General Question

ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

How has DNA technology benefited the human race?

Asked by ilvorangeiceblocks (865points) February 16th, 2011

What sort of technologies have been invented since the discovery of DNA and how have these advanced the human race’s progress in inventions? Have all of these technologies been good for humans or have some not worked as planned?

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10 Answers

Nullo's avatar

Well, it certainly has increased student traffic to Q&A websites asking for homework help.

Gengineering has given us the potential for miracle crops that yield more produce with fewer resources, but there is also a risk for bizarre allergic reactions – say you take some genes from Brazil nuts and throw ‘em into the hazelnut genome. You get your larger hazelnuts, but heylookit, now some people are deathly allergic to them.
Most DNA tech, however, has been employed in the field of medicine.

nikipedia's avatar

Ask your teacher to define “discovery of DNA”. Is s/he interested in learning about how the structure of DNA has advanced science, or more generally about how the idea of heritability of traits has been technologically useful…?

Spreader's avatar

First of all, a person cannot help but be amazed by the complexity of living cells,Just think of the creative capacity of the cell! The amount of information contained within the DNA of just one cell of our body would fill about a million pages this size! More than that, each time a cell divides to create a new one, this same information is passed on to the new cell. How do you think each cell—all 100 trillion of them in your body—came to be programmed with this information? Did it happen by chance, or was a Master Designer responsible? Pondering over the cell and its DNA, we become awed by the creativity and intelligence of the One who designed this marvel, God. As was Job, we are moved to say: “I have come to know that you are able to do all things, and there is no idea that is unattainable for you.”Job 42:2. So is could lead you closer to God.

mattbrowne's avatar

Oh, the list is very long. Here are just a few benefits

- genetic fingerprinting to indict and convict criminals and protect innocents
– human insulin produced by bacteria
– understanding viruses such as SARS and create countermeasures
– an even better understanding of evolution using comparative genomics to find the tree of life in addition to using fossil evidence
– end racism because of our understanding that the genetic differences of 6.7 billion human beings are actually tiny

Nullo's avatar

@mattbrowne Race is not a question of genetics, but of phenotype.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Nullo – The phenotype relies on the genotype which are the inherited instructions in our genetic code. So phenotypes are about genetics. And the rules behind all this were already discovered by Mendel in the 19th century.

“Dominance in genetics is a relationship between two variant forms (alleles) of a single gene, in which one allele masks the expression of the other in influencing some trait. In the simplest case, if a gene exists in two allelic forms (A & B), three combinations of alleles (genotypes) are possible: AA, AB, and BB. If AB individuals (heterozygotes) show the same form of the trait (phenotype) as AA individuals (homozygotes), and BB homozygotes show an alternative phenotype, allele A is said to dominate or be dominant to allele B, and B is said to be recessive to A.”

The term race has practically no biological foundation for human beings. Skin color or eye color or hair color isn’t what makes us human. It’s the structure of our brains, our sophisticated hands and our bipedalism.

We should replace the term race with ethnic origin.

Nullo's avatar

@mattbrowne I am aware of that. My angle is that the concerns have always, always regarded the phenotypical expression. Race carries no real biological implication, but there are broad differences between groups. Saying that there aren’t is stupid.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Nullo – What broad differences?

Nullo's avatar

@mattbrowne Melanin count, for starters.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Nullo – That’s not a broad difference.

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