o Some people may deliberately create new combinations of genes which they may use in chemical and biological warfare. (D) Social and ethical hazards o In gene therapy, a gene inserted in the body cells may find its way into the ova or sperms. If the gene mutates, it may affect the offspring of the patient. o Genetic engineering may lead to class distinctions. Only individuals with sufficient financial means can afford certain gene technologies. (E) Religious implications o Some religions do not approve of genetic engineering, as it may not be appropriate to alter the natural genetic make-up of organisms. Additional notes on the benefits of genetic engineering: Applications of genetic engineering Benefits to society Low-cost production of medicines Genetic engineering of important drugs such as human insulin has drastically reduced the cost of these medicines. With these drugs becoming more affordable, more patients can get access to them and be treated. Production of crops that grow in extreme conditions (e.g. high-salt environments) Examples of such crops include: drought-resistant crops; salt-tolerant crops; and crops that make more efficient use of nitrogen and other nutrients. This allows farmers to grow crops even when the soil conditions are not suitable for cultivating most crops. Development of: crops that produce toxins that kill insect The use of costly pesticides that may damage the environment is reduced. For e.g. the Bt gene from a certain bacterium can be inserted into plants to produce a toxin 143 Topic 17: Inheritance
SPN21 ‘O’ Level Biology SoW pests; and pesticide-resistant crops that kills certain insect pests. Development of foods designed to meet specific nutritional goals Improved nutritional quality of foods. For e.g. two genes from daffodil and one gene from the bacterium Erwinia uredarora inserted into rice plants produce “Golden Rice”. The rice grains have high vitamin A content. 144 Topic 17: Inheritance
SPN21 ‘O’ Level Biology SoW 145 Topic 17: Inheritance
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 145 pages?
- Summer '19