GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS BY: MANLANGIT, MARY JANE C. BSED 1-C
GMO’s DEFINITION A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.
GMO’s HISTORY The general principle of producing a GMO is to add new genetic material into an organism's genome. This is called genetic engineering and was made possible through the discovery of DNA and the creation of the first recombinant bacteria in 1973; an existing bacterium E. coli expressing an exogenicSalmonella gene.[This led to concerns in the scientific community about potential risks from genetic engineering, which were thoroughly discussed at the Asilomar Conference. One of the main recommendations from this meeting was that government oversight of recombinant DNA research should be established until the technology was deemed safe.[Herbert Boyer then founded the first company to use recombinant DNA technology, Genentech, and in 1978 the company announced creation of an E. coli strain producing the human protein insulin.[ In 1986, field tests of bacteria genetically engineered to protect plants from frost damage (ice-minus bacteria) at a small biotechnology company called Advanced Genetic Sciences of Oakland, California, were repeatedly delayed by opponents of biotechnology. In the same year, a proposed field test of a microbe genetically engineered for a pest resistance protein by Monsanto Company was dropped.
ADVANTAGES GM crops are more productive and have a larger yield. Offer more nutritional value and better flavor. A possibility that they could eliminate allergy-causing properties in some foods. Inbuilt resistance to pests, weeds and disease. More capable of thriving in regions with poor soil or adverse climates. More environment friendly as they require less herbicides and pesticides. Foods are more resistent and stay ripe for longer so they can be shipped long distances or kept on shop shelves for longer periods. As more GM crops can be grown on relatively small parcels of land, GM crops are an answer to feeding growing world populations.
DISADVANTAGES . 1. Rape plants can pollinate weeds - for example navew which is found in rape fields. When rape plants pollinate the navew their genes are transferred. The navew then acquires pesticide resistance. 2. Corn, soya beans and sugar cane have also been genetically modified by scientists so they are able to tolerate crop spray. 3 .Scientists have genetically modified sweet corn so that it produces a poison which kills harmful insects. This means the farmer no longer needs to fight insects with insecticides. The genetically modified corn is called Bt-corn, because the insect-killing gene in the plant comes from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. 4. This type of genetically modified corn will poison the insects over a longer period than the farmer who would spray the crops once or twice. In this way the insects can become accustomed (or resistant) to the poison. If that happens both crop spraying and the use of genetically modified Bt-corn become ineffective. 5. A variety of insects are at risk of being killed. It might be predatory insects that eat the harmful ones or, perhaps attractive insects such as butterflies. In the USA, where Bt-corn is used a great deal there is much debate over the harmful effects of Bt-corn on the beautiful Monarch butterfly. 6. Cotton and potatoes are other examples of plants that scientists have , genetically modified to produce insecticide. 7. Golden rice is genetically modified rice that now contains a large amount of A-vitamins. Or more correctly, the rice contains the element beta-carotene which is converted in the body into Vitamin-A. So when you eat golden rice, you get more vitamin A. 8 .Beta-carotene gives carrots their orange colour and is the reason why genetically modified rice is golden. For the golden rice to make beta-carotene three new genes are implanted: two from daffodils and the third from a bacterium .9. Critics fear that poor people in underdeveloped countries are becoming too dependent on the rich western world. Usually, it is the large private companies in the West that have the means to develop genetically modified plants. By making the plants sterile these large companies can prevent farmers from growing plant-seed for the following year - forcing them to buy new rice from the companies. 10. Some opposers of genetic modification see the "golden rice" as a method of making genetic engineering more widely accepted. Opponents fear that companies will go on to develop other genetically modified plants from which they can make a profit. A situation could develop where the large companies own the rights to all the good crops.
USES GMOs are used in biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine (gene therapy), and agriculture golden rice). The term "genetically modified organism" does not always imply, but can include, targeted insertions of genes from one species into another. For example, a gene from a jellyfish, encoding a fluorescent protein called GFP, can be physically linked and thus co-expressed with mammalian genes to identify the location of the protein encoded by the GFP-tagged gene in the mammalian cell. Such methods are useful tools for biologists in many areas of research, including those who study the mechanisms of human and other diseases or fundamental biological processes in eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells. To date the broadest and most controversial application of GMO technology is patent-protected food crops which are resistant to commercial herbicides or are able to produce pesticidal proteins from within the plant, or stacked trait seeds, which do both.
EXAMPLE OF GMO’s
WHY I’M NOT PRO-GMO? Science and technology have provided humans with many advances. Some have been very beneficial, some have been horribly destructive, with everything in between. Many advances have both positive and negative aspects, which can make discussing and implementing them really complicated. I’m not the first one to say that science is neutral, and humans are the ones that implement it in good or bad ways. The various methods of generating electricity are a great example. Humans have become dependent on energy for so many things, some frivolous and some necessary (depending on your point of view). Unless we are all willing to forego electricity, we must find some way to power our lives. Current methods, including coal, have harmful unintended consequences that many of us would say outweigh the positives that we get from the electricity that is generated. Water power, once thought to be one of the cleanest methods of generating electricity, has been found to cause problems big and small. Nuclear has its own set of problems, as does wind. Because each solution has positive and negative effects, the best we can do is examine each situation individually using the best science available and decide how to achieve the most positive effects while decreasing the negatives. Plant genetics is no different from power generation in this respect. Every individual plant trait obtained with biotechnology, mutagensis, wide crosses, etc has its own set of positives and negatives. This means that sometimes a biotech solution will work well, sometimes a low-tech traditional solution is best, sometimes the necessary solution is totally out of the box. It makes no sense at all to be “pro-GMO” or “anti-hybrid” or anything like that because those stances don’t take into account the intricacies of individual situations. There might be times when using a hybrid is a bad idea and times when using a GMO is a good idea, but there will also be times when the opposite cases are true! To complicate things further, plant traits can’t just be considered on their own merit. There will usually also be a complex set of factors including psychology in the form of tradition, fears, education, and so on. There’s economic factors from the individual level all the way up to local, national, and global levels. There’s environmental factors of course, since any agricultural methods can have an effect on ecosystems near and far. And that’s just a few of the many factors that might be involved. We also have to consider what our goals are and how they fit into the big picture. Considering all of these factors isn’t easy, which I think is a big part of why some people like to sum things up and be anti this or pro that. Easy isn’t always right, though.
END........ THANK YOU...... SUBMITTED TO: MADAM. POBRE