Genetic modification is a biotechnology that is used to make new products, in particular new types of crops or organisms < http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/gm/>. It involves the use of biotechnology techniques to change or alter the genetic make-up of an organism such a plant or animal. All organisms have a make up that is relatively similar, in that each and every organism has its characteristic marked up in the nucleus of its cells in a cellular component known as DNA. In each and every cell, among the billions of cells that make up an organism, contains a cell nucleus that holds this important genetic material known as DNA. The DNA contained in each cell contains mapped out information that controls the functioning of the organism, in addition to carrying the inheritable characteristics that are passed down from one generation of the organism to the next. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is what carries the unique genetic characteristics that conform to each individual. It is these genes that contain instructions to make the building blocks of life in organisms- proteins, starch, oil, fibre or fat that is used within the organism < http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/WhatIsGM.aspx>.
Genetic Modification involves the alteration, elimination or insertion of certain genes in an organism by bio-scientists incorporating genetic engineering techniques to produce an organism with desired characteristics. Genetic modification has been used over the years since its advent to improve on characteristics of organisms such as disease resistant crops, both high and quality yielding crops, the production of industrial and consumer products, the production of hypo-allergic pets, disease resistant animals, transgenic animals (especially mice) used to study human diseases and produce human therapeutics, among others, (Reece, 2004). However, despite the enormous benefits that Genetic Modification has brought to the world today, it has stirred serious ethical debate as to its practice from various viewpoints.
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- Charles Ross (Author), 2010, Genetic modification, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/269788