Prokaryotic Organisms: Essential to Agriculture and the Future of Humanity

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With the significant increase in global human population in recent decades, the pressure for groups of people to produce enough food and energy for everyone to consume while ensuring that these resources remain sustainable and replaceable has likewise dramatically increased. While the first several challenges produced by the rise on population were met with advances in technology, notably the Green Revolution, the continued growth of the population has placed further strains on the fields of agricultural, food, energy/environment, and biotechnology. Prokaryotic organisms, which are single- or small numbered-cell organisms that lack nuclei in their cells are essential to these fields because they provide a mechanism for current resources to be made more productive and available. Thus, prokaryotes, especially for roles in agriculture and energy, are extremely critical to understand within these processes.
Since the late twentieth century, agricultural technologies have advanced significantly, moving from a trial-and-error system of experimentation with the techniques of basic forms of genetic modification including cross-pollination to more targeted approaches tailored to each species. For plants and livestock, the ability to introduce specific genes containing a desired trait has been a method of agricultural manipulation that is quickly gaining traction within the field. A preliminary example of the effectiveness of prokaryotic genes in creating genetically modified organisms includes combating insect infestations. Insect-resistant crop strains have been created from a gene from the bacteria species Bacillus thuringiensis, which stimulates the production of a toxin that targets insects and inhibits their development, leaving the ...

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... could be built. This system could then be used to gather the spill for processing and prevent it from being wasted, but that is likely a technology for the future (“Environmental Biotechnology”).
Prokaryotic organisms are essential to our lives now, directly or indirectly. They are used as genetic donors to create fruits and vegetables that increase yield and are the mechanism used to clean up various environmental hazards and make energy sources more efficient and readily available. Though these organisms are used in different ways, similar concerns apply to each, showing that there are still many obstacles to overcome for various types of engineers in the future.

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Burkhardt.docx (32.2 KB)
MALINOWSKI.docx (61.5 KB)
Mauro.docx (17 KB)
Environmental_Biotechnology.docx (34.1 KB)
Hyder.docx (20.1 KB)
Sagoff.docx (28.8 KB)
FernandezCornejo.docx (42.5 KB)

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