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Biological & Biomedical Sciences
Lab Report
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Genetically modified crop plants (Lab Report Sample)

DISCUSSION ON Genetically modified crop plants , PROCEDURE FOR MODIFYING CROPS, Ethical and Social concerns of Genetically Modified Plants, BENEFITS, AND POTENTIAL RISKS source..
Genetically modified crop plants Name: Institution affiliation: Department: Date: GENETIC MODIFIED CROPS It refers to the technology that is used solely for manipulation of the genetic composition of an organism through the addition of particularly useful genes of interest. Owing to the aft that all organisms have the genetic material called DNA which is located in chromosomes in gene form (nucleotide DNA sequences).This genes are the units of inheritance and can be passed from one organism to another under thorough provision of guidelines to achieve the success of acquisition, incorporation and integration of a gene of interest in the recipient organism. Precisely, the crops developed under this technology of genetic modification are well termed as the Genetically Modified crops or rather the transgenic or genetically engineered crops. The process of developing these crops has several steps which include: Isolation of genes of interest from a donor organism: this employs the capability of profound knowledge on the function, structure and the location on the chromosomes so as to identify the exact gene that is solely and competently responsible for the desired traits such as gene for drought resistance. Secondly, the insertion of the gene of interest into the transfer vector: which employs the commonly used transfer tool known as plasmid which is a circular extra-chromosomal DNA capable of autonomous replication. This plasmid is obtained from a naturally existing soil bacteria (Agrobacterium tumefaciens).This gene of interest is inserted into this plasmid through the use of various recombinant rDNA techniques. Thirdly, the plant transformation is done where a modified Agrobacterium tumefaciens now containing the new gene in its plasmid which are then mixed with the plant pieces such as leaves explants. In return, some of the cells take up the exact piece of plasmid known as the T-DNA. Then, the A. tumefaciens simply insert desired genes into the plants of one of the plant chromosomes which becomes the transgenic cells. Consequently, the selection of modified plant cells: this is simply used to differentiate the majority of the normal cells that have not incorporated the gene of interest and the other modified cells that have been transformed. In, order for this to happen the selectable markers are used that confer either herbicide or antibiotic resistance which favors the growth of only transformed cells. Fifthly, placing the explants onto a culture media that contain the right nutrients to induce the development of the of cells into various parts of a plant with intent to form whole plants/plantlets which are then rooted and put into pots and kept under controlled environmental conditions. This is simply to regenerate the transformed parts into a whole plant throughout tissue culture Verification/checking of the transformation of the inserted DNA fragment: this involves demonstration that the desired gene has been inserted into and inherited normally. The several test are done to ascertain the copies inserted, whether they are intact and whether there do not interfere with the other genes. This is done through the simple method of testing for gene expression such as through production of a protein which is done to make sure that the gene is fully functional. Testing for the plant performance is necessary at this stage to get assurance that it does not have any new unwanted characteristics. This is carried out in screen houses or green houses as well to determine the modified plant has a new desired trait. Then those that show good performance are taken into the field for further analysis and testing which is done in restricted field trials at first then later after showing positive results, they are taken to mult-location field trial. This is to establish whether the crop does well in different locations. Safety assessment is a mandatory after the whole process of transforming plants. The assessment on food and environmental implications is done in close conjunction with testing for the crop performance. Ethical and Social concerns of Genetically Modified Plants Over time there has been a number of ethical concerns over this transgenic or genetically modified plants and these have all had great effect on the public support of the this products(crops).This has triggered a series of controversies on the transgenic plants and even any firm that produces these crops are facing it really hard. This concerns range right from the environmental risks to issues concerning the allergies, diseases and even contamination. The allergies and disease are key issues that have triggered concerns about the complications of these GM crops in humans. The process of transfer of a gene from one plant (allergenic) to another that doesn’t really cause allergies but the fact that a person may unknowingly expose him/herself to an allergen possess and concern as this leads to an allergic reaction. There is also another challenging concern that new allergies could lead arise from the mixing of genes from the donors to the recipient crops. Disease to human is a major and worldwide worry in regards to transgenic plants as they later land into the serving table with their DNA from the viruses or bacteria that are pathogenic and even before they land on the food end it presents other concerns of causing the other plants resistance to pesticides and thus their destruction is a menace which goes right to the processing industry and even to the markets for the fresh foods causing havoc as they induce the resistance to antibiotics in humans as well. Damage to the environment is another great social and ethical concern. The world that was created dot less is now full of holes and spots which are as a result of man trying to modify it to suit best in regard to his unending quests. Unfortunately, the GM crop technology is very new to us and little about the effects of this GM crops is known for sure. Interestingly, long term studies on these crops takes decades to ascertain and accomplish and most studies involve the short-term effects of this technology. Another intriguing ethical issue on these transgenic (Genetically Modified Crops) is our capability to control and contain them in one specific area. There are great fears that if these crops impact the environment negatively then their spread will emerge in an out-of-hand and technology control fashion and surely we will be incapacitated to curb their damaging rate as effects as well. A very good example is the sugar beet crop that was specifically engineered for resistance to a particular herbicide which unluckily and unintentionally came out to have a profound effect on resisting a different herbicide and when farmers went to eliminate this GM crop they still realized that a small but significant percentage survived. Cross- Pollination and its effects This has a big challenge if typical management is not addressed well. The effects on the other crops that might incorporate the pollen from GM crops during the natural pollination process might be overzealous and out do our efforts of control. This can arise as this pollination may transfer genes that can create uncontrollable weeds. Food web and associated risks This risks are tangible as far as the GM crops techn...
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