Future gene splicing will be based
upon current, emerging medical technology. Gene splicing is one
of the most advanced techniques of genetic engineering that involves
direct human interference or modification in the genetic material
of an organism in such a way which is not possible by nature.
Future gene splicing in a way is already
here. Recombinant DNA techniques are being used now for gene splicing
or gene modification. In 1973, a certain bacteria became the first
genetically modified organisms and in 1974, mice were developed
by using recombinant DNA techniques. In 1994, genetically modified
food gained its entrance in consumer market. Future gene splicing
will prove to be one of the center-stage items in our developing
The idea of gene splicing is not new. In
1902, Hans Spemman became the first scientist to master it and
to establish the fact that genetic materials can be removed from
a cell to produce different cell or even another adult. He separated
one single cell from a 15-celled embryo to create two identical
Currently, scientists are able to use advanced
or future gene splicing techniques to remove genes to
clone them so that they can be replanted into the same
organism from which they were taken out, or to a different
organism. Future gene splicing is dependent on improving
emerging recombinant DNA techniques. Many futurists and
science fiction writers have talked about the possibilities
of future gene splicing techniques as a savior of humanity
or as a dangerous after effect due to a lab accident or
an ill-minded plot.
Dicing and Splicing ...
In today's world, it is scientifically
possible to create exact copies of DNA fragments by using the
Polymerase Chain Reaction Technique. This technique can be used
to create a living adult from the DNA structure of its species.
This idea was used by famous science fiction writer Michael Crichton
in his book Jurassic Park in which he speculated about the future
of gene splicing while depicting re-creation of dinosaurs.
Scientifically, it is not yet possible
to re-create dinosaurs or mammoths from their ancient frozen DNA
remnants, however, future gene splicing using recombinant DNA
techniques are certainly changing our world in an interesting
fashion. Genetically spliced plants and animals are being used
to create cheaper biotechnology medicines and improved food.
Recently in the year 2009, the Food and
Drugs Administration of the United States (FDA) approved sale
of antithrombin which is a pharmaceutical protein that is produced
in the milk of goats that were genetically spliced.
means of artificial selection and mutagenesis, humans
can alter their genomes. In 2010, the first synthetic
living organism was developed by the scientists
of J. Craig Venter Institute.
Currently gene splicing is being used
in medicine, research work, industrial and agricultural production.
However, genetically modified food has faced various controversial
issues. At present, gene splicing is used for:
- Change bacteria to produce proteins
- Change hormones that may be used for
- Increase the amount of specific antibodies
- Alter rapid-growing cancer cells
- Treatment of genetic disorders
Future gene splicing has a large scope
of implications as does the whole field of future
medical technology. Society, as a whole, may need to
come up with a set of moral issues that need to be addressed including
clear guidelines on how this technology is to be used. For instance,
will "designer babies" be acceptable on
a worldwide scale? What will the boundaries of cloning be?
same goes for genetically modified crops, animals
used for food, pets, and parts of people. Because
some countries are more progressive than others,
once the "cat is out of the bag" in regard
to future gene splicing, so to speak, then this
technology will become normalized (as it is already
in the process of becoming).
Of course there will be backlashes against
the downsides, but ultimately the positive nature such as medical
treatments, healthier food leading to longevity for humans, animals,
and pets will outweigh the mishaps and misuse along the way.
It is hard now to imagine ALL of the probable
aspects of future gene splicing. There is immense potential in
recombinant DNA techniques and which will be used to further the
cause of cloning and medical assistance. Otherwise the crystal
ball is now a little cloudy on this issue.
Written by Kevin Lepton