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[yinyang] ecoglobe:     genetic engineering biotechnology - basics
Some basic GE concepts related to agriculture and medicine [further issues]
Basic concept 1.1 Genetic engineering biotechnology aims at modifying hereditary properties of organisms. These properties are located in the genes of humans, animals, plants, bacteria and viruses.
The biotechnology research institutes and industry make use of elaborate high-tech equipment in order to create novel organisms. Genes and parts of genes (DNA) are taken from one species and merged with the genetic material from another organism.
1.2 GE is technically "early-days" and imprecise. The insertion of a new gene can not be guided to a predetermined position in the genetic structure of the receiving organism.
1.3 The properties of the organism with an introduced new gene cannot be predicted. We have insufficient knowledge of the ways in which properties are expressed.
1.4 The properties of genetically modified organism seem to be unstable since the organism tries to reestablish its original stable structure.
GE and Agriculture 2.1 GE is not the same as normal breeding. Genetic engineering is an industrial technology that is fundamentally different from normal breeding by cross-pollination or mating. Genetic engineering combines the genetic material of different species that would never combine in nature or with traditional farming methods.
Calling traditional agricultural enhancement of animal and crop qualities "engineering" is misleading terminology.
GE and medicine ...
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Technological issues:
| GE Biotech basics | Biosafety | Food safety | Murphy's Law |
Socio-economic issues:
| Democracy, choice, ethics & morality | Better health | Feeding the world | Trade issues | "progress" & "sustainability" |
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