Genetic Engineering

Essay by Anonymous UserJunior High, 8th gradeA-, January 1996

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Red, curly hair runs in some families and black, straight hair in others.

Some families include many people who live into their late nineties or

beyond. Eye and hair color as well as height, longevity, and other family traits

are inherited from parents and passed on to children in a cellular material

called genes. Some diseases can also be inherited or caused by changes in

one's own genes or those of a parent. Inheritance is a characteristic of all

living things. You can actually change someone or something's genes. This is

called genetic engineering. Technically, genetic engineering is the use or

manipulation of an individual's genetic material in order to produce desired

characteristics or results in the same individual, other individuals of the same

species, or other species.

Genetics is a very complex subject, and it is difficult to understand. A

gene is the fundamental unit of heredity; one segment of DNA arranged in a

specific sequence which is passed from parent to child .

As it explains above,

heredity is when, for example, a child may have blue eyes like his/her mother

and brown hair like his/her father, and maybe he/she has the arithmetic skills

of his/her grandfather. There are many possibilities. DNA (technically

deoxyribonucleic acid) is the molecular basis of heredity for living organisms.

It is a chemical molecule made up of base pairs that contain genetic

instructions. Each cell of every living organism contains DNA. There is also a

thing called RNA (ribonucleic acid). RNA is a chemical molecule that carries

a cell's genetic instructions from the DNA to organelles (specialized cell

bodies, such as ATP, lysosomes, etc.) that produce proteins for cell activities.

Now that we have most of that out of the way, let's get back on the subject.

You may be wondering, what is...