DNA and Genes

Podcast with Michael Specter on rewriting the code of life

Podcast with Michael Specter on rewriting the code of life

“How can you not be excited about the possibility of getting rid of the worst scourges of humanity?” In a  remarkable podcast on National Public Radio, Michael Specter is interviewed about his recent article in the New Yorker, Rewriting the Code of Life.  His discussion of the gene editing tool CRISPR and gene drives is […]

Natural GMOs here, there and everywhere

Natural GMOs here, there and everywhere

Besides our DNA being the result of billions of years of modification of our ancestral lineage, we also have ‘foreign’ DNA that came from insertion through horizontal gene transfer (HGT).  And so do a lot of other animals and creatures. A couple of years ago, the finding that a quarter of the cow genome came […]

Four Billion Years of Genetically Modified Organisms

Four Billion Years of Genetically Modified Organisms

 “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are […]

Six Years of Field Data in Hawaii Show Pollen Drift from GE Papaya is Very Low

Six Years of Field Data in Hawaii Show Pollen Drift from GE Papaya is Very Low

Between 2004 and 2010, pollen drift from GE papaya to non-GE papaya was examined in commercial plantings and replicated field trials by Dennis Gonsalves and co-investigators. Results showed very low levels of transgene flow to non-GE papaya, most likely due to the self-pollinating characteristic of commercial varieties. The results also suggest that organic farmers could […]

Genetically Engineered Insects

Genetically Engineered Insects

The directed transfer of genes and DNA through genetic engineering from one organism to another has been accomplished in viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants, animals and insects. Genetic engineering has made significant contributions in the medical and public health fields, including through production of a vast array of drugs including the Hepatitis-B and Garadsil vaccines, a […]

Sharing Information

Sharing Information

Genetically engineered (GE) crops owe their unique properties (e.g., disease resistance, insect resistance, herbicide tolerance) to DNA and genes that have been transferred across reproductive boundaries from seemingly unrelated organisms. The transferred genetic material functions in the new host because it is a set of molecular instructions, a recipe written in the same language as […]