11 things to know about genetic engineering, including how it’s helping us fight disease

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

What are some interesting facts about genetic engineering, and why it is important?

  1. Genetically engineered things are actually all around us

Genetic engineering techniques are used widely today for research, agriculture, industrial biotechnology, and medicine. For example, genetically modified enzymes used in laundry detergent or medicine like insulin and human growth hormone can now be readily created in GMO cells.

  1. Genetic modification is something of an ethical dilemma

While the practical benefits of genetic engineering are readily demonstratable, there are some ethical and ecological concerns around them. For example, genetic modification of human embryos is, rightfully, considered unethical.

  1. Genetic engineering can be used on any kind of organism
Related article:  5 things to consider with direct-to-consumer health products

As we have seen, a wide swathe of organisms can be altered using genetic engineering. This can range from anything from a lowly virus to an entire sheep. 

  1. Genetically modified animals are helping with some very serious human diseases and disorders

As we have already touched on, genetic engineering is being used to treat some very serious human diseases and disorders like diabetes with insulin. But it is also being put to work providing therapeutic solutions for other serious health issues like Alzheimer’s and cystic fibrosis.

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