Presentation on theme: "Progress In the Realm of Genetic Engineering By: Kristin Dibble ENG 102 Sec. 2346."— Presentation transcript:
Progress In the Realm of Genetic Engineering By: Kristin Dibble ENG 102 Sec. 2346
Purpose of Research: Define genetic engineering Discover uses of genetic engineering for agriculture; specifically, how it can be used to benefit underdeveloped countries Report on recent developments within this branch of science Outline the dangers involved when altering plants Discover solution to technology distribution
What is genetic engineering? Genetic engineering is a branch of biotechnology used to alter the genes of plants and animals. This is possible through gene splicing, or “copying and pasting” genes from one species into a new species. Plants can take on vast improvements when different genes are added to them because hundreds of known genes can be transferred (Rader).
Concerns About Genetic Altering “Messing with” Mother Nature could be considered unethical. Human error could result in the distribution on unwanted genes in food that we consume. Genetically Modified (GM) crops could possibly escape into the wild and take over naturally occurring crops Pests and weeds could possibly build up an immunity to pesticides and herbicides with increased use (plants are bred to withstand excess chemicals)
Benefits of GM crops BBBBig step toward curing diet deficiencies in rural countries AAAAdds nutritional value to food PPPPesticide and herbicide resistant crops PPPPlants bred to be pathogen resistant CCCCrops can endure extreme weather conditions
Diet Deficiencies In rural Asia, approx. 140,000 children suffer from loss of eyesight due to a lack of vitamin A in their diets (Willet). A new strain of rice has been bred with more vitamin A (Rader).
Added Nutrition Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 have been added to flour and cereals in the U.S. to prevent Neural Tube Defects, which currently make up eight percent of all birth defects (Geisel).
Pesticide and Herbicide Resistance Crops can now be bred with the Bt toxin which makes the plant deadly to certain pests that feed on the plant. This reduces the harm of using excess pesticides on the environment (Rader). Herbicide tolerant crops are easier to care for because we can now spray Roundup by airplane (Walker).
Pathogen Resistance GGGGM crops are more durable than natural crops because they can withstand onslaughts of diseases and infections. –U–U–U–UH Rainbow Papaya -> resists ringspot virus (Walker) –C–C–C–Cavendish Bananas -> resists Sigatoka fungus (Rader) –G–G–G–Grapes from FL -> resists Pierce’s disease (Walker)
Extreme Weather Durability GM crops can be planted in previously unusable land, such as the desert. –A tomato strain was created to retain salt in its leaves. This allows the plant to retain water longer. Crops that could not survive in winter are now bred to produce year round. ex: New strain of eggplant (Walker)
What could go wrong? Imprecise technology could disrupt normal cell function because cross-over is random. Solution: Testing is absolutely necessary! Biodiversity could be decreased if GM crops take over naturally occurring crops. Solution: GM gene release could be counteracted with re-release mechanism Allergens could be transferred to foods making them unsafe for consumption. Solution: TESTING, TESTING, TESTING!!!
Technology Distribution The technology is readily available, the problem is how to distribute it to the countries that could benefit the most from it. GM crops are expensive to research and maintain. GM crop manufacturers use technology protection systems causing farmers to continue to pay new fees for their GM crops each year (Walker). Underdeveloped countries lack funds and resources for maintenance.
The U.S. utilizes most of the world’s currently distributed GM crops. The U.S., being one of the world’s most successful and economically stable countries, does not have to depend upon agriculture. Many other countries that thrive off of agriculture are not reaping the benefits of GM crops. [Figure 1]
Distribution Solution An international organization is needed to assume the responsibility of overseeing and distributing GM crops. The needs of individual populations could then be more specifically addressed and met.
Conclusion As the world’s population continues to grow, the need for improved nutrition and increased resources is unquestionable. GM farmers and researchers need support! GM crops offer real remedies for suffering nations!
Sources Geisel, Janet. “Folic acid and neural tube defects in pregnancy: A review.” Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing Frederick Oct-Dec 2003. Vol. 17, Iss. 4: 268-279 Figure 1. “Percent of Global Land Area Planted in Biotechnology Varieties by Country.” Graph. Aug. 2004 Rader, Charles M. “A Report on Genetically Engineered Crops”. Apr., 2006. Tripod.com. 24 Oct. 2006. Walker, Sharon. Biotechnology Demysitfied: A Self-Teaching Guide. Ed. Judy Bass. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2006. Willett, Edward. Genetics Demystified: A Self-Teaching Guide. McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2006.