Do You Really Know What You're Eating?
A Case Study on Genetically Modified Foods
Department of Biology
Department of Biological Sciences
Mississippi State University
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.
- 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.
KeywordsGenetically modified organism; GMO; agricultural biotechnology; recombinant DNA; transgenic plant; gene transfer; Bt protein; Bacillus thuringiensis; ELISA; allergen; food allergy; anaphylactic shock; corn
Topical AreasEthics, Regulatory issues
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsRole-Play, Student Presentations
Subject HeadingsMicrobiology | Molecular Biology | Food Science / Technology | Biotechnology | Botany / Plant Science | Agriculture |
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