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Gene Technology- Pros and Cons
Transcript of Gene Technology- Pros and Cons
Some of Australia's farmers grow Genetically Modified crops. They use genetically modified cotton which has been modified so that it's resistant to pests without the use of chemical, or so that they are tolerant to herbicide .
The Australian floral industry uses Genetic Modification to produce blue-violet coloured carnations. What are some ways in which
Gene Technology is used? Pros and Cons
of Gene Technology Gene Technology falls under the category of biotechnology. It's some times referred to as 'Gene Engineering' or 'Gene Modification'. It is where a the trait of a living thing is either favorable and modified to make it better or undesired and modified to remove it all together. Human Health Project Genetic Technology is being advanced and tested by scientists to find more effective ways of dealing with and maybe one day even curing diseases like cancer, diabetes, hepatitis C and Influenza.
Already, yeast and bacteria have been Genetically Modified to produce a vaccine for hepatitis B and insulin for diabetics.These are two major discoveries that influence many peoples lives today.
By modifying the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, Australian scientists have been able to develop a vaccine for the potentially deadly disease Malaria and are currently testing it. Pros The pros of Genetic Technology are great, revolutionizing the way we live daily. They include:
Medical- as mentioned previously, vaccines for diseases such as Malaria can be developed, insulin made for diabetics and therapies that have more affect for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hepatitis C and influenza.
Food- Soybeans can be Genetically Modified so that they contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that can help to lower cholesterol levels; also Golden rice-2 is modified to contain beta-carotene(the chemical that makes carrots orange) so that it's more vitamin A efficient. In this way, many different foods can be modified to be more nutritious, more flavorsome and have a longer shelf-life.
Farming- Farmers can use it to lower their usage of hazardous pesticides and herbicides, therefore harming the environment less. It can also be used to enhance crop harvest, allow crops to be grown in harsh conditions and to take unwanted traits away. Bibliography Australian Government (2010, June 18). Biotechnology and Gene Technology - Home Page. Retrieved April 13, 2013, from http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/biotechnology/
CSIRO (2012, February 24). Gene technology | CSIRO. Retrieved April 13, 2013, from http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Food-and-Agriculture/Gene-technology.aspx
Arnold, P. (2011, May 19). Genetic Engineering Pros and Cons: How These Techniques Benefit Humanity and the Ethical Dilemmas of This Branch of Science. Retrieved April 13, 2013, from http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/15678.aspx
Mayer, J. (n.d.). The Golden Rice Project. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from http://www.goldenrice.org/
Chang, T., Kiple, K. F., & Ornelas, K. C. (n.d.). The Cambridge World History of Food| II.A.7. - Rice. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from www.cambridge.org/us/books/kiple/rice.htm
TechNyouvids (2012, June 12). GMO Part 1 - What Is It? [Video file]. Retrieved from Cons While it might sound all good, just like everything, there are also quite a few cons involved too. They are:
Dangerous- When using Gene Technology for Medical purposes, the procedure can be fairly risky. There is the fear that the virus could still act like a virus should and so when it enters the body it does harm like it should. Also, the gene could land in a spot where it's not wanted and cause serious harm. These gene therapy tests have resulted in a few deaths.
Food- Some are worried that these Genetically Modified foods will induce more allergies to food in the buyers.
Environmental- There's a concern too that the resistance to herbicides will spread to other crops and in turn create an unstoppable super-weed. It could also disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem and/or rid itself of the good insects. Golden Rice In many countries around the world where there is poverty and a varied and healthy diet is not possible, people (children in particular) suffer from dietary micro nutrient deficiencies because they're low on vitamin A, iodine, iron or zinc. This can cause problems in normal development, increase the chance of being prone to diseases and/or in the end lead to death.
Rice is a staple food for almost half of the worlds population, especially in Asian countries. However, the absence of vitamin A is a problem. The leaves of the rice produce beta-carotene (vitamin A), but the edible rice does not. Vitamin A deficiencies are the major cause of blindness in poorer, rice-eating countries (500,000 children are affected with blindness due to the deficiency every year) as well as the cause of many weak immunities.
With Gene Modification, the rice can be changed using genes from daffodils, corn and bacteria to produce Golden rice-2. Golden rice-2 contains beta-carotene, unlike all the natural rices, making it a source for vitamin A. This would be majorly beneficial in rice countries. As good as it sounds though environmental and anti-globalization groups are against the commercial growth and production of it, which leave Golden rice-2 still being grown for research but not yet for the intended consumers. A method where Gene Technology
has been used for 'bad' Herbicides Genetically modified crops, when grown and tested are fine when contained in labs and such; but it's a different story once they're grown in the open. Once in the open it can become hard to control them. Genetically Engineered crops have the ability to self-replicate, creating copies of themselves and spreading their traits to neighboring crops.
A huge fear is that organisms will do what organisms do and will adapt to the change. The fear is that insects or weeds will adapt to the resistance of the crop and in turn, form a resistance to the plant's resistance. This would create a 'super-weed' or a 'super-bug' and would become very difficult to stop.