The Case of the Tainted Taco Shells: Advanced Edition
Department of Chemistry
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.
- 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.
KeywordsGenetically modified organism; GMO; genetically modified plant; transgenic food; corn, Bacillus thuringiensis; Roundup; weeds; allergy; allergens; allergenicity; risk assessment; resistance
Educational LevelUndergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsAnalysis (Issues), Discussion, Interrupted, Journal Article
Subject HeadingsBiochemistry | Cell Biology | Genetics / Heredity | Biotechnology | Botany / Plant Science | Agriculture |