Genetically Modified Organisms

Genetically Modified
What are Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMOs)
• Any organism that has had its genetic
makeup directly altered; either to gain a
desired trait from another organism or
remove an unwanted one
Also called genetic engineering or
Developed with biotechnology
Made in things like medicine, food, food
ingredients, animals
How is it done?
The desired gene of an
organism is cut by
restriction enzymes
the desired gene is then
inserted into a plasmid
vector to be introduced
into the organisms
Undesired genes are
removed by restriction
The foreign DNA is inserted into the host
Microinjection process (DNA in
micropipette inserted in embryo)
Gene Guns
Artificial Selection
• For many years, people have been
altering genomes of plants/animals
through breeding for desired traits
Artificial Selection is limited to naturally
occurring variations
Genetic engineering techniques allow
precise control over genetics changes in
organisms that can be unrelated
First reported recombination of genetic material was in
One of the first applications was insulin by the bacteria
E. coli, used to treat diabetes; approved by FDA in 1982
In 1988, the first field tests of GM food were done for
canola plants to increase yield
In 1994, the first GM food was made available to
consumers;Long-lasting tomatoes
By 2006, 252 million acres of GMO crops were planted
by 10.3 farmers in 22 countries
Most things we eat now are GMOs or have GMO
Examples of GMO's
Rape Plants- given a gene enabling it to
resist certain pesticides.
Long-Lasting Tomatoes
Genetically Modified to produce less of the
substance that causes it rot so it will
remain firm/fresh for longer
Golden Rice
Genetically Modified to contain large
amount of beta-carotene, which converts
into vitamin A in the body
Bt-Corn or Sweet Corn
Genetically Modified to produce a poison to
kill harmful insects, no longer needing
insecticides. Called Bt-corn because the
enhanced gene is from a bacteria called
Bacillus Thuringiensis
Natural Zebrafish with genes from
bioluminescent marine organisms
• Greater quality
and taste
• Mature quicker
• Increase in
yields, and
stress tolerance
improved resistance
to disease, pests
and herbicides
Able to survive
extreme weather
rdiness, and
feed efficiency
Better yields of
meat, eggs and
animal health
and diagnostic
of soil, water
and energy
Controversies & Concerns
Health risk of allergens, transfer of antibiotic
resistance markers
Environment risks unintended transfer of
transgenes through cross-pollination, unknown
effects on other organisms
Developing nations will depend even more
Industrialized nations
Violation of natural organisms values
Tampering with nature by mixing genes of
different species
Having plant genes in animals or vice versa
Regulation of GM food in Canada
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
controls the regulation of GM foods in Canada
CFIA has a certain criteria for new GM food in
How the crop was developed, with biological
change of the food
composition of the new food vs the old food
nutritional information of new food vs old food
the potential of toxins and for causing allergic
Future Outlook
GM plants be used to produce recombinant
vaccines, so that once consumed by
individuals they will be vaccinated against
diseases. This will aid in the solution to the
spread of diseases
Plants that will produce new plastics
that are more environmentally friendly
Fruit and nut trees that will yield years
• GMOs will help with the starvation
problems around the world
• As the technology improves so will the
use of GMOs and limit the risks involved
• We can eventually help ourselves with
the experiments on animals
Dharmananda, S. (2005, December). Issues Surrounding Genetically Modified Products. In ITM Online. Retrieved May 14, 2012,
Phillips, T. (2008). Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and Recombinant DNA Technology. In Scitable.
Retrieved May 14, 2012, from
Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms. (2008, November 5). In Human Genome Project Information. Retrieved May 14, 2012,
Chaudry, A. (2004, August). Genetically Modified Foods. In The Science Creative Quarterly. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from
4 Examples of Genetically modified crops. (2002). In Future Food. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from
Glofish FAQ. (2003). In Glofish. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from
DNA Microinjection. (2011). In Trasgenic Mouse Facility. Retrieved May 14, 2012, from
Lassahn, N. (2009, June 13). How Genetically Modified Organisms are Made. In Nutririon . Retrieved May 14, 2012, from
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