Biotechnology Essay

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Biotechnology Alyson Witty South University Online Biotechnology Biotechnology is the manipulation of living organisms to perform useful tasks. Today, biotechnology often involves DNA technology (Reece, Simon and Campbell Essential Biology with Physiology). Through this manipulation, scientists are able to better understand certain diseases and how they work as well as to try and stop the replication of genes that cause them in animals as well as in plants. “All organisms are made up of cells that are programmed by the same basic genetic material, called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Each unit of DNA is made up of a combination of the following nucleotides -- adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T), and cytosine (D) -- as well as a sugar and a phosphate” (Principles of Biotechnology, NCA&T). As cells are reproduced, the double helix of the DNA ladder separates to form 2 individual strands of DNA. With the exceptions of mutations and mistakes, each cell has the ability to form millions just like it. Through genetic engineering, scientists are able to remove, modify or add genes to a DNA molecule in order to change the information it contains. “Genetic engineering is used in the production of drugs, human gene therapy, and the development of improved plants (2). For example, an “insect protection” gene (Bt) has been inserted into several crops - corn, cotton, and potatoes - to give farmers new tools for integrated pest management. Bt corn is resistant to European corn borer. This inherent resistance thus reduces a farmers pesticide use for controlling European corn borer, and in turn requires less chemicals and potentially provides higher yielding Agricultural Biotechnology” (Principles of Biotechnology, NCA&T). Even though genetic improvements have been made in crops, progress in conventional breeding programs has been slow, still most crops

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