Genetic research involves careful study and investigation on application of genetic material in varied fields. Application of genetics has been of great significance particularly in medical genetics and food biotechnology, though not without opposition. Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to discuss benefits of genetics research and the criticism against its application. Genetic researches have contributed to invaluable knowledge that has been used in biotechnology particularly in medicine and agriculture. Application of genetic research in medicine has aided production of certain drugs.
Normally, patient is given dose with the small molecules through a tablet. These small molecules can only be manufactured chemically. For large molecules which are administered through injections, they are only created by living cells from bacteria cells and yeast cells for instance which are only obtained through genetic engineering. By genetic alterations, some microorganisms such as E. coli or yeast, it has been possible to produce synthetic insulin for patients who are suffering from diabetes type-2 and manufacture of antibiotic drugs to treat bacterial infections.
Several cases have been reported concerning certain drugs reactions to some patients. Through pharmacogenomics which involves studying the relationship of pharmaceuticals and genetics it has enabled designing and production of drugs that are adaptable to each individual genetic make up. Genetic testing through scanning patient’s Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) sample to check mutated sequences is now used to confirm diagnosis of symptomatic individual, pre-symptomatic test for predicting adult-onset disorders and estimating the risk of developing adult-onset cancers.
This has an advantage in that necessary interventions can be put in place timely and cut down the cost and arrest disease severity (Bauer & Gaskell, 2002). In agriculture, it has helped improving crop yields. Compared to indigenous crops, genetically modified crops are of fast maturity with relatively high yields. These crops have increased resistance to drought and pests. Crops which have been produced through employing biotechnology have increased nutritional qualities, improved taste, texture and improved appearance.
Besides this, some crops shelf lives have been increased which giving farmers advantage to market their product without incurring great losses (Sanderson, 2007). Despites the benefits of genetic research, it has faced several criticisms. Use of genetically modified crops has been considered to cause unilateral habitat which may affect other plants due to environmental change. As genetic engineering involves alerting of genomes of plants it can lead rise of new diseases that human beings may not be able to resist. Some religions have not welcomed certain genetics advances like reproductive cloning.
They consider human cloning to be exceeding the limits by trying to take place of God in creation. They based their argument that it is only God who has power to create a living creature and for a man to ‘create’ life is blasphemous. In addition, they have not readily embraced genetically modified foods. They consider them as unacceptable intervention in God’s creation that violates barriers in the natural world. They express fear that these foods might contain genes from animals which their faith does not allow them to eat (Murphy, 2009).
Genetic research has resulted to tremendous breakthroughs in medicine. Drugs which could not be produced using chemical procedures are now produced to save lives. Genetic research findings have made it possible to design drugs that will not be reactive to the patients which is a hallmark in pharmaceutical field. In food sectors, as result of diminishing returns of land through application of genetic research, crops of high yields, fast maturity and drought intolerance can be produced.
Most of the criticisms against genetic research have no scientific grounds but there are expressions of fears. When genetic research is applied with great caution according to the stipulated standards there should be no cause of such worries. Table: Argument For and Against Genetic Research: Argument For Argument Against It is used in production doses that are of large molecules that cannot be produced chemically Reproductive cloning is like assuming God’s role and it is blasphemous Has been used in production of antibiotics to treat many bacterial infections e. g.
Penicillin and synthetic insulin which have improved quality of life especially to diabetic patient Genetic modified foods may contain a gene material from animals that are forbidden to be eaten Has helped perform pre-symptomatic test for predicting adult-onset disorders for timely interventions Genomes alterations may cause occurrence of new diseases and also interfere with ecology Has increased crop yields Helped production foods of high nutritional value with improved taste and texture.
Has increased shelf life of some foods and hence increased food availability References: Bauer, Martin W. & Gaskell, George (2002); Biotechnology: The Making of a Global Controversy. ISBN 052177439X, 9780521774390, Cambridge University Press Murphy, T. ,(2009); The Arguments for and Against Genetically Modified (GM) Food. Retrieved on 1st February 2009 from:http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/1379333/the_arguments_for_and_against_genetically_pg2. html? cat=9 Sanderson, J. (2007); Understanding Genes and Gmos. ISBN 9812703756, 9789812703750, World Scientific