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  1. What are GM crops and how is it done? | Royal Society › topics-policy › projects
    • Causes
    • Characteristics
    • Genetics
    • Production
    • Variations

    GM is a technology that involves inserting DNA into the genome of an organism. To produce a GM plant, new DNA is transferred into plant cells. Usually, the cells are then grown in tissue culture where they develop into plants. The seeds produced by these plants will inherit the new DNA.

    The characteristics of all living organisms are determined by their genetic makeup and its interaction with the environment. The genetic makeup of an organism is its genome, which in all plants and animals is made of DNA. The genome contains genes, regions of DNA that usually carry the instructions for making proteins. It is these proteins that give the plant its characteristics. For example, the colour of flowers is determined by genes that carry the instructions for making proteins involved in producing the pigments that colour petals.

    Genetic modification of plants involves adding a specific stretch of DNA into the plants genome, giving it new or different characteristics. This could include changing the way the plant grows, or making it resistant to a particular disease. The new DNA becomes part of the GM plants genome which the seeds produced by these plants will contain.

    The first stage in making a GM plant requires transfer of DNA into a plant cell. One of the methods used to transfer DNA is to coat the surface of small metal particles with the relevant DNA fragment, and bombard the particles into the plant cells. Another method is to use a bacterium or virus. There are many viruses and bacteria that transfer their DNA into a host cell as a normal part of their life cycle. For GM plants, the bacterium most frequently used is called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The gene of interest is transferred into the bacterium and the bacterial cells then transfer the new DNA to the genome of the plant cells. The plant cells that have successfully taken up the DNA are then grown to create a new plant. This is possible because individual plant cells have an impressive capacity to generate entire plants. On rare occasions, the process of DNA transfer can happen without deliberate human intervention. For example the sweet potato contains DNA sequences that were transferred thousands of years ago, from Agrobacterium bacteria into the sweet potato genome.

    There are other ways to change the genomes of crops, some of which are long established, such as mutational breeding, and others of which are new, such as genome editing, but in this Q&A we are focusing on GM as it is currently usually defined for regulatory purposes in Europe.

  2. Genetically Modified (GM) Crops: Techniques and Applications ... › topic-areas › agriculture

    Genetically modified’ is an imprecise term and a potentially confusing one, in that virtually everything we eat has been modified genetically through domestication from wild species and many generations of selection by humans for desirable traits.

  3. Genetically Modified Crops | definition of Genetically ...

    Moreover, the health concerns that underlie many people's desire for GMO labels are countered easily: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, to cite just one of many authoritative sources, reported in 2012 that, "Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding ...

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    Are genetically modified crops are harmful or not?

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  5. Genetically modified crops - Wikipedia › wiki › GM_crops

    Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering methods. Plant genomes can be engineered by physical methods or by use of Agrobacterium for the delivery of sequences hosted in T-DNA binary vectors.

  6. Genetically Modified Foods Explained - South University › news-and-blogs › 2016

    Aug 23, 2016 · The top genetically engineered crops in the United States are corn, soy, canola, and cotton. Are GM Foods Safe? Among the biggest aspect of the debate on food derived from rDNA biotechnology is whether they are helpful or harmful to humans and the environment. Opponents of genetically modified foods have several criticisms, saying:

  7. genetic engineering - Kids | Britannica Kids | Homework Help › kids › article

    It helps to produce crops that are stronger or more nutritious than regular crops. Some crops are engineered to resist pests or herbicides. Others have added vitamins or minerals. In the early 2000s genetically modified crops covered about one tenth of the world’s farmland. Genetic engineering also can be useful in industry.

  8. Genetically Modified Foods - Fact Monster › genetically-modified-foods

    Feb 21, 2017 · For example, a rice has been modified so it gets an extra boost of vitamin A from a daffodil gene. The rice was made for those who don?t get enough vitamin A in their diet. Not everybody thinks bioengineering is a good idea. Many people say these genetically modified, or GM, foods may end up harming the environment and humans.

  9. What is GMO food? - BBC Good Food › howto › guide
    • What Are GMOs?
    • Are GM Foods Bad?
    • So What’s The Problem?
    • What’s in A Name?

    ‘GMO’ refers to any living thing that’s had its DNA altered using genetic engineering. This could be a plant, animal (including humans) or bacterium and it’s usually done to introduce a desirable trait into the organism, such as larger fruit or drought resistance. You'll often see discussion of GM foods accompanied by images of fruit and veg with scary-looking syringes stuck in them (presumably by evil scientists), but these bear little resemblance to reality.Humans have actually been perform...

    Well, it’s complicated. Despite what many people might claim, there is no evidence that GMOs are bad for you to eat, use, touch, rub into your skin or feed to your children. In short, there is little difference between altering DNA through selective breeding and altering it through genetic engineering, and your body can’t tell the difference between GM and non-GM foods. Genetic engineering can actually be used to increase the nutrient density in food. The now famous “Golden Rice Project” is a...

    While the health issues may have been over-emphasised by the media, there are still plenty of reasons why GMOs are controversial.One major problem is the fact that a crop can become the intellectual property of a private company. Traditionally, farmers save some of the seeds from their current crop to plant for next year’s harvest.But when a company owns the rights to a GM crop, they can (and do) forbid farmers from doing this, forcing them to purchase new seed from the patent owners every ye...

    The term 'GMO' doesn’t mean a lot in itself. It’s basically a blanket term for any organism that has had its genes altered. As such, the upsides and downsides of GMOs are not as simple as healthy or unhealthy, good or bad. There’s much more to say about the potential of GM technology. But as a consumer, it’s worth noting that currently approved GM foods are likely to be indistinguishable from non-GM produce; they may even be cheaper, tastier or more nutritious. The politics of GMOs, however,...

    • Stevie Shephard
  10. GENETICALLY MODIFIED - Cambridge Dictionary › genetically-modified

    genetically modified definition: 1. A genetically modified plant or animal has had some of its genes changed scientifically: 2. A…. Learn more.

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