Genetic engineering is a technique used by scientists to transform the DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) of living organisms. DNA is the blueprint for the individuality of an organism. The organism relies upon the information stored in its DNA for the group of every biochemical process. The life, growth and unique features of the organism depend on its DNA. The sections of DNA which have been associated with specific features or functions of an organism are called genes. Molecular biologists have discovered many enzymes which change the structure of DNA in living organisms. Some of these enzymes can cut and join strands of DNA. Using these enzymes, scientists learned to cut the specific genes from DNA and to build customized DNA using these genes. They also learned about vectors that are strands of DNA such as viruses, which can infect a cell and insert themselves into its DNA.
Scientists soon began to construct vectors which inserted specific pre-chosen genes into the DNA of living organisms. The job of the Genetic Engineer today is to improve certain aspects of living organisms to prevent diseases or the break down of the cells within. One example is seen in the food industry, for example, the tomato. The tomato is known to have a short growing season because of it's sensitivity to frost. Genetic Engineers were able to locate a gene in a fish that allows it to survive the cold water and then inserted this frost resistant gene into the tomato. Therefore the tomato can grow for a longer time, allowing the consumer to choose bigger and juicier tomatoes.
From land to sea, Genetic Engineering can make a great difference in the food we eat. It has been modified for two main reasons: to change the rate of growth and to increase resistance to disease. Agriculture has more than one positive effect. Firstly, there is more production of crops in a smaller amount of space, increasing the profitability. Secondly, the crops are free of pestici