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Do You Really Know What You're Eating?

A Case Study on Genetically Modified Foods



Co Authors:

Wayne Shew
Department of Biology
Birmingham-Southern College

Mary Celeste Reese
Department of Biological Sciences
Mississippi State University
mcr4@biology.msstate.edu

Abstract:

Starting from a fictional “news” report about an apparent allergic reaction to a taco tainted by genetically modified corn, students consider some of the techniques and procedures used in modern molecular genetics and microbiology as well as some of the issues associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Originally designed for role-play and PowerPoint assignments, suggestions for a shortened version are also provided. Suitable for a general microbiology course, the case could also be used in an introductory molecular biology course with appropriate modifications. Various levels of coverage of the topic of recombinant DNA are possible.

Objectives:
  • To present an overview of the techniques used in the production of GMOs.
  • To understand the role of microbes in biotechnology
  • To consider an important ethical issue—should we genetically manipulate organisms?
  • To understand the role that government agencies play in the regulation of development and the use of genetically modified organisms.
Keywords: Genetically modified organism; GMO; agricultural biotechnology; recombinant DNA; transgenic plant; gene transfer; Bt protein; Bacillus thuringiensis; ELISA; allergen; food allergy; anaphylactic shock; corn
Topical Area: Ethics, Regulatory issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Role-Play, Student Presentations
Language: English
Subject Headings: Microbiology   Molecular Biology   Food Science / Technology   Biotechnology   Botany / Plant Science   Agriculture  
Date Posted: 06/30/07
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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