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Christopher Barbey

PhD Student, Plant Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology

Expert Bio

Chris Barbey is a PhD Student in plant molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Florida. His research focuses on discovering and characterizing unknown genes in Strawberry, particularly those with a high potential to be involved in fruit quality. After completing his bachelor of science degree from Boise State University in 2010, Chris worked for three years at a plant biology laboratory in Idaho, where he worked on developing a healthier and higher-yielding potato using GE technology.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Article

Why It's Time We Find Common Ground In Genetic Engineering

By Christopher Barbey - Jul 25, 2016

This post was originally published on Forbes on March 18, 2016. Post written by Chris Barbey. Chris Barbey is a PhD student in plant molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Florida.   Asian Citrus Psyllids feeding on a Florida citrus sapling. Asian Citrus Psyllids transfer the pathogenic bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter into the plant during feeding, leading to the Citrus Greening disease. (Photo Credit: UF/IFAS)   There is a canyon widening between scientists and public perception – a mistrust of science that has manifested prominently in discipli [...]

Editorial

Answer

Q: What are some of the DNA strings that scientists put in GMOs?

Answered By Christopher Barbey - Mar 23, 2018

A: Hello, and thanks for your question. Scientists add (and sometimes subtract) DNA from plants all the time, but mostly this is done to learn how plants work. There are relatively few examples of DNA being added to improve crops, but the exceptions are notable as they've had a big impact on agriculture. The most important strings of DNA are called genes. Two very commonly added genes are 1) insect resistance via a gene called CRY, from Bacillus thuringiensis, and 2) herbicide tolerance via a modification to a plant gene called EPSPS. These two genes make up most of the genetically eng [...]

How GMOs Are Made

Answer

Q: Are we trying to introduce gmos in to new plants?

Answered By Christopher Barbey - Apr 18, 2018

A: Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are discovered with ever-increasing frequency by scientists, but these typically do not reach farmers due to the [...]

How GMOs Are Made

Answer

Q: Do you believe that GMOs will be able to be spread into all different crops?

Answered By Christopher Barbey - Apr 18, 2018

A: Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are discovered with ever-increasing frequency by scientists, but these typically do not reach farmers due to the [...]

GMOs & Farmers