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The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: Advanced Edition



Author:

Ann T.S. Taylor
Department of Chemistry
Wabash College
taylora@wabash.edu

Abstract:

This case discusses some of the issues associated with the use of genetically modified plants, including ecological risks, resistance, and allergenicity. The case has two versions, or editions.  The "General Edition," also published on this site, emphasizes the basic biochemistry and scientific ethics issues associated with genetically modified foods. This edition (the "Advanced Edition") probes the same issues but in greater detail and is appropriate for upper-level biochemistry, cell biology, and genetics classes.

Objectives:
  • Understand how a transgenic plant is made.
  • Feel comfortable reading a primary literature article (at an appropriate level for the class).
  • Understand the issues surrounding the use of genetically modified foods, including environmental effects and concerns about resistance.
  • See how scientists have to deal with uncertainty and risk assessment.
  • Understand why Roundup is toxic to plants but not to animals
  • Understand the biochemical mechanism of Bt toxicity towards insects.
  • Classify Roundup's inhibitor type based upon structural and kinetic data.
  • Identify the mutations that could lead to development Roundup resistant weeds.
  • Understand and use the methods for predict allergenicity.
Keywords: Genetically modified organism; GMO; genetically modified plant; transgenic food; corn, Bacillus thuringiensis; Roundup; weeds; allergy; allergens; allergenicity; risk assessment; resistance
Topical Area: Ethics
Educational Level: Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Discussion, Interrupted, Journal Article
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biochemistry   Cell Biology   Genetics / Heredity   Biotechnology   Botany / Plant Science   Agriculture  
Date Posted: 03/17/04
Date Modified: NA
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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