Alan Jones, Ph.D.

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Alan Jones, Ph.D.

Kenen Distinguished Professor, Biology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Posted on: February 28, 2018
Response from Alan Jones, Ph.D., Kenen Distinguished Professor, Biology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • July 20, 2018
Before the advent of genetically engineering plants for resistance to bacteria and viruses, farmers used chemicals - lots and lots of chemicals - to control pathogenic bacteria and the insects that transmit the plant viruses. So the non-GMO method to control plant pathogens is bad on the environment and farmer’s health, and possibly unsafe for us consumers too.   Genetically modifying papaya to be resistant to a deadly virus saved the papaya industry and there really was no other... Read More
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Posted on: April 28, 2016
Response from Alan Jones, Ph.D., Kenen Distinguished Professor, Biology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • May 11, 2016
Genetically modified organisms can affect evolution but probably won’t. Variation in the sequences of genes serves as the source for change, i.e. for evolution. However, there must be some change, for example climate change, that selects for those individuals have variants of genes that make them more able to survive and produce offspring under the new climate. If there is no climate change, then those variant genes are lost by simple random mutation. It may take a... Read More
Posted on: November 6, 2015
Response from Alan Jones, Ph.D., Kenen Distinguished Professor, Biology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • December 1, 2015
Yes, hair and eye color can be genetically modified. A good example is domestication of animals where both hair and eye color have been selected through breeding which is a form of genetic modification. My wife and I have a pure white, odd-eyed (one yellow and one blue eye), Persian cat. Both her hair and eyes were genetically modified through selective breeding.      Genetic engineering is another form of genetic modification. There are multiple... Read More
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