In his tireless search to improve the characteristics of biological products, man has found the scientific techniques necessary to create genetically modified organisms, with the aim of obtaining benefits and raising the quality level of each product.
What is a genetically modified organism?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are those biological entities such as microorganisms, plants or animals, in which DNA is specifically intervened and manipulated, using biotechnology techniques.
This refers to the application of technological tools on biological systems for their transformation at the genetic level. These modification procedures are completely different from the natural methods of combination or reproduction.
Through genetic modification, characteristics derived from the presence of this gene in an organism, of the same species or in a different individual can be changed, transferred or eliminated.
The techniques used in biotechnology that are applied directly to organisms are called genetic technology, genetic engineering or DNA technology.
The practical application of biotechnology is, generally, in the field of agricultural production, in livestock and in the health area, for the development of vaccines or treatments for conditions of hereditary pathologies.
Advantages of genetically modified organisms
The application of biotechnology in the search to improve the properties of biological systems, results in the creation or restructuring of genetically modified organisms.
- Genetically modified organisms have greater resistance to agents that usually cause irreparable damage. At the genetic level, a plant species can be transformed to be able to withstand common diseases and survive toxic substances.
- With biotechnology, the nutritional value contained in the species can be improved, for example, vitamins can be added and the protein content of the food can also be modified.
- The genetic modification of a food can eliminate the elements that cause an allergic reaction in people after consumption.
- Plant species that are stronger against environmental factors can be created, which represents an advantage for producers, since the plants become more resistant to periods of drought and the amount of water used for irrigation is reduced.
Disadvantages of genetically modified organisms
The disadvantages emanating from the production of genetically modified food crops must be taken into consideration as they represent a potential long-term health hazard.
- Use of soils until their properties are exhausted, this happens due to the amount of toxic (chemical) residues that may remain after harvesting.
- The land tends to weaken until it loses all its properties, since there is no room for crop rotation, thus the soil recovers its nutrients.
- There is the possibility of genetic contamination, which consists of the introduction of genetically modified organisms to other crops, which can affect the biodiversity of the environment.
Applications in different sectors
Genetically modified organisms can be implemented in the production of different items and in different areas:
- The agricultural and livestock industry: Genetically modified seeds improve the vegetable product that is harvested, adding or manipulating specific characteristics for the benefit of the consumer and the producer.
- The food industry: Genetic modifications are usually implemented that optimize biotechnological processes to produce food for animal consumption, which contribute to reducing the appearance of common diseases.
- In the field of medicine, genetic manipulation is used to produce supplies and medicines, which are part of treatments for some diseases, which are produced with biotechnology techniques.
Finally, it is essential to mention that the advancement of technology has allowed science to turn into reality aspects that in the past were only theories or hypotheses, so its importance transcends the barriers of what is possible. If you want to know more about this and other interesting topics, be sure to read all the articles we have for you on our website.