Genetically Modified Organisms

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  • The genes of GMOs have been manipulated using genetic engineering.
  • Genetics is a newer science that is still being experimented with.
  • GE can and is used to create different combinations of plants, animals and bacteria.
  • These combinations cannot be created naturally; only in labs.
  • All commercial GMOs are tested and proven to be safe.

So many GMOs...

  • Some of the promises for GMOs are increased yield, more nutrition and a few other benefits.
  • GMOs are blamed for a lot of different problems.
  • Other nations do not consider GMOs safe.
  • The US is not among them as majority of the food we eat and know are genetically modified.
An example is that corn and apples wouldn’t look the same way if they weren’t GM. Cornstalks wouldn’t grow as tall, or produce as big, as nutritious or as much corn as it does now. Apple trees wouldn’t grow as big or delicious apples.

Against GMOs?

  • US residents are “taking a stand” against GMOs.
  • This is silly considering how many GMOs they eat; if they win, they are in for a big change.
  • Most people want GMOs to be labeled and, as of currently, they are not.
  • Most people would be shocked at how many of their foods are GMOs.
  • In the US 80% of the food we eat are GMOs.

Taking a Stand

  • Their is a non-GMO project, that is trying to let people have “an informed choice” so they know if they are eating GMOs or not.
  • They also argue that GMOs are not good for the environment or people's health.
  • 80% of all GMOs are herbicide and pesticide proof.
  • Use of pesticide and the like have increased since GMOs were proofed.
  • This results in more harmful chemicals being released into the environment.
  • This will be a problem until they find an insect repelling and safe gene.
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How GMOs are Made

  • GE involves mutation, addition and deletion of genes.
  • The genes are usually from a different species.
  • In nature this can occur if a DNA strand penetrates another cell's membrane.
  • It's very unlikely to happen, but it exists.
  • This is how most GMOs are created.
  • This is also how some viruses work.
  • Some ways scientists make GMOs include:
  1. Attaching the genes to a virus,
  2. Inserting the DNA into the nucleus of the soon to be GMO with a very small syringe,
  3. Electroporation which is introducing one type of DNA from one organism into the cell of another with an electric pulse,
  4. Firing very small particles with a gene gun. It was originally designed for plant transformation. The “Bullet” is an elemental particle made of heavy metal that is coated with the DNA that is to be transferred.
  • Other forms of GE take advantage of natural forms of gene transfer.
  • Like the ability of Agrobacterium to transfer genes to plant cells and Lentiviruses to transfer genes to animal cells.
  • Agrobacterium was created as a tool for GE but Lentiviruses are a type of viruses that are used in GE, but not created for it.
  • HIV is an example of a Lentivirus.

First GMOs/Good GMOs

  • The first organisms to become GMOs were bacteria.
  • The main reason is because they are easily modified.
  • Synthetic biology is distinctly linked with bacteria.
  • The bacteria are now used for creating pure human proteins
  • These proteins are used for many medicines.
  • GM bacteria are used to create a protein called insulin. Insulin is used to make medicines that treat diabetes.
  • Other similar bacteria have been used to create bio-fuels, Clotting factors to treat hemophilia, and make human growth hormones to treat some forms of dwarfism.
  • Some genetically modified bacteria is used to make foods.
  • An example would be Amylase, which changes starch into simple sugars.