The technique illustrated in this animation produced by WGBH and Digizyme, Inc., shows how scientists use natural processes and technological innovations to insert genes into loops of DNA called plasmids. Plasmids can then be introduced into bacterial or other cells, which will proceed to replicate the inserted genes or induce the cells to produce such valuable proteins as human insulin and growth hormone.
6 Reasons To Avoid GMOs
When was the last time you thought about how food was made, where it came from, whether and if it was chemically treated? With the first ever Non GMO Month around the corner, an awareness campaign launched by the Non GMO Project, perhaps now is a good time to pay attention. As you look at each food item and its ingredients, consider these fundamental unanswered questions concerning genetically modified (GM) foods — which are most foods that you eat today. Disturbingly, while we are force-fed “wholesome” messages about the alleged benefits of GM foods, a decade and a half after the first GM crops went commercial many of the same concerns persist.
1. Human Health Concerns
Many scientists, doctors and health advocates raise concerns about the unintended impact of GMOs on human health. Yes, because there is no independent research (and in fact, seed companies’ agreements forbid the use of seeds for independent research), nobody can say with any degree of certainty that GMOs are safe. And so it is not surprising that there are unresolved questions concerning the potential alteration in human genome, allergenicity of introduced genes and high toxin production in plants and animals that may lead to long-term health effects.
What’s more is that certain GMOs may also have the potential to further lower the effectiveness of antibiotics in the population. Amflora, the GM potato, for example, that was recently approved in the European Union for industrial uses, has a gene for antibiotic resistance.... [continues]
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