GMOs

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GMOs

What is a GMO?

A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a virus, bacterium, or more complex life-form in which the DNA has been altered for a particular purpose. Some of these purposes include: research into the nature of genes and biological processes, manufacturing animal proteins, correcting genetic defects, and making improvements to animals and plants (Natural Environment Research Council). Making improvements to animals and plants is a major motivation to produce GMOs. With a world population on its way to 9 plus billion by the year 2050, a viable option for sustenance production is needed. With this ever-growing world population there is a need for somehow controlling the amount of people born. China is one country which has dealt with their overcrowding problem, but it seems that many of the other countries of the world are not doing much if anything to control their own populations. Because of this lack of action in controlling the world population, the need is shifted to how we will provide for all those people. GMOs are a way in which we as a world population can better provide for ourselves so that everyone will have enough provisions to survive.

How is a GMO created?

GMOs have been created naturally for millions of years. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is one example of a natural genetic engineer because it is able to alter another organism’s DNA to benefit itself. This species of soil-dwelling bacteria infects plant cells with a piece of its own DNA, and when it is integrated with the plant’s chromosome, it uses the plant’s own cells to proliferate the population of the bacteria. The way in which the bacterium does this is through the use of its bacterial chromosome and a plasmid, which is ...

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Murphy, Paul. (2004, May) Gene firm pioneers desert crops. Retrieved October, 23, 2004 from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/0,2763,1221662,00.html

Natural Environment Research Council (n.d.). GMOs and the Environment: Scientific certainties and uncertainties. Retrieved October 3, 2004 from: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/publications/gmo/

Read, Deborah. (2000, December) Use of Antibiotic Resistance Marker Genes in Genetically Modified Organisms. Retrieved October 24, 2004 from: http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/resources/Publications/pdfs/ER-GI-01-1.pdf

Shelton, Anthony M. (2000, March) Bt Crops on Trial. Retrieved October 24, 2004 from: http://www.foodsafetynetwork.ca/gmo/pr-bt-crops-on-trial.htm

UNFPA. (2004) Population Growth is Still an Issue. Retrieved November 25, 2004 from: http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2004/english/ch1/page7.htm#1

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