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Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree and Crispr

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Words: 1759 |

Pages: 4|

9 min read

Published: Sep 19, 2019

Words: 1759|Pages: 4|9 min read

Published: Sep 19, 2019

The USDA should restrict the commercial production of the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree.

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Firstly, the technology involved is not mature enough at this stage, thus, if the production happens on a large scale, serious consequences may happen. Genetics are the result of adapting to the environment in order to survive, otherwise known as evolution. Thus, it means that such genetic engineering may be against the nature. This is because genes are originally supposed to provide balance to the nature, for example, only allowing biological populations to survive in certain areas, so as to avoid invasion of other species which may cause extinction of certain species, or to facilitate the formation of a sustainable food chain. Yet, such genetic engineering may be dangerous in a sense that it may change the biological behavior of such eucalyptus tree. For example, modifying the genes such that they become tolerant to freeze may cause them to grow uncontrollably in all parts of the world, which is dangerous. This may raise the difficulty for other plants to grow, since nutrients and water from a region is not limitless, which poses a threat to other biological populations that takes in these plants as food. This may possibly disrupt the natural environment. In fact, human interference has often proved to disrupt the environment, such as deforestation. As a result, any further actions that may cause a change in the environment should be considered carefully. Yet, such technology involved is not yet mature enough. Scientists still do not have complete knowledge in genes, and modifying them may cause unwanted behavior on the long term. Therefore, before the technology involved in genetic engineering is mature enough, such commercial production of the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree should be restricted.

Secondly, the benefits of such production may not be able to outweigh the disadvantages, in other words, the costs of approving such commercial production is likely to be higher than the benefits. The major incentive for such commercial production is that the eucalyptus trees would become anti-freeze, enabling them to survive in colder regions, and since they are fast-growing, they can be used as biofuel yet regrown quickly. However, this involves the removal of large areas of original plantations. As such removal usually involves burning them away, this releases large amounts of greenhouses gases such as carbon dioxide, which would further worsen global warming and is difficult to compensate. Moreover, eucalyptus trees grow fast, but also use large amounts of water. As a result, underground water may be used up as the nature may not be ready for such drastic increase use of natural water. This causes further growth of plants to be difficult.

On the other hand, eucalyptus trees burn fast. So, if wildfire breaks out, the eucalyptus trees may speed up the spread of such wildfire, not only hurting the investments made, but also release substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is not feasible. Therefore, although it is true that more logs can be provided to satisfy increasing global needs due to the quick-regeneration property of eucalyptus trees, possible consequences may likely happen and cause benefits to fade, if such commercial production is carried out on a large scale. Hence, such commercial production of the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree should be restricted. To conclude, The USDA should restrict the commercial production of the genetically engineered eucalyptus tree.No, I do not believe that Mitalipov and his team repaired mutated paternal gene using CRISPR.

Firstly, if such action might cause unwanted side-effects afterwards, such gene should not be considered as repaired, since repairing should mean making the gene free of any problems. However, Mitalipov’s method causes large parts of genes to be removed. Since human genes are complex and may not only serve one purpose, as such, removing parts of genes and then let the cells fix the genes using other parts of the gene sequence as templates may cause the loss of certain functions of removed genes. For example, the genes may lack mutation because the mutated part was deleted, but since CRISPR did not bring healthy genes as templates, the cells may have directly connected genes together, or by duplicating genes, and both may result in more genes or less genes than usual, which may yield disastrous results. Therefore, before Mitalipov and his team can prove that the method they are using would not fix mutations in return of another problem, it should not be believed that Mitalipov and his team repaired mutated paternal gene using CRISPR.

Secondly, the absence of mutation may not be due to the use of CRISPR. Since the repaired genes did not have specific patterns from which Mitalipov and his team used, it can be concluded that Mitalipov and his team could not successfully repair the mutated paternal genes in the exact ways they might have wished. Thus, there is a chance that the absence of the mutations is due to some unknown effects at that time, or that the mutations are simply not taken up due to randomness, or maybe that the genes of the sperm did not affect the final genes much in this experiment. In fact, Mitalipov and his team claimed that they repaired the mutations by performing CRISPR at an earlier time, but at this time, it is supposed that genes of the sperm and the egg may not be close enough together, and therefore, although CRISPR may have removed some parts of the gene of the sperm, it might be likely that the sperm cannot provide a good template for recreating the removed parts of the gene since the sperm itself is not mutation free, and the egg might be too far away from making any fix in genes. Considering these, the chance for CRISPR to be the main cause of the absence of mutations is low, as CRISPR did not provide the template for repairing genes. As such, it is difficult to believe that Mitalipov and his team repaired mutated paternal gene using CRISPR.

On the other hand, it is obvious that the result of Mitalipov and his team was that mutated genes were not present after the experiment. Therefore, it must be the case that the experiment did trigger a mechanism, whether intentional or unintentional or unknown, to fix the genetics. Although it cannot be easily believed that Mitalipov and his team did repair mutated paternal gene using CRISPR, it is true that due to their actions of using CRISPR, a seemingly positive result, which is the absence of mutations, is obtained. In other words, Mitalipov and his team did repair at least partially, if not completely, mutated paternal genes, even though it may not be the direct result of CRISPR. The problem is that, this result was not obtained before, nor often forseen or expected, nor repeated elsewhere. Therefore, under such uncertainty, for example, errors occurring in between, it should not be believed that Mitalipov and his team repaired mutated paternal gene using CRISPR.

To conclude, I do not believe that Mitalipov and his team repaired mutated paternal gene using CRISPR. In preparing Part I of the assignment, trying to provide a convincing argument is the biggest challenge. This is because the articles involved several scientific principles that may not be familiar even with educated laymen, for example, CRISPR, if they did not have much prior knowledge in related fields. As a result, it is difficult to justify the stance, as such arguments related to socioscientific issues usually have to be based on concrete understanding of scientific knowledge involved in order to be valid. In the first article, it was easier to understand, as eucalyptus trees and genetically engineering are topics that are more talked about in mass media. However, in the second article, CRISPR and the process of human embryo development are less known to most people, and thus, it is more difficult to justify the choice of whether to believe Mitalipov and his team had repaired the mutated genes.

In the evaluation of socioscientific issues, three important criteria include credibility of the scientific information used, safety of the scientific methods applied and advantages and disadvantages of scientific methods used in the issues. Between them, credibility of the scientific information is the most important, because it is the foundation of the entire issue. If the issues are not based on concrete and verified scientific issues, further discussion and consideration may be useless, as they may be based on wrong information which misleads people. In other words, without evaluating the scientific information involved, the safety of the scientific methods applied may be overestimated or underestimated, and advantages and disadvantages of scientific methods used may be overlooked, exaggerated or undermined. Thus, safety of scientific methods applied and advantages and disadvantages of scientific methods used cannot be evaluated effectively.

Also, when comparing safety of the scientific methods applied and advantages and disadvantages of scientific methods used in the issues, safety of the scientific methods applied should be considered as a more important criterion, as science and technology can pose severe threats to humankind or the environment if used improperly or without foresight. If safety of scientific methods applied cannot be guaranteed, which means scientific methods used may be dangerous, any economic, social, cultural, personal, etc. advantages or disadvantages do not need to be evaluated, as the incident or proposal concerning the socioscientific issue should not be allowed to happen or pass in the first place. This is because long-term sustainable development is more important, as such, only if scientific methods applied proved to be harmless, or with harm to an acceptable level, then the socioscientific issues should further be evaluated. But in the case of past events, safety should also be evaluated with priority, as people have to decide whether to take remedial actions and to take what actions.

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Advantages and disadvantages are thus less important during evaluation, as they would not be considered with priority if safety of scientific methods used is not proved. Yet, advantages and disadvantages of scientific methods used are still important in the evaluation of socioscientific issues, because they provide a multi-perspective analysis on the issues. Through evaluating them, people an gain an insight on possible outcomes of the socioscientific issue, and hence, if the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages involved, then the issue may be supported or approved, vice versa. The evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of scientific methods used involve examining of the issue from multiple perspectives, such as economic, social, cultural, etc. Thus, a more thorough understanding of the socioscientific issue can be done, and only then will the evaluation of socioscientifc issues be useful.

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Cite this Essay

Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree and CRISPR. (2019, August 27). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/eucalyptus-tree-and-crispr/
“Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree and CRISPR.” GradesFixer, 27 Aug. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/eucalyptus-tree-and-crispr/
Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree and CRISPR. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/eucalyptus-tree-and-crispr/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree and CRISPR [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Aug 27 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/eucalyptus-tree-and-crispr/
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