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GENETIC MODIFICATION.

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Discusses method and uses of GM.... More...
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Paper Abstract:
Discusses method and uses of GM. Insertion of DNA into the plant chromosome to produce desired traits such as resistance to insects and herbicides. Reduction of farming costs. Improved nutritional value, longer shelf life. Reduction of world hunger. Examples of GM crops. Safety concerns such as contamination of natural crops and genetic diversity. Potential allergens.

Paper Introduction:
Introduction Genetic modification of plants involves inserting segments of DNA into the chromosome to produce desired traits in the resulting plant. It is commonly used to make plants resistant to insects and to herbicides. This reduces the costs of farming by reducing the amounts of insecticides used and making the plants resistant to the effects of herbicide spraying, thereby increasing crop yields. It also means the foods are safer for human consumption because of the reduced use of toxic pesticides and herbicides. Genetic modification can also be used to improve the nutritional value of foods, such as by adding vitamins, and making crops which tolerate normally adverse growing conditions, which helps many farmers in third world countries increase their crop yields and provided m

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Methods for genetically engineering a plant. Food and Drug Administration. Scientists develop tough-to-beat rice. It is claimed that more than 3 field trials areunderway at secret locations across the country of genetically modifiedbiopharmaceutical crops, including plants producing such pharmaceuticals asabortion-inducing chemicals, growth hormone, blood clotting proteins,trypsin, and an allergenic enzyme (Friends of the Earth, 2 2). The plasmids are then extracted from the bacteria, the clonedgene is excised and introduced into individual plant cells using abacterial vector. On The Plate, pNA.The European Commission on Food Safety. Food and Drug Administration, 2 3).Alternatively, the DNA coding for a desired trait can be painted ontomicroscopic metallic particles. It also means the foods are safer forhuman consumption because of the reduced use of toxic pesticides andherbicides. Agri Marketing, 41, pS4-7.Cornell University. Chemical Week, 165, 52.U. There are some safety concerns with the use of genetically modifiedfood plants. Two E. One suchallergy is to a protein found in soybeans. New U.S. Sowing disaster? The difference between natural breeding and geneticmodification today is that conventional breeding involves crossinggenotypes expressing many thousands of genes, and selecting the offspringwith the best features, which has the drawback of creating a plant with arandom assortment of genes. Severe Vitamin A deficiency, especially amongpoor children of Southeast Asia, results in the death of several millionchildren annually and blindness in 25 , more, according to UNICEF andthe World Health Organization (Kohl, 2 1). By killing the weedsclosest to the sugar beets, but letting those between rows survive for sixweeks during the summer, provides food for birds such as skylarks andfinches, which have become rare in conventional crops where all the weedsare killed off while small. Bacteria are often used in the process (Lessick,Keithley, Swanson and Lemon, 2 2). Why Plants Are Being Genetically Modified Genetic modification of plants has been taking place for centuries(Lessick, Keithley, Swanson and Lemon, 2 2). Recently inOaxaca, genetically modified corn has been found in the fields of nativecorn, and no one knows for sure how it got there. Genetically modified foods: a taste of the future. Genetic diversity provides a protectionagainst unforseen environmental changes, and needs to be preserved. It foundthat insects and weeds that endangered birds feed on are more likely tosurvive in a genetically modified crop field than in a conventional one aslong as farmers use a certain weed-killing method. (2 2). On the negative side, there are those who fear that these geneticallymodified crops will contaminate natural crops in other areas by cross-pollination (Schapiro, 2 2). E. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs).Europe Information Service, (2 3, February). (2 3). Other modifications help improve the shelflife of foods. Introduction Genetic modification of plants involves inserting segments of DNAinto the chromosome to produce desired traits in the resulting plant. S. European Report, 463.Friends of the Earth. Some people fear that these foods may contain allergens, whichwill cause serious reactions in humans. Others fear that crops modified toproduce pharmaceutically active products may inadvertently cross-pollinatefood crops and people may unknowingly consume these pharmaceuticalproducts. In many areas of the world which depend on rice as a dietary staple,crops are subject to climate irregularities and unfavorable soilconditions, but researchers from Cornell University have developed a strainof rice by genetic modification which can withstand climate extremes ofdrought, and such adverse soil conditions as excess salinity (Cornell,2 2). M. More than half of all soybeanallergies are caused by a protein in the beans called P34. A study has also shown that growing genetically modified crops couldalso help some endangered species of wildlife (Sissell, 2 3). Study finds potential benefit to wildlife from GM crops. report sounds alarm about crops genetically engineered with drugs and chemicals.Gallo-Meagher, M., & Irvine, J. If this corn comes todominate, the natural genetic diversity will be lost. MedSurg. This method of breeding for desired qualitiesis also limited by the fact that only closely related plant species can beinterbred. While the use of genetically modified crops can certainlyprovide many benefits, particularly in areas of the world where there aremany people who are seriously undernourished, controls must be put in placeso that these crops do not become harmful to the people they are designedto help. Example of Crops That Are Genetically Modified Worldwide, as many as six percent to 8 percent of children and 12percent of adults are allergic to various foods (Miller, 2 2). GM food - another view. Itis commonly used to make plants resistant to insects and to herbicides.This reduces the costs of farming by reducing the amounts of insecticidesused and making the plants resistant to the effects of herbicide spraying,thereby increasing crop yields. Biotech cropscan significantly improve the quality of life for such farmers. Crops such assugarcane are being developed that resist herbicides (Gallo-Meagher andIrvine, 1996); researchers from Cornell University have developed a strainof rice which can survive drought and saline soil conditions (Cornell U,2 3); strains of corn, soybeans, cotton and canola have been developedwhich are resistant to the weed-killer Roundup (Anderson, 2 3); a strainof soybean has been developed in which the gene for a structural proteinthat causes soybean allergies in some people has been developed (Miller,2 2); and the development of "golden rice" in which two plant genes andone bacterial gene have been added so that beta carotene is synthesized inthe edible portion of the plant rather than just in its leaves, issupplying much-needed vitamin A to many of the world's undernourishedpeoples (Kohl, 2 1). The Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Plants There are two sides to the debate on the desirability of geneticallymodified crops. While genetic modification can help reduce world hunger, increasecrop yields, reduce the use of toxic herbicides and pesticides, and allowcrop growth in previously unsuited areas, controls must be put in place sothat the natural environment is also protected, and cross-pollination ofnatural and genetically modified crops does not occur. (1996). (2 2). (2 2). It could have come from someone planting imported kernels notintended for planting. How big will it grow? On the one hand, figures show that one quarter of globalbiotech acreage is found in developing countries, where poor farmers makeup three-quarters of approximately 6 million farmers growing geneticallymodified crops in 2 2 (Europe Information Service, 2 3). Plants are being modified for a number of reasons. The majority of these biopharmaceuticals are believed to be incorn plants, and since corn plants are freely pollinated, and corn pollenis known to be wind-borne up to six miles, this could pose a significantcontamination problem with neighboring farms producing corn for humanconsumption (Schapiro, 2 3; Friends of the Earth, 2 2). How Plants Are Genetically Modified to Produce Their Own Chemicals Several methods can be used to genetically modify plants to producetheir own chemicals. Forexample, in Oaxaca, corn grows in 6 different varieties. Coli genes inserted into the rice plants allow them toproduce the sugar, trehalose, which helps them survive unfavorableconditions, which could help farmers in developing countries. Corn is openlypollinated, pollen drifting in the air, so it could have come fromanywhere. They could be making antibiotics or otherchemicals not good for human consumption. The bacterial vector attaches to plant cells, liberating the plasmidinside them, and the new DNA migrates to the plant's chromosome, where itis permanently integrated (U. Sinceall plants comprise a universal DNA, DNA from different organisms can becut and spliced. Genetic engineering: Industry extols virtue of biotechnology for developing nations. The chemical herbicide Roundup is widely used to kill off unwantedvegetation in farming, but it is also toxic to crops (Anderson, 2 3).Now, strains of corn, soybeans, cotton and canola have been developed whichare resistant to this herbicide, meaning that farmers can spray their cropsto get rid of unwanted weeds without risking damage to their crop yields.Already available is a genetically modified corn seed which will resistattack by the corn borer, and awaiting regulatory approval is a varietywhich will also resist rootworm pests. (2 3). (2 2). Genetic modification can also be used to improve the nutritionalvalue of foods, such as by adding vitamins, and making crops which toleratenormally adverse growing conditions, which helps many farmers in thirdworld countries increase their crop yields and provided much needed food tostarving peoples of the world. Crop Science, 36, 1367.Kohl, D. Foodstuffs, 74, 19.Schapiro, M. Herbicide resistance transgenic sugarcane plants containing the bar gene. Farmers have always selectedplants for their superior properties, and crossed species to producerequired properties. ReferencesAnderson, R. Genetic modification allows the isolation and transfer ofspecific genes, and allows them to be transferred across species. The gene isattached to the plasmid using DNA ligase, and the recombinant plasmid ismixed with bacteria under conditions in which they can incorporate it.These bacterial cells containing the recombinant plasmid are replicated inculture. (2 2, November). How genetically engineered American corn has altered the global landscape. (2 1). S. The problem is, no one knows exactly what the seedshave been modified for. Biotech soybeans may be less allergenic. (2 3). The fearis that if such crops do exist, they could cross-pollinate nearby humanfood crops, resulting in people ingesting these pharmaceuticals withoutknowing. Genetically Modified Organisms Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms which have hadtheir DNA altered by artificial means, such as gene splicing, rather thanby natural recombination or combination due to mating (European Commissionon Food Safety, 2 3). A strain ofsoybeans has been developed by genetic modification whose seeds cannot makethis protein, and so they do not produce a reaction in allergicindividuals. In 2 2,Chinese Farmers who grew Bt (pest-resistant) cotton increased their incomesby an additional $75 million US nationally, and similar gains were made byfarmers in South Africa. The fortunes of Roundup Ready corn. "Golden rice," is agenetically modified product in which beta carotene (which converts tovitamin A in the human body) is synthesized in the edible portion of therice, rather than in the leaves as it is in the unmodified type. (2 ). The Nation, 275, 11- 22.Sissell, K. Other dangers from genetically modified crops include the emergenceof potential allergens which could trigger reactions in humans; aresistance of pests to the Bt toxin; Bt toxins in sediment threatening non-target insects; residues from Roundup ready herbicides in the soil injuringsubsequent crops; and the crossing of new genes into wild relatives(Schapiro, 2 2). Plasmids, short loops of DNA found inbacteria, are cut using a restriction enzyme and mixed with an isolatedgene which will produce the desired product in the plant. The Nation, 272, 7.Lessick, M, Keithley, J., Swanson, B, & Lemon, B. The particles are then loaded into a "genegun" and fired as projectiles at plant cells growing in culture in thelaboratory. Genetic modification of plants has many other applications in foodproduction, such as: delayed softening and improved ripening of tomatoes toextend shelf life; producing virus-resistant squash and papaya to improvenutritional value; fungus-resistant bananas to resist viral infections;delayed ripening of bananas and pineapples to extend shelf life; high-starch potatoes which absorb less fat while frying; weather-hardystrawberries which resist freezing and thawing; insect-resistant corn andcotton which reduces the use of toxic pesticides; and canola oil enrichedwith high levels of oleic acid to improve cardiovascular health (Lessick,Keithley, Swanson and Lemon, 2 2). This couldgreatly ameliorate vitamin deficiency and thus save millions of lives eachyear. These corn varieties will bothincrease crop yields, and decrease production costs. Nursing, 11, 242-246.Miller Publishing Company, Inc. These gene-carrying particles penetrate the plant cells, andthe fluids in the cells wash the DNA off the particles, and it migrates tothe cell nucleus to be permanently integrated into the chromosomes.

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