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Science as a human endeavour – Genetic modification

Genetic engineering, also known as genetic modification, is an import, yet sometimes controversial, field of biology. The applications of genetic engineering can be found in use in numerous aspects of society, especially agriculture and medicine. Humans have been genetically modifying plants and animals for thousands of years through selective breeding, however the direct manipulation of DNAhas only existed since the 1970s. One such manipulation of DNA is
Polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, a technique used generate millions of copies of a DNA segment from one pre existing DNA segment. However PCR does not alter the DNA of an organism, it replicates it. PCR finds its main uses in medicine, …show more content…
It is now a common and indispensible practice for Police to use genetic information found at crime scene to catch criminals and then provide evidence when persecuting a criminal. If police can find even the smallest trace of genetic information such as skin cells, blood, hair, saliva, then they can use PCR to attain a genetic profile of a suspect. If the police can then attain the DNA of possible suspects, they can try to match their DNA with that found on the scene. If they find a match then they have irrefutable proof that that person was at the crime scene. The police also have a DNA database of previous offenders of which they can check for any matches with DNA they have found at a crime scene. One such example of the power that PCR afford the police was when in 2008 a suspected car thief was arrested when the police found his genetic information in the blood of a dead mosquito, which was found in the stolen …show more content…
It can also allow the early diagnosis of cancer and malignant diseases such as leukaemia. PCR is an important tool for the study and research of diseases, allowing genetic material from a disease to be amplified for research. Difficult to detect disease such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be detected by PCR, which can find one viral genome in the DNA of over 50,000 host cells. This early diagnosis can mean the difference between life and death with many diseases. PCR is a important tool in research of all infectious diseases and in discovering cures.
The use of PCR in medicine is relatively risk free, however when used to study dangerous bacteria and virus such as HIV steps need to be taken to ensure the disease is quarantined and that the disease does not

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