Ethics of Genetic Engineering & Xenotransplantation (5.2.3)

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Give 3 reasons for using genetically modified organisms.
No need to spray insecticides- insects aren't unnecessarily destroyed. Less risk of harmful pesticides being present on food. Resistance to herbicides means farmers can spray them to kill weeds without harming the crop- this would reduce costs.
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Give 3 reasons against using genetically modified organisms.
Their genes may spread into other plants by wind or pollinating insects. The first GM crops only benefited the grower and retailer. It may invade a habitat and reduce biodiversity.
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What is xenotransplantation?
The transplantation of cell tissues or organs between animals of different species.
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Why might xenotransplantation be necessary in the future?
Human organs for transplantation are in short supply and many people die waiting for organs. The size and structure of pigs' organs are similar to humans', so could be used for transplantation.
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Give 3 criticisms of xenotransplantation.
There are immune rejection issues. There are differences in organ size. Organs from other animals may not last as long.
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Give 2 more criticisms of xenotransplantation.
Some animal welfare groups strongly oppose killing animals in order to harvest their organs for human use. Viruses could be passed across species.
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Give a benefit and risk of using genetically modified microorganisms.
Can produce human insulin. However they may escape from containment and transfer genes to pathogenic microbes.
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Give a benefit and risk of using genetically modified plants.
A resistance to pests increases yield. However, genes introduced to crop plants may pass to wild relatives and reduce biodiversity.
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Give a benefit and risk of using genetically modified animals.
Increased milk or meat production. However strong views about specific animals are held in some religions- cows are sacred to Hindus, and orthodox Jews & Muslims consider pigs unclean.
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Give a benefit and risk of using genetically modified humans.
Gene therapies treat some genetic disorders. However, individuals resulting from germline therapy would have no say in whether their genetic material should have been modified.
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How is genetic manipulation similar to selective breeding?
In selective breeding, humans have selected organisms with valuable traits and genes, and have bred them over many generations. So both are controlled by humans in order to improve something.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Give 3 reasons against using genetically modified organisms.

Back

Their genes may spread into other plants by wind or pollinating insects. The first GM crops only benefited the grower and retailer. It may invade a habitat and reduce biodiversity.

Card 3

Front

What is xenotransplantation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why might xenotransplantation be necessary in the future?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Give 3 criticisms of xenotransplantation.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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