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Getting to grips with gm


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Can someone help me get to grips with what they do with gm.

Do they make plants bigger fo do they make them more resisdent to bugs

Those are 2 traits that have been artificially engineered into plants.


A lot of other traits have also been targeted. For example, ”golden rice” is intended to solve a common vitamin deficiency in parts of the world that eat a lot of rice (so far, it’s not been widely cultivated or consumed, and many reasonable and unreasonable objections to it exists).


There are also less altruistic motives for genetically engineering crops. Unlike naturally occurring crops, GM crops can be, and almost always are, patented, allowing seed companies to make much more money from them. This has cased some very ugly lawsuits, one of the most famous being 1997’s Monsanto vs. Schmeiser.

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crops are gentically modified for many diiferent reasons. To make the plant bigger, make it grow faster, resistant to bugs, able to grow in different climates; And the list goes on. You know that not only crops are genetically modified? So are Salmon, shrimp etc.

...and they have been, for years. Cross breeding and selecting for what best fits our purpose. Now, we are just using different technology to accomplish the same end.

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Mercedes Benzene is not quite right...


How viruses are modified:

We use certain special enzymes(called restriction enzymes) to cut the viral genes at desired places.


Then, we bring the desired genes to be added.


Finally, we use another special enzyme(called ligase) to glue the gene fragments together.


That's how we modify viruses (and also other things)

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How do restriction enzymes work? I have studied them, but I never really grasped the concept of them. Are there different restriction enzymes that cut specific genes?


I should think so. In nature they are enzymes that protect bacteria against intruding DNA from other organisms by basically cutting the DNA up. This "cutting" ability, or restriction, is the process used my scientist in order to isolate gene of interest.

There are like hundreds of different restriction enzymes and each is able to identify and work on specific nucleotide sequence like GAATTC, much like how primers work on Polymerase Chain Reaction. It does not neccessarily cut specific genes but what they do is that they are able to identify and cut short nucleotide sequence. This way they are able to attach itself to the 2 ends of the a DNA sequence, which might contain a gene within, and then isolate them by cutting covalent phosphodiester (i think) bonds of both strands. Note that they dont cut off at the end of the last nucleotide but cut at the sugar phospate backbones in order to create a "sticky end" which is that sequence (say GAATTC) in a single strand sticking out of the gene at both ends

What you get is a DNA sequence with "sticky ends" which would later attaches itself to the complementary sequence in the plamsid

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