genetic engineering

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  • genetic engineering
    • genetic engineering is changing the genome (the DNA) of an organism
    • genes can be transferred from any kind of organism to any other organism
    • how genetic engineering works
      • the gene for a characteristic is 'cut out' of a chromosome using enzymes
      • the gene is inserted into a chromosome inside the nucleus of a cell in a different organism
      • the cell of this organism now produces the characteristics from the gene
    • GM crops
      • GM crops have been genetically modified to give them new characteristics
        • resistance to attacks by insects and resistance to herbicides
    • human insulin in bacteria
      • Diabetes is a disorder in which the body's blood glucose levels remain too high because glucose is not effectively removed from the blood
        • It can be treated by injecting insulin.
          • The injected insulin acts just as natural insulin and causes glucose to be taken up by the liver and other tissues
            • this results in cells receiving the glucose they need, and blood glucose levels stay normal.
      • Bacterial cells have been genetically modified to produce substances such as human insulin.
    • ethics
      • There are ethical issues involved in genetic modification
        • there are concerns about the possible health risks of genetically modified food.
          • For example, a genetically modified food might contain a substance that causes an allergic reaction in some people, or higher levels of a toxin naturally found in the food.
      • Others think it is ethically wrong to create new life forms, or to move genes between different species.

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