Controversial Points about Genetic Modification You May Need to Know
Whether there is toxicity of genetically modified genes should be judged from the transferred genes and expressed products, from the principle of transfer, safety evaluation, practice and long-term follow-up. For the transferred gene, scientists have conducted in-depth study, its structure, function and mechanism of action are clear, and the resulting effect is expected. When a scientist makes a transgene, he must know the result of the gene and the product of its function, otherwise it loses the significance of the research.
From the perspective of production practice, genetically modified products have already penetrated into daily life. At present, many of the widely used human insulin, recombinant vaccines, antibiotics and brewer’s yeast, food enzyme preparations, cheese, etc. are produced by genetically modified technology. Over the past 20 years, more than 30 billion mu of genetically modified crops have been planted in more than 20 countries around the world, and billions of people in more than 60 countries and regions have eaten genetically modified food. There has not been a single case of scientifically proven safety issues.
The safety of genetic modification must be verified by multiple generations for a long time?
The target substance expressed by the transgene is mainly the protein, as long as this protein is not a sensitizing and not a toxic protein, it does not stay in the body like the general protein, but is digested and degraded into nutrients that can be absorbed by humans such as amino acids. Many people compare the metabolism of proteins to pesticides and heavy metals. The metabolic pathway of pesticides and heavy metals is different from that of proteins. Organic poisons and heavy metals generally cannot be completely decomposed and metabolized, and there is a certain degree of residue and accumulation in the body. The metabolic pathway of pesticides is through enzymatic reactions such as oxidation, reduction, and hydrolysis, which become primary products, followed by conversion into secondary products or conjugates such as water-soluble compounds, which are excreted in the urine; some pesticides are not easy to degrade and easily accumulate in the body. After entering the human body, heavy metals are generally not biodegradable and inactivate them by interacting with proteins and enzymes in the body; heavy metals entering the blood often bind to target organs during blood circulation and accumulate in organs, resulting in chronic poisoning.
Therefore, we draw a conclusion that if long-term accumulation of heavy metals in pesticides is done for verification, long-term multi-generation verification is the true proposition, and long-term multi-generation test for proteins that can be degraded and absorbed is the false proposition.
What genetically modified products are on the market?
The list of genetically modified foods circulating on the Internet includes “Cherry tomatoes, large colored peppers, small pumpkins, and small cucumbers.” In fact, these are rumors, for they are not genetically modified. Humans have cultivated and domesticated wild plants in long-term farming practices, and have formed rich variety resources (including rich germplasm resources such as tomato, watermelon, and rice). Is it genetically modified? First of all, see if there is a need for genetic modification! Plants have a large number of genes that control traits, and there is no need to transgenerate them. It is very complicated to transfer a gene into it. Therefore, don’t judge whether it is genetically modified or not based on whether you have seen it, but whether it is necessary to genetically change.
Can genetically modified seeds germinate?
Imagine a question, if genetically modified seeds do not germinate, how are so many genetically modified products produced? As long as genetically modified crops are planted, seeds must be necessary and germination must be possible. Of course, when importing agricultural products, sometimes inactivation treatment will be done, and the germination rate will be lost, which is related to the treatment of temperature and chemical agents, and has no relationship with genetically modified products.
Will eating genetically modified food transfer foreign genes to the human genome?
The translation of “genetically modified” is prone to misunderstanding by the public, who mistakenly believe that foreign genes will freely transfer between species, thereby changing human genes and affecting future generations.
Transgenic is a highly precise controlled process that requires specific vectors and specific conditions. Without vectors and specific conditions, foreign genes cannot be integrated into plant or animal cells. Taking genetically modified corn as an example, the immature embryos of corn need to be taken out, and then the Agrobacterium and the immature embryos are put together for cultivation so that it can infect these cells. Then the foreign gene is inserted into the genome of this cell with the help of Agrobacterium. Then we grow this cell into a plant, so that the transgenic genome has one more gene than the original genome. That is to say, if we take people as an example, how to transfer genes to people? First, there must be a vector to integrate the gene into this vector, take out the human cell, integrate the vector into the cell, and then cultivate the cell into a person. This is a complicated process, and it is impossible to “be genetically modified” by “eating genetically modified food.”
Collected by Lifeasible
With years of experience in crop breeding and the most advanced plant molecular biology technologies, Lifeasible is determined to provide the professional and customized one-stop services in plant genetic engineering. We proudly provide a full array of services including gene cloning, vector constructions, plasmid transformation, and subsequent phenotype and gene function analysis.
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