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Topic: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?  (Read 6045 times)

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mls4455

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Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« on: April 27, 2013, 11:24:38 PM »
I'm not a chemist in fact I don't have a huge understanding of science period, but I keep hearing about how Gmo's are so bad for you and cause cancer. I figured I'd ask people that actually study this for a living, instead of jumping on a bandwagon I know nothing about.

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 03:09:15 AM »
As far as I know there are no peer reviewed publications pointing to any serious health problems which can be attributed to GMO, and most of the opposition is purely fear mongering.

That's not to say there are no possible problems, just that the truth - as usual - is a first victim of a war (in this case, war on GMO).
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Offline sschoe2

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 03:33:34 PM »
Basically genes or DNA code for amino acid sequences that lead to proteins and ultimately to whatever trait is associated with. The DNA code is universal with some few rare exceptions in some bacteria and viruses do some weird things with DNA.  The same nucleotide sequence whether in an amoeba or a chimpanzee will code for the same series of amino acids. Therefore the idea of jelly fish DNA, or human DNA, or canine DNA is a bit misleading. The particular sequence may be associated with that animal, plant whatever but DNA is DNA no matter where it comes from.

A GMO is a organism that has its DNA artificially modified with a DNA sequence from another organism to impart that trait onto it. Say you discover a plant that has a resistance to a common herbicide. You can put that same gene into commercial crops to make them resistant to it, spray that herbicide around, and kill the weeds without harming the crops.

The fact that you imparted a gene from another organism onto a new one doesn't cause any health concerns on the crop or organism nor render it radioactive and eating it will not cause you to turn into a teenage mutant ninja turtle. It is a lot of hype and hysteria cooked up and perpetuated by people completely ignorant about biochemistry.

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 04:09:00 PM »
You might GOOGLE
GMO and Europe
To get their perspective on the health issues.

mls4455

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 05:15:10 PM »
Basically genes or DNA code for amino acid sequences that lead to proteins and ultimately to whatever trait is associated with. The DNA code is universal with some few rare exceptions in some bacteria and viruses do some weird things with DNA.  The same nucleotide sequence whether in an amoeba or a chimpanzee will code for the same series of amino acids. Therefore the idea of jelly fish DNA, or human DNA, or canine DNA is a bit misleading. The particular sequence may be associated with that animal, plant whatever but DNA is DNA no matter where it comes from.

A GMO is a organism that has its DNA artificially modified with a DNA sequence from another organism to impart that trait onto it. Say you discover a plant that has a resistance to a common herbicide. You can put that same gene into commercial crops to make them resistant to it, spray that herbicide around, and kill the weeds without harming the crops.

The fact that you imparted a gene from another organism onto a new one doesn't cause any health concerns on the crop or organism nor render it radioactive and eating it will not cause you to turn into a teenage mutant ninja turtle. It is a lot of hype and hysteria cooked up and perpetuated by people completely ignorant about biochemistry.
That doesn't sound bad at all, in fact it sounds safer and more effective to use gmos since if you can get rid of bugs, a farmer will have more crops to grow.

Hysteria makes a lot of people rich and famous, so it doesn't surprise me that people are using this as a scare tactic.

*MOD Edit:  fix quote*
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 05:56:45 PM by Arkcon »

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 05:52:36 PM »
@mls4455
by Gmo I assume you mean
Genetically modified organism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

@mls4455
Did you mean to quote sschoe2 without comment
@Arkcon
Thanks for fixing the quote without comment


« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 06:03:58 PM by billnotgatez »

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 08:28:53 AM »
Read this

It does a nice job of summarizing the problems with the GMO-cancer study done in France that has some people up in arms.

Offline billnotgatez

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 10:31:17 AM »
I do not necessarily agree with following link, but it popped up on Yahoo just now

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/michael-pollan-genetically-modified-foods-offer-consumers-nothing-125539792.html
Michael Pollan: Genetically Modified Foods Offer Consumers “Nothing”

Seems GMO is a popular discussion item

Offline sschoe2

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 03:38:52 PM »
Genetically modifying organisms has many potential benefits especially for crops. You can as I explained earlier make them resistant to herbicides, you can change their nutritional profile, you can make them grow faster and under more adverse conditions helping reduce hunger.

Animals to. You can make farm animals more resitant to disease, you can potentially make pets live longer the sky is the limit.

The only tricky part is although we are getting very good at identifying genes and their roles modifying them is proving to be extremely difficult. The regulation of various genes especially is very tricky. All the cells in your body have the same DNA with very few exceptions. However you don't grow hair on your tongue or screctete hydrochloric acid from you eyes. The expression of genes is governed by an incredibly complex web of signaling and regulatory proteins.  Also you can't just beam new DNA into every cell in the body like in sci fi. That is also a problem. The best time to genetically modify an organism is when it is still only a single cell or a gamete (sperm/egg).

mls4455

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 04:48:41 PM »
@mls4455
by Gmo I assume you mean
Genetically modified organism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_organism

@mls4455
Did you mean to quote sschoe2 without comment
@Arkcon
Thanks for fixing the quote without comment



Yeah sorry when I started typing my response I wasn't paying attention to where the cursor was and noticed I was typing right at the end of his/her paragraph and went back and deleted it, to give space between responses, and must have deleted the quote part without realizing it.  Thanks for fixing it  :)

mls4455

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 08:26:08 PM »
Genetically modifying organisms has many potential benefits especially for crops. You can as I explained earlier make them resistant to herbicides, you can change their nutritional profile, you can make them grow faster and under more adverse conditions helping reduce hunger.

Animals to. You can make farm animals more resitant to disease, you can potentially make pets live longer the sky is the limit.

The only tricky part is although we are getting very good at identifying genes and their roles modifying them is proving to be extremely difficult. The regulation of various genes especially is very tricky. All the cells in your body have the same DNA with very few exceptions. However you don't grow hair on your tongue or screctete hydrochloric acid from you eyes. The expression of genes is governed by an incredibly complex web of signaling and regulatory proteins.  Also you can't just beam new DNA into every cell in the body like in sci fi. That is also a problem. The best time to genetically modify an organism is when it is still only a single cell or a gamete (sperm/egg).



This actually sounds really fascinating, you mentioned earlier it's in the biochem field. My goal is to become a mlt or medical lab technician, I have a long way to go, still in pre req's, so I haven't even started science classes yet. Does this field hire technicians? I have no interest in getting a phd or masters, but this whole modifying genes would be something I'd be interested in learning about, and working with as a technician or assistant.

mls4455

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 05:46:53 AM »
I do not necessarily agree with following link, but it popped up on Yahoo just now

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/michael-pollan-genetically-modified-foods-offer-consumers-nothing-125539792.html
Michael Pollan: Genetically Modified Foods Offer Consumers “Nothing”

Seems GMO is a popular discussion item

I read the article, I didn't watch the video. What got to me is where it mentioned that they are now doing cross breeding of crops which doesn't occur in nature. Aren't there quite a few crops that are a result of cross breeding from the early days of people, or the early days of farming?

Ot: Yahoo articles always makes me smh. I gotta wonder about a news site that said Home Depot has "palates" of lumber

Offline eazye1334

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 07:24:14 AM »
Ot: Yahoo articles always makes me smh. I gotta wonder about a news site that said Home Depot has "palates" of lumber
I suppose different lumber types would likely have different tastes and textures... :P

Offline sschoe2

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Re: Can someone explain to me about Gmo's?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 06:43:34 PM »
Modifying organisms is commonplace in biochemistry/molecular biology. In order to produce proteins DNA is spliced into a usually circular piece of DNA called a vector and inserted into E. Coli for simple proteins, or mammalian cells for expression. E. Coli is often used a a DNA xerox machine or Protein factory.  There are specially engineered strains of E. coli for both that are deficient in nucleases or proteases and with regulatory systems to regulate the expression. You will probably do in in biochem or cell bio lab.

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