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Everything You Need to Know About Genetic Engineering

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When we think of genetic engineering, we tend to think of a Sci-Fi Hollywood movie where anything is possible. Well, the analogy might be correct. But at the base level, we have a

simple definition of genetic engineering.

What is genetic engineering?

A basic explanation of genetic engineering is that it gives us the power to suitable alter the genome of an organism. It involves artificially changing the DNA of an organism, such as bacteria or yeast, by adding in new genetic material.

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This can be done by inserting a gene from another foreign organism.

The process is based on experiments involving inserting genes that code for antibiotic resistance into the DNA of plasmids in bacteria, which could then be passed on to other bacteria. The new types of bacteria are not considered GMOs unless they were specifically designed by humans. These “mutant” bacteria reproduce more easily than the parent species and survive where they are not usually found.

The result of genetic modification has yielded outcomes that have proven to be phenomenal. Altering the genetic makeup of cells allows for unique organisms or enhancements within the target organism.

This experiment has been conducted on various organisms. Some have shown tremendous success in being commercially made available. At the same time, others are still within the realm of the R&D labs, where further tests may go on to prove the viability of their

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commercial applications.

What are the 5 genetic engineering techniques?

Manipulating the genes of the target organism can take shape in different formats. Let us look at these in detail.

1  – Transformation

In this method, the cell’s organic component is directly modified. This is achieved by passing the genetic material of the source organism cell into the cell membrane of the target organism cell. The subsequent processes of cooling the cell membrane and them exposing it to heat

shock. This allows the passing of the cell components through the walls of the cell membrane.

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2  – Transfection

It is the in-vitro transfer of the source cell component into the cultured animal cells of the target organism. The most common transfection method is to use chemical-based compounds that are acted upon to facilitate the entry of the cell DNA into the target organism. Other methods of transfection involve the use of electroporation and biolistics.

3  – Transduction

In this method, the foreign DNA is passed on by a virus and into the host organism. The process is usually carried out using a virus that is capable of penetrating through the cell membrane through its attachment proteins. A virus with a modified vector may be used to carry foreign DNA into the host cells.

4  – Regeneration

This method of genetic engineering is accomplished by combining either DNA from another organism or the DNA of related organisms. They are then used to regenerate the organism’s characteristic features. This is achieved by introducing a combination of the host and donor’s genetic material or vice versa.

5  – Gene Confirmation

This involves testing the inserted DNA into the target organism’s cell. This is needed to

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ensure that the tissues and other parts of the organism’s body will respond favorably or as

expected to the inserted DNA. Various tests will look for and measure the altered material in the cell. They will also identify RNA processing patterns and gene expression to give more well-rounded data about how the inserted DNA is behaving with the tissues of the target organism.

What are the applications of genetic engineering?

1  – Agriculture

With Genetic engineering, one can grow crops that are resistant to disease, drought, and the salinity of the soil. These genetically engineered plants were first grown in 1988. Plants have been genetically modified to include genes that are foreign to their species. These foreign genes improve their resistance against pests, weeds, and other plants.

Scientists use genetic engineering to modify the DNA of plants in a laboratory, then grow the plants in fields. Some of the most common genetically engineered plants are corn and

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soybeans. Having different characteristics for agricultural purposes is one benefit of this technology.

Even pesticides are altered at the cell DNA level to make them conducive to agricultural practices. In the cornfields, there are field pests like the larvae of corn rootworms. The larvae eat the root and leaves of corn, making it difficult for farmers to grow a good crop.

In the past, farmers had to use insecticide poisoning or other methods in order to control them. Nowadays, this unwanted pest is kept under control by releasing genetically engineered insecticides that kill only the larvae without harming other animals or plant life.

2  – Medicine

Through a proper genetic engineering approach, we can quickly develop drugs to cure diseases. For example, some diseases can now be cured through genetic engineering of a specific chemical compound or drug that is used to treat that specific neurodegenerative

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disease. Genetic engineering can be used in treating many diseases caused by a single gene defect or inherited from parents.

There are many examples of gene therapy. Gene therapy can be used to fix a specific gene in an individual suffering from a certain disease. The “transduced” cells are given back to the individual after the treatment is finished for him or her to express the normal gene.

One example is sickle cell disease, which is caused by abnormal hemoglobin genes inherited from parents that cause abnormal red blood cells to form, leading to painful and

life-threatening complications in individuals with this genetic disorder. Gene therapy has been used in these patients to correct the hemoglobin genes with those of the patients.

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Gene therapy is also used in the treatment of cystic fibrosis. Patients suffering from cystic fibrosis are given a drug that contains many genes that are absent or mutated in normal individuals. The drug replaces and repairs the damaged gene in the patient.

3  – Safety

Genetic engineering can provide us with safe and effective vaccines, bacteria, and fungi. By modifying the genes of a certain organism, we can develop drugs or vaccines that are highly effective and less harmful to the body. Through genetic engineering, scientists have been able

to create a much safer vaccine for hepatitis B, which has no side effects. The benefit is greater scientific knowledge and safer vaccines for people.

4  – Industrial manufacturing

Did you know that genetic engineering has a hand in improving the yield, quality, and volume of products manufactured in certain industries? This branch of molecular biochemistry has been a driving force in producing recombinant microorganisms with a diverse array of industrial applications.

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Take the case of hydrocarbon guzzling microbes. They have been proven to be effective in cleaning up the mess left behind by oil spills in oceans and water bodies.

The key ingredients in present-day laundry detergents and contact lens water, too, have genetically modified enzymes. The contact lens solution is produced by utilizing the plant (papain) and animal (pancreatin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin) protease.

5  – Cloning (?)

Of course, in addition to this, we see many landmark experiments like Dolly, the world’s first cloned animal. Gosling used genetic engineering to produce Dolly the sheep, the first animal cloned from adult cells. This was done in 1996 by Ian Wilmut, Thomas, and William D.F. Sanger, and others at the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh. It lived 6 years and paved the way for many other cloning experiments. These next phases cloned rats, mice, cats, dogs, monkeys, and even wolves!

What are the advantages of genetic engineering?

1  – Enhanced crop production

Through genetic engineering, scientists can modify the DNA of the plant and make it resistant to drought. This frees farmers from having to grow different crops under different

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conditions. They can now plant only one variety of a crop that is resistant to drought, pest, or disease.

Some examples of GMOs or genetically modified organisms include GMO tomatoes. They have a much higher shelf life than organic tomatoes. Pest-resistant GMO potatoes lead to a higher yield.

Farmers get higher prices and augment their livelihood with better income levels. Plus, the burgeoning general population can consume more food products without having to worry about increasing yield from the limited agricultural land.

2  – Better resistance to diseases

Through genetic engineering, scientists get the power to alter the DNA of a certain microorganism. This helps them produce drugs that are much more effective and less harmful to the body compared to other traditional solutions.

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They can create bacteria that are resistant to viruses by inserting genes from viruses into bacteria which makes the bacteria more resistant.

Do you know that synthetic insulin production today is derived from genetically altered

e-coli? Yes, you heard that right! Before this, insulin used to be derived from the pancreas of pigs and other animals.

3  – The development of drugs

Genetic engineering allows scientists to quickly develop drugs for treating diseases and improving the body’s defense mechanism by replacing and repairing a mutated gene.

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In fact, the first successful case of genetic mutation finds a mention in this category of practical applications. Boyer and Cohen are attributed to creating the e-coli in 1973 that had the genes to fight antibiotic resistance. It was a watershed moment for molecular genetics and biochemistry.

4  – It helps in preserving the environment

Genetic engineering helps to preserve the environment. With it, we can harvest resources that would otherwise be wasted. Say, for example, there is a plant species endemic to an area, but it is no longer found in that particular area. Through genetic engineering, we can develop a plant that is resistant to drought or heat, and this will help preserve the ecosystem.

Scientists can produce less damaging substances like pesticides and herbicides. They can also make plant tissues more resistant to injury. They can also change the plants, so it is not

affected by pests or diseases as much.

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5  – Better use and yield of land for crop production

Through genetic engineering, farmers can grow only one variety of a plant that is resistant to both pests and diseases. This will allow them to save the land and have better crop yields.

We’re not saying that it’s a silver bullet for food security, but it certainly helps.

With the growing population, we only have a limited land parcel available for farming purposes. If it were not for genetic engineering, who knows? The world may have been facing a shortage of food in staple crops like rice, wheat, corn, and maize.

What are the challenges in the field of genetic engineering?

1  – Lack of regulations

Though the benefits of genetic engineering are great, there could be several risks involved. New applications and new concerns have to be addressed by governments and regulatory bodies. If a new product is not tested in a protocol before production begins, it can cause unknown side effects. Scientists often don’t know the long-term effects of genetic modification on various species. To tackle this problem, there have to be proper guidelines and regulations in place so that products are tested properly before being produced.

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2  – The dark side of unknown effects

There are also other unforeseen risks that could cause unknown side effects. Consider the

example of an antibiotic-resistant gene introduced in a bacterium. This bacteria may not just become resistant to the antibiotic, but it may also cause side effects on other types of bacteria.

3  – Environmental impacts

Genetic engineering also has an impact on the environment. There may be unintended effects that can affect wildlife and other organisms. If genetic engineering gives rise to new species, these may affect other species in a negative way.

4  – The use of genetically modified organisms in food production

The overuse of genetically modified organisms may cause environmental changes. If a

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species is introduced and it becomes popular because of its benefits, it can alter the organic ecosystem. It can help possibly replace a natural species, thereby altering the entire

ecosystem.

To conclude

Genetic engineering is a highly relevant field in today’s modern world. It has led to the development of many different products and some controversial ones as well. It could help

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save the world from hunger, famine, and other concerns that plague this planet. But adequate study and research will be needed. This is because there are quite a few aspects of the field that is beyond the scope of human intelligence.

Content Authored By: Ayushi Hisaria

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Noted Educationist Ranjit Bijoor Awarded a Doctorate in Education

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Dr. Ranjit Bijoor was recently awarded a “Doctorate” In the field of Education by a French University. Dr. Ranjit Bijoor said, “My thesis in Educational Reforms in the Indian Education System is the need of the hour!”

 

Dr. Ranjit Bijoor was recently awarded a “Doctorate” In the field of Education by a French University. Dr. Ranjit Bijoor said, “My thesis in Educational Reforms in the Indian Education System is the need of the hour!”

 

 

Replying on a question raised by a reporter about the main challenges in the Indian Education System, Dr. Ranjit Bijoor replied, “India is one of the largest graduate-producing factories in the world! But sadly also a country that has the worst unemployment problem!! And the biggest contradiction is that India at the same time has an acute shortage of Skilled Manpower.”

 

Replying to a query by another reporter, Dr. Ranjit Bijoor replied, “It is absolutely wrong to say that we always had a problem in our Education System! The Indian education system during the time of Gurukuls was the best in the world. It produced generations of kings, scholars, and people of wisdom. It covered virtually every facet of Education in detail.”

On a more emotional note, Dr. Ranjit Bijoor added. “When I started my own journey as an Entrepreneur at the age of 20 I was an expert in Botany & Algebra or knew all the names of all the Mughal Kings or when the battle of Panipat was fought. But sadly I did not know how to open a bank account or even write a cheque! I realized that my 15 years of formal education had given me absolutely no Skills as an Entrepreneur or any kind of basic Financial Skills!!”

 

Dr. Ranjit stressed that internships should form an integral part of education whereby students from 9th or 10th grade onwards should be exposed to an actual work environment, be it a bank or an actual factory.

 

Dr. Ranjit Bijoor said, “The problem in our Education System is very vast! The solution cannot be done overnight. Educationists across India need to start taking baby steps toward Educational Reforms. My thesis won’t solve the entire problem overnight, but I am happy it will make a difference over time, however small it may be!!”

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Pink Beagle : A Brand New Guide to International Marketing

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International business is a phenomenon of global percolation and adaptation of organizations selling products and services to conducive and favorable niches across the world. One requires strategic and well versed knowledge about international marketing and its applied principles for the foundation and expansion of any business to global boundaries.

The Pink Beagle written by Dr. Vikas Singh offers a detailed and perceptive insight on his experience and expertise of global business and trade. Mr. Singh, a doctorate in business administration from Lucknow University, has an experience of more than two decades in leading international corporates and is an authority on global trade and its various niches due to his extensive knowledge in the field.

Despite having a successful career, Dr. Singh left the corporate journey a few years ago to follow his passion of helping small businesses and exporters go global. He also gives a considerable amount of his time to writing, the result of which has been two books — Return Ticket and his last release, The Pink Beagle. The latter is a concentrated effort to bring into focus the concept of globalization and, as Dr. Singh puts it, Glocalization — a portmanteau of the connection between global and local trade.

Dr. Singh is also a successful speaker and has given many speeches on various platforms and is soon slated to speak at TEDEx Motijheel.

Coming back to his last release, The Pink Beagle is a thorough guide with plenty of references of successful brands and ventures for any aspiring business and is a must read for anyone starting a venture of their own. Dr. Singh brings all his experience and knowledge to play here and shows a path that can be trodden by anyone new or old in the world of global trade and branding. The book, segregated into many different chapters all dealing with a particular aspect of international business and trade, also contains a plethora of anecdotes from both DR. Singh’s personal experiences as well as popular culture.

The Pink Beagle is written in an easy to understand conversational style and many of the anecdotes and references are not only useful but are also extremely witty, making the reading experience a fun one.

Dr. Vikas Singh is presently working on his next book which is slated to release very soon. Here’s wishing him all the best for it.

You can purchase The Pink Beagle from the following link:

http://mybook.to/thepinkbeagle

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India Hemp expo 2023: Get ready to learn, grow and network about hemp!

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After the successful accomplishing of the first edition of India Hemp Expo 2022 in Delhi, now it’s time to gear up to witness the second instalment of the unique B2B exhibition in Mumbai. Slated to be held at Nehru Centre Exhibition Space, Worli, Mumbai, from 24th to 25th February, the India Hemp Expo 2023 aims to promote the hemp industry by bringing together professionals and industrialists who are involved in one way or another with this nascent industry.

Celebrating hemp in all its splendour, the event is expected to feature over 30 exhibitors, and thousands of visitors including business experts, Ayurveda doctors and hemp enthusiasts from across the world.

 

The India Hemp Expo 2023 will serve as a brilliant space for all the participating exhibitors to present their brands on a grand level in front of all the potential buyers, consultants, and business experts under one roof in order to widen their network.

The expo is being organized by indianvaidyas.com and hempvaidyas.com. While talking about the prime motive behind this event, the founder Vaidya (Dr.) Piyush Juneja said, “Our main focus is on creating positivity around this great Ayurvedic Herb and letting people know about the incredible list of health, industrial & nutritional benefits of hemp.”

 

He also added, “I believe like the previous season, IHE 2023 will serve as a great platform for all the exhibitors to present their brands on a grand level in front of all the potential buyers and business experts.”

 

The India Hemp Expo 2023 will help accelerate the growth of the hemp industry, and it’s an opportunity that should not be missed. You will get a chance to learn about the inner workings of the industry as well as a chance to enhance your knowledge about the various related products and their benefits in your personal as well as professional lives.

For two days, the expo will feature a host of exciting events such as exhibitions, conferences, inter-college competitions, CEO round table, B2B meets and a gala India Hemp award. Visitors will also get a chance to participate in various engaging activities and win hampers.

 

While the India Hemp Expo 2023 is supported by an incredible list of sponsors such as Ananta Hemp Works, Svadhishthan, 13 Innovations, Twiee & Moksa, Cannazo India, Awega Green Technologies, Noigra, Aim Biosciences, Sawant, some of the big names of the hemp industry like Buffalo Extraction Systems (Technology Partner), Blazen Photonics, Hemp Satva, Hampa Wellness, Cannapure, Weaving Vibes, Wig Health Products, and Rafbrix Essentials, will participate in the event as exhibitors.

What are you waiting for? Whether you are a hemp enthusiast, Medical/Pharma/Ayush practitioner, Ayurveda student, B2B delegate, wellness expert, someone related to the paper or fabric industry, cosmetics expert, dietician or entrepreneur looking to know this nascent industry in a better way, visit http://www.indiahempexpo.com/ to register yourself. Click here http://indiahempexpo.com/welcome/delegateregistration to register yourself as delegate. Limited slots available!

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