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GMO History

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This investigation tackles the struggle for resources mainly FOOD which is happening in the world right now. Where we research to find if genetically modified foods is the answer to world hunger. First genetic engineering is the deliberate modification of the characteristic of an organism by manipulation of its genetic material. Secondly genetically modified organisms are organisms of which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating/ natural recombination. The first part of this investigation involves the gathering of relevant information accordingly. We look at seed banks which is a place where sees are stored in order to preserve genetic diversity and genetically modified crops. The final part we will look at the impacts of which they had on the world and environment to see which one is the most effective to help solve the problem. This all at the end could be a factor which helps people live longer.

Introduction

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Our world is slowly falling apart and we don’t see that but due to the populations growing in vast numbers this means that they will be a shortage of resources of which the main one is food. This will become a big problem but I think if they introduce either seed banks or genetically modified foods it will tackle the issue of shortage of resources head on as these new plants have all the required nutrients and many more to have a person to live longer.

Solutions were thought of and it has been narrowed down to two things of which can help to seize this problem: seed banks and genetically modified crops of which each of them have their own pros and cons. The most beneficial I could say relates to them both id say that they help with genetic diversity and also help provide more nutrients but the downside which breaks it all apart is that they are both very expensive.

The aim is to compare them both and to see which is the most effective. I predict that genetically modified crops will be the answer to the problem that is facing the world hunger compared to the introduction of seed banks.

Body

Process of genetically modified food

1. Identify a trait of interest: They key is to look at nature itself. Often successful discovery of a desired gene is a combination of luck and quick and critical thinking. The question asked by the researchers would be; what are we looking for and how would this benefit the plant and what impact it will have on the environment and world.

2. Isolate the genetic trait of interest: Comparative analysis is used to decide on what part of the organism contains the desired genetic trait. The genomes of the plants are compared to genomes of the same species without the trait with a goal of identifying the genes which are present in the former. Genomes of different species but with same trait can also be compared. Then if there is no database of genetic information for comparison, scientist will purposefully delete, or “knockout”, parts of the genome of interest until the desired trait is lost, thereby indentifying the genes that lead to the desired trait.

3. Insert the desired trait into the new genome: altering the genome of plant seeds is difficult due to their rigid structure. Most use gene guns but recently they have developed a method where they take advantage of bacteria Agrobacterium tumefacien, that naturally invade seeds and alter plants by inserting their own DNA into a plants genome. Enzymes are used to cut and paste a DNA strand of interest into a plasmid, which is small, circular molecule of DNA. Bacteria are then shocked using electricity do that the cells accept the engineered plasmid. This modification of the bacterial is easier than modifying the plant seeds, the bacterial uses its naturally invasive behaviour as a Trojan horse for inserting desirable traits into a crops genome.

4. Growing the GMO: after a success of the insertion of a trait into an organisms genome, the modified organism must then be able to grow and reproduce with its newly made genome. First , the genotype of the organism must be checked so that researchers are only propagation organisms in which the genome was modified correctly or not.

Advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified food

Advantages Disadvantages

Resistance to diseases and viruses Increased risk of allergies or food tolerance

Longer shelf life Contamination of other fields

Tailored to provide better health benefits(more nutrients etc.) Production of toxins

Conserves energy, soil, and water resources Disruption of biodiversity

Saves crops from extinction Expensive

Legal and ethical points on genetically modified crops

Risks to human health: concerns have risen on that GMO may have unforeseen health risks and may not be safe. They say they may have allergy producing genes of which as they are not labelled some could experience fatal allergic reaction that can lead to death. For example The Organic Consumers association doesn’t agree with this process.

Environmental risks: A major concerns involve transgenes being spread throughout the environment through reproduction. If a GMO reproduces with a wild one, it faces the risk of transgenes being spread throughout the environment. Herbicide use is also a huge risk as if organisms are herbicide resistant then more herbicide will be used. If it comes to this then these toxic chemicals will be used more often, which can become an issue.

Labelling of GM foods: This is one of the most controversial issue with GM as people believe that they have a right to know if their food has been genetically modified or not. All these related to human health risks. It also nearly impossible to tell if something is genetically modified by sight, so in order to effectively know the difference a label would be required.

Types of seed banks& examples

International

Seed Banks Regional/Local

Seed Banks Taxonomic

Seed Banks

The millennium Seed Bank stores UK flora The seed program at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden The Solanaceae Germplasm bank at the Botanical garden of Nijmegen

Seed conservation at the National Botanic Garden of Belgium The Desert Legume program: legumes from the world’s Dry Lands

The Seed Bank Project at the Geneva Conservatory and Botanical Garden(CJB) The UPM Seed bank in Madrid(Spain)

Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden’s Conservation unit and Seed Desiccation Tolerance Research Saving seeds for the future-the Seed Bank at Berry Botanic Garden, U.S.A.

Advantages and disadvantages of Seed Banks

Advantages Disadvantages

Conserves genetic resources Expensive

Protection from environmental pressures

Provide seed material for research

There are several world-famous seed banks as well as smaller, home grown ones – but look closely, and all of them are driven by a guiding philosophy and mission that goes beyond just storage of seeds. The Kew’s Millennnium Seed Bank Project, Wakehurst, England, aims to conserve 25 percent of the plant species on earth in the form of seeds, and currently holds 10 per cent of the seeds of the world’s plant species. The Royal Botanical Gardens first started collecting seeds formally as a seed bank in 1898 with focus on collection of seeds from environments that are most vulnerable to climate change. It also carries out educational outreach in rural regions of Africa, promoting projects from nutrition to forestry to sustainable agriculture.

National Centre for Genetic Resources (NGCR), Colorado, is located on the campus of Colorado State University. It’s one of the world’s largest gene banks, and it preserves both seeds and various types of germ plasms, or collections of genetic information. The aim is to ensure that genetic traits of the stored plants and seeds are maintained over time, and do not change as reproduction occurs. The NGCR also carries out a lot of work in genetic research and agricultural development. Vavilov Research Institute (VRI), Russia: When it comes to botanical studies, Russia brings with it a rich history that includes plant management, disease control, and the recording of plant varieties. Set up in 1924, the VRI has expanded into 12 research stations across Russia and houses about 60,000 seed varieties, with 250,000 plant specimens housed in the herbarium.

How seed banks work: this can be regarded as a savings account. Seeds are deposited into secure storage with the intention of withdrawing them in the future when they are needed. Just as you might keep money saved for unforeseen situations, well in this case scientist are saving up seeds to use for replanting in case of certain crops die out or are destroyed. When stored at the correct conditions, seeds can remain viable for decades or even centuries.

Observation

GMO: This method is off an effective type as it is quick and i could say the most simplest but the requirements for it to be as simple as i put is are very much high as they should always check up on the foods as often as possible to make sure that they are going according to plan and that if they are any mutations or problems they can solve them before they spread to other plants which could affect the whole process. This is done over a short period of time.

Seed Bank: This one is the quickest way but is not as effective as the GMO as this one only will help tackle the problems which we will experience in the future and not the current one which is at hand where the world is going to sleep on a hungry stomach.

Conclusion

Both of these could all be possible solutions but I can’t help but to agree with my prediction. Well there have been concerns over GM crops, of which one thing remains clear. The technology has a potential to create economically important crop varieties, this is a secret that is just too incredible and valuable to just ignore. However we can’t ignore the valuable concerns. If they were to solve all the concerns this would be a sure plan. We can’t forget seed banks where their collection is of critical importance to our species and health of the eco-systems we live in. In the age of diminishing wild areas and biodiversity, it is seed banks that we can bank on to restore and regenerate the planet’s wealth. They both, pose as good solutions but i still support GMO as it contains favourable characteristics which can help to defeat the worldwide hunger problem.

Opinion

View point: My perspective on what is happening all around the world regarding world hunger was changed by the research of which i had done. I used to think that the genetic engineering things were things of which you hear about in movies or just theories that will never be put to practice. After this investigation it opened my eyes on how allot of effort and resources are being put into trying to solve this worldwide problem. Not only did the internet help me with this but me going in depth research where i started to look up youtube videos expanding theses and on how this was a idea from long back that was just introduced recently to the world. I also managed to look up online newspapers of places where this method is actually being used and on how it has had a positive and negative impact on the world but the most of it all is that it helped me to like reading a lot as I had to read through many books before I could answer this investigation to my best potential.

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