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Dr. Elizabeth Bates

Head of Seed & Trait Safety, Bayer Crop Science

Expert Bio

Dr. Elizabeth Bates has a very strong interest in gene structure & regulation. During her Ph.D. work in the laboratory of Professor Harry Gilbert, Liz made some of the earliest studies in gene transfer and gene expression between different bacterial species of food and agricultural interest. Liz spent six years in academic research, working on molecular biology and gene expression topics at EMBL Grenoble and the University Claude Bernard, Lyon. Following this stint, she worked for eight years in the pharmaceutical industry, researching human genes and proteins that could be used as novel pharmaceutical targets, with a particular focus on immunology and allergenicity.

In her work at Bayer, Liz leads various teams of scientists who study GMO products to determine their unique molecular characteristics. They compare the GMO seeds and agricultural products to those already safely consumed and deliver data and studies to the appropriate regulatory authorities for product registration.

Liz has written many scientific papers and patents on gene discovery, expression and function.

She holds a BSc in Genetics and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Biochemistry from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: Would growing GMOs in a highly contained, enclosed environment be the ethical, scientific and responsible thing to do for the first 100 years or so, or do you consider this planet to be an open laboratory where you're entitled to do anything you want, whe

Answered By Dr. Elizabeth Bates - Jul 25, 2014

A: Humans have been manipulating their own environment and that of other species closely related to them for thousands of years. These changes have given rise to domesticated and human-dependent animal species, such as cows and sheep, as well as the many varieties of dogs and cats. In the same manner, most agricultural food crops are very different from their “wild” ancestors because of human intervention. Intervention in the domestication of food crops has given rise to higher-yield, less toxic and more nutritious varieties, as well as giving corn kernels a preferred yellow color, orange carrots [...]

Environment Crop protectants


Q: How does genetic engineering help us?

Answered By Community Manager - Feb 25, 2016

A: Genetic engineering, also known as genetic modification, can help us in a variety of ways.   GMOs can help crops and plants by enhancing nutritional content of food or even helping crops fight drought and insects. Below is a list of what traits GMOs can offer plants and crops:    Insect resistance. This trait provides farmers with season-long protection against target pests, reduces the need for pesticide applications, and lowers input costs. Drought resistance. GM crops that express drought resistance can grow in much drier areas, conserving water and [...]

Answered By Dr. Elizabeth Bates - Jan 26, 2016

A: Summary: Biotechnology is implemented in multiple fields from medicine, to industrial biosciences to agriculture. Through genetic engineering, scientists have already provided substantial benefits to humans like the treatment of certain diseases, addressing environmental issues and the production of food and energy. Genetic engineering is part of a toolbox, developed from naturally-occurring processes, used by researchers to develop transgenic organisms.  (these organisms have an altered genomic sequence that allows them the ability to express novel or altered proteins). These altered [...]

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