History of Genetic Engineering

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      Curiosity is one of the natures of mankind, it is to surprise that we ventured down the road of genetic engineering to find ways to make living easier for us. Genetic engineering has been occurring even far back to the Bible days without knowledge of it. Most people that are against genetic mutation, says it is trying to play God, same reason why those people are against plastic surgery. Genetic engineering is useful in many areas of ours, especially in Agriculture. Let’s go back to his it all started, Farmers and scientists alike used to conduct selective breeding to create animal offspring’s with the desired trait. Genetic engineering is similar, except, a fragment of the DNA with the desired trait is placed in a living organism to produce an entirely new organism. The standard used in genetic technology today was discovered more than a century ago. In 1859, Charles Darwin published the source of species which was one of the first articles hat gave extensive information on the topic of breeding in that generation (A brief history of genetic modification). In 1865 Gregor Mendel published his discovery of the breeding of peas, which became a base for the study of modern genetics, which furthered the advancement of the field.

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     A major discovery in recombinant DNA technology occurred in 1941 once George Beadle and E. L. Tatum managed to pin a factor defect to one purpose of origin within the organic chemistry pathway which might are applied by associate degree accelerator that was missing (A brief history of genetic modification). They managed to reinstate the normal growth of a mutant micro-organism by adding in the missing enzyme, proving that humans can correct gene defects by adding in the missing ingredient. Furthering the study of DNA in 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix structure of DNA which finally allowed the gene map to make sense to scientists (A brief history of genetic modification).

     Then furthering the understanding of the genetic code in 1966 Marshall Nirenberg & Har Gobind Khorana finished the unraveling of the genetic code. Then furthering the information of enzymes within the late Sixties Stewart Linn & Werner Arber created the invention of restriction enzymes in E. coli. In 1973 Stanley Cohen and musician Boyer did the impossible (A temporary history of genetic modification). They fictional deoxyribonucleic acid biological research, which allowed genes to be transferred from one organism to another. Then in 1974 for the first time in human history Stanley Cohen, Annie Chang and Herbert Boyer created the first genetically modified organism. In response to the current event a conference was control within the us in 1975 wherever scientists met on the QT to deliberate however they must proceed with this discovery of new deoxyribonucleic acid technology, also to find a way to self-regulate the technology (A brief history of genetic modification).

     To then further assist scientists in 1976 The National Institute of Health in the United States created guidelines on how genetic modification research was to be conducted. In 1977 Frederick Sanger developed chain termination deoxyribonucleic acid that enabled scientists to browse the ester sequence in an exceedingly deoxyribonucleic acid molecule (A temporary history of genetic modification). In 1980 the primary genetically changed mouse was created, and then in 1982 a giant mouse was produced by transferring growth hormones from a rat to the mouse. In 1983 Kary Mullis, who is a biochemist, created the polymerase chain reaction which is a technique which allowed scientist to recreate fractions of DNA at greater speeds than scientists may antecedently do (A temporary history of genetic modification). Kary Mullis was given the Nobel Prize for this invention in 1993. From the 1980’s to the early 1990’s China placed the first genetically modified crops on the market, which were a virus-resistant tobacco plant and a virus-resistant tomato plant. In 1982 Ralph Brinster and Richard Palmiter inserted the gene for the human growth hormone in the embryo of a mouse, which the resulting mouse was twice the size of the average adult mouse (A brief history of genetic modification). Richard Palmiter and Ralph Brinster’s experiment with the mouse resulted in the fact that scientists can use mice to test genes and that fact has led to many scientist using mice to test genes for causes, and treatment options for numerous diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and sickle cell (The Transgenic Mouse).

In the assistance of criminal apprehension genetic fingerprinting was developed in 1984 which allowed police to find and identify criminals by DNA they left at a crime scene or on a body. In 1985 the first genetically engineered domestic animal was produced, a pig (A brief history of genetic modification). In 1988 the first pharmaceutical producing genetically engineered plant was created. In 1989 data about the Beltsville pig was publicized. The Beltsville pig was a named after the agricultural research station in Maryland, USA. The genetically modified pig had a gene from human growth hormone and as a result of the gene suffered from a number of pathological conditions (A brief history of genetic modification). This example shows the danger of blending genes from totally different species because the result won’t forever finish the means it’s desired to finish. In 1990 genetic modification created rennin, another name for rennin which is used to curdle milk, an enzyme used in making hard cheese (A brief history of genetic modification). In a substantial sure in human progress, in 1991 the primary factor medical care trials occurred on mortals. In 1993 the United States Food and Drug Administration approved Bovine somatotropin, a metabolic protein hormone which is used to increase milk production in dairy cows. Scientists were able to accomplish this by determining which gene in cattle controls the production of Bovine somatotropin, and they isolated this gene from cattle and injected it in a bacterium called Escherichia coli. Escherichia coli produce large amounts of bovine somatotropin which scientists purified and then injected into cattle allowing them to produce more milk (A brief history of genetic modification).

At a business standpoint in 1994 the first genetically modified crop plant to be wide spread sold in the United States was the FlavrSavr transgenic tomato. In 1995 the BT potato plant, BT stands for Bactillus thuringiesis, was approved safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, which made the Bactillus thuringiensis potato the first pesticide producing crop to be sold on the market in the United States. In 1997 an announcement of the cloning of a transgenic lamb named Polly occurred. It was cloned with the cells engineered with a human gene and a marker gene. With this the cloning of a lamb was combined with genetic modification technology, which creates animals that produce a new protein (A brief history of genetic modification). Unfortunately in September of 1999 the first publicized patient death involved in gene therapy, where the death was caused by the gene therapy itself, was announced. In 2003 the human genome was sequenced (A brief history of genetic modification).

     Major Benefits of genetic engineering include the creation of healthier food options, creating a cheaper and more abundant source of medicine, it also helps in the creation of new and helpful medication to the growing list of ailments in our world.  The agricultural is one of the major benefactors of genetic engineering. Due to the growing population, the demand for food crop has also increased, traditional plant breeding is no longer effective as it used to be. This is where genetic engineering helps out. Researches on plant DNA mutation has yielded in larger crop produce than before and also a variety of new species are formed. Genetic engineering of food has made it possible for the world to produce more food per inhabitant than ever before (Altieri). Genetically engineered bacteria and fungi also have great value in agriculture. Rhizobium, for example, are being applied to soil all over the world in place of expensive nitrogenous fertilizers to produce a large yield of legume crops. Several approaches are being considered to increase legume yields with genetically engineered Rhizobium. (Brill).

      In summary, Genetic engineering ha quite a history and it is safe to say that quite a number of research has been done concerning genetic engineering. There should still me legal boundaries as to what can be experimented on, and the government should regulate studies done.Genetics mutation has the potential to change our world for good.


  1. Altieri, Miguel A. Genetic engineering in agriculture: the myths, environmental risks, and alternatives. No. 1. Food First Books, 2004.
  2. “A brief history of genetic modification.” n.d. gmeducation.org. Web. 4 November 2013. .
  3.  Brill, Winston J. “Safety concerns and genetic engineering in agriculture.” Science 227 (1985): 381-385.
  4. Butcher, Mavis. “Genetically Modified Food- GM Food List and Information.” 22 September 2009. Disabled World. Web. 19 November 2013.
  5. Engdahl, Sylvia. Genetic Engineering. Detroit: GreenHaven Press, 2006. Print.
  6. Genetic Engineering. Inbreeding. Hybridization 10/23/2013. Selective Breeding vs. Genetic Engineering. Selective Breeding Recombinant DNA. PDF, DocPlayer, docplayer.net/27807986-Genetic-engineering-inbreeding-hybridization-10-23-2013-selective-breeding-vs-genetic-engineering-selective-breeding-recombinant-dna.html.
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History Of Genetic Engineering. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved March 28, 2023 , from

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