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Conservation Paper

874 words - 4 pages

Genetic Conservation of plants offers many potential benefits to diverse groups of people. These benefits have led to the expansion of genetically modified crops. In response to public concern about these developments, governments around the world are creating regulations to manage the risks associated with the release of genetically modified crops into the agricultural systems. Genetically modified crops have increased dramatically in recent years and have sparked concern over health and environmental effects. Genetic modification is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genome using biotechnology. The benefits and risks of any particular genetically modified crop depend on the interactions of its ecological functions and natural history with the ecosystems it occupies. Debates have risen among environmental advocates about both the safety and danger of genetically modified organisms. We, however, believe that these organism are a part of our life now and support their usage, as long as the consumer is aware of its existence.

Historically conservation genetics, “the application of evolutionary and molecular genetics to biodiversity conservation (Frankham, 1920)” have been used to preserve animal populations. Genetic diversity is fundamental to biodiversity and is thus important in its conservation. Conservation genetics have been used to minimize inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity in populations such as the bighorn sheep of Nation Bison Range wildlife (Gompert, 2012). Translocating populations to introduce genetic variation consequently introduces more biodiversity through breeding. The translocation sustained a larger gene pool for genetically modified animal species. An example of this includes that of the Salmon. “Families in the United States consume 284,000 metric tons of salmon annually, which is close to two pounds per capita, second only to shrimp and tuna for fish consumption.”(Stiers, 2013) From these numbers you can see that salmon truly has been overfished and that their numbers in the wild have been declining rapidly. AquaBounty, an English biotechnology company, believes they have found an answer to that problem through genetically enhancing salmon. The company has figured out a way to, “create a completely new salmon from scratch, infused with genetic abnormalities from two other fish” (Stiers, 2013). Aquabounty call their new salmon AquAdvantage Salmon, and it grows to over four times the size of natural salmon all due to a modification in the zygote stage of the salmon’s development, and because of this the salmon is allowed to develop naturally, in nature with no human supervision, for the rest of its life. Regardless of the fact that AquAdvantage Salmon has been FDA...

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