Pros and cons of biotechnology.

Essay by vivHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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The term "biotechnology" has come to have various meanings.

The simplest definition of biotechnology is "applied biology." Another definition is "the use of living organisms to make a product or run a process." Examples include use of bacteria to make yogurt, cheese, and vinegar and use of plant or animal crossbreeding techniques to produce stock with enhanced qualities.

Some people use the term biotechnology only to refer to the newer tools of genetic engineering developed since 1973. In this context, biotechnology may be defined as "the use of biotechnical methods to modify the genetic material of living cells so they will produce new substances or perform new functions" Examples include to copy of a piece of DNA containing one or a few genes to transfer between organisms or recombined within an organism. The Three areas of biotechnology in this discussion are: IVF, Cloning and Genetically Modified Foods (GMF.)

The technique of in vitro fertilization (IVF) consists in bringing about the fusion of the egg and the spermatozoa in the laboratory instead of in the women's Fallopian tubes. The overall success rate of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) per cycle has increased dramatically over the past several years, leading to a dramatic increase of couples using this biotechnology. However, there is a lot of controversy over the issue.

There are three different types of cloning:

Embryo cloning: This is a medical technique, which produces identical twins or triplets. It duplicates the process that nature uses to produce twins or triplets. One or more cells are removed from a fertilized embryo and encouraged to develop into one or more duplicate embryos. Twins or triplets are thus formed, with identical DNA. This has been done for many years on various species of animals only very limited experimentation has been done...