Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) By Corrin Breeding Plant and Soil Science Computers in Agriculture Topic Slide Definition of a GMO What is Recombinant DNA Technology History Uses How is it Helping Are We Playing GOD? Can it Hurt Us? Possible Risks You Decide!!! What is a GMO? A genetically modified organism is an organism whose genetic material has been changed using recombinant DNA technology. Recombinant DNA Technology? It is the ability to take two different DNA molecules (both coming from different sources) and combing them. This is an example of a tobacco plant that has been spliced with firefly genes. A Brief History The first experiment involving genetic engineering (process of manipulating genes) was conducted in 1973. The experiment resulted in recombinant bacteria expressing frog genes. Uses of GMO’s Its original purpose was to add genetic material into an organism’s hereditary information and produce new and useful traits. Today the original purpose still holds true. Thanks to the advancement in technology, results are quicker and more efficient. How is it Helping Society? Today GMO’s are used for: Researching the functionalities of cancer and other diseases in order to understand them Researching for the pursuit of better pharmaceuticals Researching animals and crops to enhance quality and quantity of food How is it Helping Society? Thanks to GMO’s the number of pharmaceuticals being produced is on the rise! Are we Playing the Role of GOD? Controversy surrounds the fact that many other experiments are conducted for the sole purpose of “meddling”. For example these “Glofish” were made for the sole purpose to be sold as pets. Can Genetically Altered Food Hurt Us? Even though there are no cases of genetically altered food harming individuals who consume it, groups (such as the Organic Consumers Association) emphasize on the long term risks of eating it. What Are These Risks? One example is the case of a toxic genetically modified potato made in Europe. Researchers found the potato, when it had been experimented on using rats, damaged their immune systems and violently stunted their growth. This started the whole debate on how harmful or helpful GMO’s are. You Decide!!! Where ever you find controversy there are always different groups and organizations who battle over the pros and cons of the situation… Therefore many opinions come into play and no matter what some people cannot be persuaded, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Don’t Forget!!! GMO’s are organisms whose genes have been altered. The main purpose is or SHOULD be (based on what side you take) for the betterment of humanity. No incidents are recorded where GMO’s, when consumed, have caused death or injury. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion!!!