Biochemical Surgery

The desire to improve our world is inherently human.From our health to our food, humans strive to enhance what we have.With the biotechnological age upon us, this desire is being channeled in directions that were previously unforeseen.Scientists have learned a great deal about genes- their structure, function, and how to manipulate them.By combining the genes of unrelated species, permanently altering their genetic codes, organisms are created that will pass the genetic changes onto their offspring through heredity.For thefirst time in history, human beings are becoming architects of life.Bio-engineers will be creating tens of thousands of organisms over the next few years.The prospect is frightening because genetic engineering poses unprecedented challenges to the environment.
Admittedly, genetic engineering has produced new kinds of tomatoes.The Flavr Savr tomato has two and a half times more lycopene than the regular tomato.Lycopene is a carotenoid that has strong antioxidant properties.Antioxidants prevent oxygen from causing damage in cells.Carotenoids aid in the prevention of early blindness in children, cancer, and enhancing cardiovascular health.Not only are the transgenic tomatoes richer in lycopene, they are more robust and solid compared to regular tomatoes (Missick. sec. "Tomatoes with…" par. 3).For example, the company, Flavr Savr, took an extra gene and put it in a tomato.When it was left to ripen naturally, the developing sugar and acids enhanced the flavor of the fruit.The gene inserted also slowed the softening process by slowing the deterioration of the cell membranes, allowing the fruit to remain firm after ripening (Aldridge. par. 3).However, scientists cannot estimate the probability that harmful substances will be created in any specific case, because not enough is known about the new field of genetic engineering.Current recombinant DNA methods and those likely to…

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