How DNA Affects Science and Society
Ever since the double helix structure was mapped out in 1953, DNA technology continues to advance at a frenetic pace. From microbiology to agriculture, DNA mapping and splicing techniques have changed both science and society irrevocably.
Here are a few ways in which this technology has affected the world around us:
1) Forensics – Law enforcement’s ability to better solve crimes has transformed in the nearly thirty years DNA testing has been available. While DNA forensics techniques have been important in putting criminals behind bars, perhaps more importantly has been its ability to free those who have been unjustly convicted. For example, non-profit organization The Innocence Project has been responsible for exonerating over 300 wrongly convicted people using DNA techniques.
2) Fighting Disease – Genetic sequencing techniques have not only helped scientists better understand how certain diseases affect the body, leading to the promise of new medications and treatment protocols. For example, recent research has shown that so-called “junk” DNA, meaning those sections which are not directly related to protein-producing genes, in fact are important in regulating disease risk as well as other important traits such as height. By decoding these previously unexplored sections, scientists improve their understanding of the overall human genome exponentially. Understanding that has already led to improved screening for diseases including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
3) GMOs – Genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) have redefined the agricultural landscape. For example, Pioneer, a DuPont company, is bringing onto the market a new strain of soybean designed to produce healthy, trans-fat oil. However, debate rages over whether or not the general population should Prostate Protocol consume these products. Both sides have proven vigorous in their points of view, however research has shown that the general public is willing to accept GMO products as long as they are proven to improve health and nutrition to the organisms they are meant to enhance.
4) Ancestry Testing – Individuals can now better understand their genealogical backgrounds via DNA testing kits, which continue to drop in price while increasing in quality. This technology has uncovered previously unknown connections between individuals and populations at large. For example, a recent study conducted reveals the amount of racial variation within the United States, proving the metaphorical ‘melting pot’ is indeed literal. Besides the obvious biological ramifications, ancestry testing also affects individuals’ social ties in how they relate to the larger world via their sense of personal identity.
5) Genetic Fitness Training – A new breakthrough within the health and fitness industry involves leveraging the power of DNA analysis towards crafting optimized workout routines. Instead of trying everything under the sun from diets to the latest exercise equipment, genetic fitness training instead relies on a person’s own genetic structure to determine what kinds of exercises should be done for the greatest degrees of weight loss and muscle building. By focusing on what the body is genetically built to do best and capitalizing on those inner strengths to transform the body with greater efficiency, genetic fitness training will transform the entire fitness industry as it stands.
These are only a few examples of the multitude of ramifications DNA research has brought upon the world in only the past few years. As our understanding of this technology continues deepening at a frenetic pace, one can only imagine what breakthroughs will come next.