Genetically modified organisms

Genetically modified organisms

Closely related to GMOs are transgenic organisms, a subset of GEOs comprising of organisms to which DNA originating from a different has been inserted. Historical Background to GMOs Production of a GMO generally involves addition of new genetic material to the genome of an organism. This process is known as genetic engineering. Two major discoveries have contributed to the development of genetic engineering. coming up with the first recombinant bacterium in the year 1973, as well as the discovery of the DNA. This first recombinant bacterium was made from an existing bacterium E. coli was had an exogenesis Salmonella gene. The emergence of genetic engineering aroused a lot of concerns about its potential risks. These risks were first discussed in details in the Conference held in 1975. The meeting’s main recommendation was that the government establishes a body to oversee the research in this field till the safety of this technology was assured. The first company to employ the technology of recombinant DNA was founded by Herbert Boyer. The company which was named Genentech was able to create an E. coli strains that could produce the human protein insulin by 1978. A field test was carried out in 1986, which involved using genetically engineered bacteria called ice-minus bacteria to offer protection to plants from damage by frost. This was done in a small company of biotechnology by the name Advanced Genetic Sciences of Oakland, situated at California. Monsanto Company also proposed a field test of a genetically engineered microbe for a pest resistant protein but the proposal was dropped. Organizations such as WHO and FAO issued a guidance on how to asses the safety of genetically food and plants between the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The experimental planting of genetically modified plants began in Canada and United States towards the end of 1980s. It was not until the mid 1990s that the first commercial large scales cultivation of genetically engineered plants was approved. There has been an annual increase in adoption of the engineered plants by the farmers ever since. Production Process As stated earlier, the production of a GMO generally lies on the principle of adding a new genetic material into the genome of an organism. Insertion or deletion of genes is referred to as genetic modification. The genes that are inserted mostly comes an organism of from a different species and this is a case of horizontal gene transfer. The gene transfer may occur in nature if for any given reason an exogenous DNA passes through the cell membrane. To artificially do this, one may either attach the genes to a virus or insert the extra DNA physically into the intended host’s nuclear by the use of a tiny syringe, or using very tiny particles which are fired from a device called gene gun. The natural methods of gene transfer such as the capacity of the Agro bacterium to transmit genetic material to the nuclei of plants cells or the capacity of lent viruses to relocate genes to the nuclei of animal cells animal cells are may also be used.[3] Environmental Issues and Ethical Some environment and ethical concerns have been raised with regards to GMOs. Some environmentalists have raised concerns that could lead to some detrimental and adverse effects on

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