Custom «Innovations that Lead to Better Future » Essay Paper Sample
The advancements of the scientific areas cannot go unnoticed as the achieved progress has a positive impact on the economy, environment, and society in general. The developments in biotechnology, cell biology, and DNA study are the key to continuous improvement of our world. The objective of the following paper is to review two breakthrough innovations in biotechnology that have been recently made and discuss the DNA area as well.
First, it is important to speak about biofuel. The most surprising fact is that tobacco, besides being used as a drug and the major contributor to cancer and gum disease, can be used as a biofuel. The mentioned adverse effects have significantly decreased the cultivation and consumption of the tobacco, but have not reduced the scientific interest towards this plant. The group of researchers has discovered that some components of tobacco harm the human heath, but are perfect as a fuel. Smoking tar and nicotine are easily converted into fuel as they are precursors to oil.
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The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy has already started a project called Folium, the main objective of which is to engineer and grow tobacco that would generate more oils from the leaves that would eventually be transformed into the fuel that can be used for cars, yachts, and other engines. Despite the fact that the idea of using plants as the main source of biofuel in not a new one, this question becomes more important year after year due to the constant price increase and adverse impact on the environment. One of the typical sources of biofuel is corn. It has been already successfully used within the USA as the main ingredient of alcohol (ethanol) and the major component of gasoline. Thus, tobacco has to be slightly modified in order to be combined with such plants as cyanobacteria and algae that have been used for that.
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However, despite all the positive effects, the significant dark side of tobacco usage is related to labor, especially in the areas that are not controlled by the developed countries. Unfortunately, black markets use children to grow tobacco; it is upsetting that increased demand might trigger increased violations in labor field. Thus, no one can argue that the usage of biofuel as an alternative in the future, especially from such a harmful plant as tobacco, is one of the leading innovations that bring more and more benefits for the society. This discovery is very important to health, as the fuel used in engines would generate less hazardous substances and tobacco’s usage within smoking industry would decrease. Culturally, this would help to emphasize the importance of environmentally friendly fuel that would be beneficial for the future generations (Horshaw, 2014).
Another important discovery that is related to biotechnological area is connected with oil-eating bacteria that can eventually help to clear the Gulf of Mexico and other areas from oil. Actually, in 2010, this bacterium has already helped to prevent further spread of the catastrophic oil spill in the mentioned area.
This is amazing how nature can recover and cope itself with pollution, and the Gulf of Mexico is a living example of that. The recovery of that are was amazing, and scientists have seriously considered cultivation of the same bacteria that can be further used in other areas that have been contaminated by oil spills.
Moreover, it was scientifically proved that it was not a one-time event, because every year, around 1.4 billion barrels get into the Gulf of Mexico from the Earth's crust. The bacteria have started to evolve there and became even more effective. This discovery has become a boom in the oil-eating bacteria sphere being the proof that the solution to many environmental catastrophes can be hidden within the nature itself.
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The discovery that there are bacteria that can ‘eat’ oil is not a new thing, as back in 1989 it was used to clean up the Exxon Valdez in Alaska where a spill was equal to around 11 million gallons of crude oil. However, due to not enough funding and wrong prioritizing, it was not further studied until the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. The scientists came out with the bacteria called Alcanivorax borkumensis, which have an amazing ability to soak a huge amount of oil and evolve after that. It is actually about their resilience and the opportunity to use them in other areas, as no one knows when the next catastrophe can occur. The health implications of this discovery are very important as the oil spills have negative impact not only on the micro life of the seas and lakes, but also on the fish and other seafood that is further consumed by people. Clean waters would bring healthy food. Culturally, this would also help people to be more preciously with nature, as it is helping humanity (Koebler, 2013).
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Another important discovery that would be discussed in the following paper is related to DNA and double meaning in genetic code. Actually, the discovery of DNA remains quite a controversial topic, as many people tend to think that it was discovered in the 1950s by Francis Crick, who was an English physicist, and James Watson, who was an American biologist. However, the original discoveries took place in the 1860s and belonged to Friedrich Miescher, who was a Swiss chemist. Crick and Watson have reached a conclusion that “the DNA molecule exists in the form of a three-dimensional double helix”. The formulation of the accurate description of these molecules of double helix helped the society to get where it is in terms of the knowledge of the genetic structure and ground understanding of the DNA importance on health and life as well as the significance of human genome (Pray, 2008).
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The importance of the DNA has encouraged many scientists to continue researching this genome; one of the discoveries in this sphere was the presence of the second code within its structure. This is a very important discovery, as the second code has certain information that can significantly alter how scientists interpreted mutations and other data concerning diseases and health. The finding belonged to Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos who was working as an associate professor at the University of Washington and published his findings in 2013.
The transcript of genetic code that was first discovered in the 1960s has been used as a ground to write information about proteins. Thereafter, the scientists have been surprised by the discovery that genetic code is used by genomes, which employ two separate languages. One is describing how proteins are made, and another is providing the instructions to the cells on how the genes are being controlled. The scientists have not spotted this before, as one of the mentioned languages is located above the other, which puts the latter into a hidden position; that is why it was not detected until the evolution in technology.
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The alphabet that is used for genetic code includes 64 letters that are called codons. The team of Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos has discovered that certain codons have dual nature and the two meanings must have developed simultaneously. This has a very big impact on proteins, especially how they are made and their stabilization.
The mentioned discovery has a significant impact on the interpretation of the patients’ genome as this will provide new insights into the treatment of the diseases. In other worlds, certain deceases might have occurred in the DNA due to the dualistic nature of the genes, as the proteins and their mechanisms have been functioning in a different way. This discovery is very important to health industry as many diseases can be treated. Culturally, it gives a new perspective on the understanding of DNA science (Seiler, 2013).
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In conclusion, it is important to mention that due to the continuous technological and scientific progress, the humanity has reached such a high level today and every person must be grateful to those scientists who devoted their lives and time to making the world a better place with the help of science and innovations.