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Future Gene Splicing

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
DNA Spiral

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 civilization.

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 adult amphibians.

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.

Future DNA
By 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 treating illness
  • 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?

The 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).
Designer Baby

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