish, sheep and smaller animals and microorganisms.
The contribution of GMOs into medicine cannot be overestimated. The first organisms that were genetically modified are bacteria. They are intensively used in the creation of remedies. For instance, it is possible to produce much human protein that can be used for the treatment of diabetes or hemophilia. Many bacteria are used for the production of human insulin. It is impossible to receive all the required proteins from bacteria. Scientists had to invent something more radical and they started modifying domestic animals and using their milk for the production of the required proteins.
I dare say that the general public opinion of GMOs is mostly negative. There is a solid movement against GMOs in many countries. People believe that consumption of such organisms can cause numerous dangerous diseases like cancer and others. In addition, they say that genetically modified food products are deprived of vitamins and natural taste.
In spite of numerous negative points of view about GMOs, their importance is enormous. Genetic modification helps scientists create resistible cultures and defeat the problem of hunger in the world.
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