Reblogging: GMOs vs. Artificial Selection

The Ricochet Science blog post below—written by a talented college senior—is an interesting introduction to the difference between GMOs and organisms that are the products of artificial selection. I want to share it with you because it’s informative and entertaining, but first I’ll clarify one point that isn’t completely clear from the original.

In genetic engineering, scientists use DNA technology to directly manipulate a genome. Genetic engineering produces genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A GMO may be a transgenic organism—one that has received DNA from another species—or may have had its own genes activated or deactivated to produce new phenotypes. For example, some cotton plants are GMOs that are transgenic because they have a gene encoding a bacterial toxin in their genome. The transgenic cotton plant is toxic to pests like moth caterpillars. If, instead, the cotton plant’s DNA were modified to boost the expression of an existing gene (perhaps one that promotes large cotton bolls), the cotton would still be a GMO, but it would not be transgenic.

With this clarification in mind, read on and enjoy the original blog post.

[Thank you to Matt Taylor for contributing to this introduction.]


Picture this, you’re making your lunch for class or work and you decide to pre-slice your apple because it’s easier to eat and heck, why not? Fast forward five hours, you’re already exhausted from the day and all you want to do is eat your apples with some peanut butter, but, SURPRISE! Your apple slices…

via Transgenic or GMO? What is the Difference? — Ricochet Science

This entry was posted in Engaging students, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s