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Word Count: 445
Genetically engineered cropsanimalsMan has been changing the genetic make-up of plants andanimals in a limited way for thousands of years--eversince he look to planting seed from those wild grassesthat gave the most grain and were easiest to harvestor started keeping his fattest Cattle and woolliestsheep to breed from Weve come a long way since thenand todays sophisticated breeding techniques have ledto such break-through as high-yielding rice and dwarfwheat Despite our advances though our ability toCreate new plants and animals is greatly limited by ourdependence on the breeding mechanisms that NatureThis situation is not going to change straightaway However recent research indicates that one daywe may be able to take living cells and combine in themthe genes from quite different organisms to create newkinds of living things In fact a few pioneeringresearch teams have already done this with some verysimple forms of life--using techniques people arereferring to as genetic engineering The teams havetaken genes derived from higher animals includinghumans and transferred them into bacteria so that theyproduce substances like egg-white protein or specificOf course an enormous amount of research will beneeded to move from experiments with bacteria to beingable to genetically engineer new crop plants or farmanimals Even so these first gene transfers do havetheir practical side One substance produced in thisway is a human brain hormone called somatostatin Atpresent it costs about 30000 per gram extracted fromanimals Also not long ago a private Californiancompany called Genentech and university researchers inSan Francisco announced that they had constructed abacterium that makes human insulin Currently about50000 Australian diabetics have daily injections ofinsulin while about two million such people live inthe United States of America and the United KingdomAt present people suffering from diabetes dependon insulin extracted from pigs and cattle This differsslightly from the human hormone and as a resultcauses an allergic reaction in about one in twentyWhen I look at this I cant help but love it Ifeverything goes well I could make so much more money
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