Genetically Modified Foods Cause Autism Essay

2110 words - 8 pages

Question:
Through the use of genetically modified foods, are humans becoming more prone to abnormalities?

Introduction

I have chosen to do my Life Science research project on genetically modified food as it is a topic that interests me. I have formulated a research question which is “Through the use of genetically modified foods, are humans becoming more prone to abnormalities?” Genetically engineered organisms (GMO) are becoming so advanced and a large variety of food that we eat has been genetically modified, such as maize, cotton, potatoes, wheat, sugarcane, strawberry, and soya. (Appel, 2008) With the increased advancement of GMO, many people are unaware of the complications that can occur. In my project I will be researching whether or not GMO are an addition to the cause of cancer and autism, but first in order for us to understand the effects of genetically modified organisms, we need to gain an in depth knowledge of the basis of genetics.
DNA and Chromosomes

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a “hereditary material in humans and many other organisms” (Education, 2014). DNA is found in the nucleus of the cell. DNA forms an important part of the chromosome. DNA is a molecule that contains all the genetic information to make up an organism. DNA is a double helix structure made up of deoxyribose sugar, a phosphate and a nitrogenous base, there are four nitrogenous bases, Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and cytosine. Base pairing is specific. DNA carries genetic information in each cell, DNA can also replicate itself, so that the genetic code is passed on to each daughter cell that is formed during mitosis. “A chromosome is a thread-like structure of nucleic acids and proteins that are formed in living cells” (Anon., 2014). A chromosome carries code genetic information to bring about of physical appearance in the form of genes. (Craig Freudenrich, 2012) Humans have a chromosome composition of 46.

What is a Gene?
A gene is a “section of DNA which controls hereditary characteristics’’ (suter, 2010). A hereditary characteristic is one of eye colour, coat colour, hair colour etc. Only genes that are needed are activated, this gives each cell a certain characteristic for example bone cells and skin cells. Alleles are responsible for different traits and characteristics found in the same position on a homologous chromosome. A genotype is made up of genes that an organism carries on its chromosome that has been inherited from its parents. A phenotype is the physical appearance of an organism which is programmed from its genotype that was inherited form its parents.


(UK, 2013) Retrieved from http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/body/genes-and-dna

Genetic Engineering and Genetically modified food
Genetic engineering is the modification of characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material. Genetic engineering is where a certain gene is...

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