The Debate Over Whether or Not Genetically Engineered Plants Should be Permitted in Australia?

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Introduction: Genetic engineering is a process that allows scientists to change the DNA of a plant to make them more beneficial. This can be done by making the plant survive frost, have increased vitamins or making them resistant to diseases and herbicides (9). These are a few examples of how plants can be modified to be more beneficial. The first genetically engineered plant was tobacco which created in 1986 (2).The most recent trial was in 2007 which studied genetically engineered wheat with a gene that helps it to grow in drought affected areas (11). Some states in Australia however have banned the planting of genetically engineered plants. This is because they are looking more at the disadvantages than the advantages. Biology: Genetic engineering is a process that allows scientists to change the genes of an organism. This technique is known as recombinant DNA (5). The genes from different organisms are combined to form a new set. The first step of genetic engineering is to find the gene that is going to be transferred into another cell. When this has been located it then needs to cut out of the cell and put into another cell. Before this can happen, restriction enzymes are used to cut a section of the DNA up in to tiny pieces. The enzymes make it easier to remove a single gene from a cell. Then before the DNA can be transferred in to another cell, it is copied billions of times. When the section of this has been copied it is now ready to be inserted into another cell. Because a plant is surrounded by a cell wall the DNA must be transferred in to the cell using a special type of gene gun. This gun will shoot out tiny metal particles that will be coated w... ... middle of paper ... ...n(unknown),“Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods and Crops”, viewed 27/4/10, 7. Sakko, K. 2002, “The Debate Over Genetically Modified Foods”, viewed 27/4/10, 8. Author(unknown), year of publication(unknown),“Genetic Engineering File”, viewed 27/4/10, 9. Morgan,S. 2002, Genetic Modification of Food, Heinemann Library, Oxford 10. Stoyles, P., Pentland, P., & Demant, D. 2003, “Genetic Engineering”, Macmillan Library, South Yarra 11. Author(unknown), 2007, “Vic Trials Drought Resistant Wheat”, viewed 22/4/10, 12. Author(unknown), year of publication(unknown), “Transgenic Maize”, viewed 28/4/10,

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