Ask Us Anything About GMOs!

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Posted On: Friday, 5/09/2014 1:33 pm
A: I'm glad to answer your question as a scientist, but also as someone who is raising his niece. I'd never give her something dangerous, and in our house we absolutely do not worry about GM foods.  Your question implies a negative effect of the technology, much like that derived from anti-GM websites. The scientific answer is that there are absolutely no cases of any harm from this technology in 17 years of use. That's in small children and adults — no problems.  If you search the web... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Saturday, 3/15/2014 5:41 pm
A: First, there is no GM zucchini, but I'll be happy to chase a hypothetical scenario. The fruit is maternal tissue, meaning that every cell comes from the mother plant's tissues. The only "GMO" part would be the embryo and parts of the seed; potentially somewhere between half and all of the embryos would contain a transgene. I hope this helps.
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Posted On: Tuesday, 4/22/2014 12:33 pm
A: Genes — portions of the chemical abbreviated as DNA — have been moved around from one species to another by humans since the 1970s, and by Mother Nature for eons. In every case, the anticipated outcome has been realized. For example, humans have been moving the gene for insulin from humans to bacteria for almost half a century (and now provide insulin for almost all insulin-dependent diabetics). In every case, the recipient bacteria “read” the human insulin gene recipe and make human insulin.... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Thursday, 5/22/2014 10:41 am
A: Thank you for two excellent questions.  First, “Do all cells in a Bt-containing transgenic plant contain the Bt transgene?  The general answer is yes.  Barring rare mutation or rare chromosomal abnormalities, all somatic cells in a plant contain the same DNA.  The large part of a cereal seed (corn, wheat, oats, rye, rice, etc) is called an endosperm and it has three doses of each gene whereas other cells and tissues contain only two copies.  However it is the same... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Monday, 5/12/2014 3:04 pm
A: We sanitize our labs before and after working with all organisms, regardless of whether they are genetically engineered or not. We work with microbial strains that are sometimes genetically modified but other times are not. We also work with plant cells and tissues under sterile conditions that may or may not be genetically engineered. It is critical to sanitize our work areas to maintain the purity of our cultures. The fact that we sometimes use genetically engineered organisms does not... Continue Reading

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