from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
LifeWednesday, 4th March 2015 09:00 - EdenDavid Attenborough's ten-part exploration of the enormous variety of life on planet Earth. Read more: OU on the BBC: Life
BBC Inside Science - Trends in forensicsAvailable until Tuesday, 24th March 2015 14:30BBC Inside Science asks where the future of forensics lies this week. Read more: OU on the BBC: BBC Inside Science - Trends in forensics
How Obamacare is reaching young invincibles through digital technologiesReaching the under-35s by using digital technologies is crucial to the success of the insurance... Read more: How Obamacare is reaching young invincibles through digital technologies
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Succeed with maths – Part 1 [TEST]DO NOT ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE THIS COURSE. IT IS ENTIRELY FOR OPENLEARN TESTING PURPOSES. Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 [TEST] now
Succeed with maths – Part 1[BETA] If you feel that maths is a mystery that you want to unravel then this short 8-week course... Try: Succeed with maths – Part 1 now
Gene manipulation in plants
Genetic manipulation of crops is an issue of great current interest and controversy....
Genetic manipulation of crops is an issue of great current interest and controversy. This unit covers some of the basic science that underpins the debate and examines the hotly contested case study of the development of ‘Golden Rice’. By looking at the science 'behind the headlines' you will acquire a clearer idea of both what is possible in GM science and what may be desirable.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- understand more about the science that underlies the development of genetically modified organisms and in particular how gene transfer is brought about;
- know something of the potential benefits and uncertainties associated with gene transfer and the high levels of technical ingenuity involved;
- be better able to understand the science that underpins the development of Golden Rice and understand why the usefulness of this product has proved so contentious.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Genetic manipulation of plants and GM crops: an introduction
- 2 Genetic modification of plant cells
- 3 Common traits introduced by GM
- 4 Golden Rice: a case study
- 5 Summary
Gene manipulation in plants
In recent years, scientists have made huge gains in their understanding of how genes can be altered and transferred from one organism to another – but that knowledge has been acquired amidst controversy and concern. The deep ethical concerns that have resulted from the emergence of genetic manipulation are explored in this unit. We begin with an examination of the basic structure and function of genes. A number of pioneering examples and techniques are explored, helping to explain why our present-day view of genetic manipulation can combine feelings of optimism and unease. Examples are drawn from both plants (notably GM crops) and animals (including Dolly the sheep), with a special emphasis on the implications of promising medical techniques such as gene therapy. Our hope is that by exploring the science ‘behind the headlines’, and its interactions with the equally complex social factors, we will acquire a clearer idea of both what is possible and what may be desirable.
This unit is an adapted exract from the course.