Some Truth About GMOs – Artificial Selection and Gene Transfer

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wild banana GMO Truth

That is what a banana really looks like. But we selected for the genes that made them bigger brighter and tastier. (well at least some combination of the above, I’m not a botanist :p) Which is of-course genetic modification.

Human beings have been altering our domesticated crops genetically for a VERY long time via artificial selection, and plants and bacteria can take up genes from other species naturally through various processes like horizontal gene transfer. Virtually none of the main crops you have gotten at the store in your lifetime were actually purely wild type. The safety of GMOs is proven and goes through the same testing as other foods we accept and consume daily. I am involved in some organizations that wish to educate the public on the basic science behind these types of things.

A word on horizontal gene transfer.

Natural movement of genes between different plant species and from other kingdoms (Monera, Fungi) into plants occurs by gene transfer mediated by natural agents such as microrganisms, parasites, epiphytes, viruses or mites and by direct cell to cell transfer. Such transfers occur at a frequency that is low compared with the hybridization that occurs during pollination, but can be frequent enough to be a significant factor in genetic change of a chromosome on evolutionary time scales [1] [2]. The mitochondrion of plants is a frequent staging ground for gene movement.


Jonathon Fulkerson
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About Jonathon Fulkerson

After 15+ years as an IT professional. Jonathon decided to return to school in hopes of one day troubleshooting the most universal problem effecting all. Death, pain, and suffering by aging. As an undergraduate he is currently performing research in Dr. Richard Bennetts lab at the University of Southern Indiana, as well as volunteering for various organizations including the Buck Institute for research on Aging.

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