B3g: New Genes for Old

Genetic engineering and genetic modification are relatively recent terms but humans have been genetically modifying animals and plants using selective breeding for thousands of years. Debating the arguments for and against GM and gene therapy provides opportunities to discuss how and why decisions about science are made. These discussions demonstrate the limitations of science to providing factual information and new techniques. The decisions as to whether to use these techniques need to be taken by representatives of the whole population.

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What does the process of selective breeding involve?
The selection of desired characteristics, Cross breeding and the selection of suitable offspring over many generations
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Explain how selective breeding can contribute to improved agricultural yields. (2)
Producing disease-resistant wheat by crossbreeding wheat plants with disease resistance and wheat plants with a high yield. Increasing milk yield by selecting bulls from high yield herds and breeding them with cows that have the best milk production.
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What can the transfer of genes be used to produce?
Organisms with different characteristics
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What is the transfer of genes called?
Genetic engineering/Genetic modification
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Give an example of what/why you would genetic engineering an animal
Insulin can be made cheaply and quickly by bacteria to treat diabetic.
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Give an example of what/why you would genetic modifying a plant
Humans can convert the beta-carotene from rice into vitamin A. This helps people who rely on rice but lack vitamin A.
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What might it be possible to do in the future?
Tto use genetic engineering to change a person’s genes and cure certain disorders. (gene therapy)
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What is the disadvantage of selective breeding?
It may lead to inbreeding which can cause health problems within the species
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What is the gene pool?
The number of different alleles (forms of a gene) in a population?
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Why does selective breeding reduce the gene pool?
Because the farmer keeps breeding from the "best" anima;s or plants - which are all closely related. (inbreeding)
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Why does inbreeding cause health problems?
There's more chance of the organisms developing harmful genetic disorders when the gene pool is limited.
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Why is there more chance of organisms developing harmful genetic disorders when the gene pool is limited?
Because lots of genetic orders are recessive - you need two alleles to be the same for it to have an effect. Breeding from closely related organisms all the time means that recessive alleles are ore likely to build up in the population.
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Which is selective breeding a serious problem if a new disease appears?
Because there's not much variation in the population. All the stock are closely related to each other, so if one of them is going to be killed by a new disease, the others are also likely to succumb to it.
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What is the advantage of genetic engineering?
Organisms with desired features are produced rapidly
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What are the disadvantages of genetic engineering?
Inserted genes may have unexpected harmful effects, there are also ethical problems.
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Why might you genetically engineer a crop plant?
To make them frost resistance/disease.
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What are the four steps of genetic engineering?
Selection of desired characteristics, isolation of genes responsible, insertion of the genes into other organisms and replication of these organisms.
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What is gene therapy?
Changing a person’s genes in an attempt to cure disorders.
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What two things can gene therapy involve?
Body cells and gametes - (but this type is illegal)
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Why is gene therapy involving gametes controversial?
It might have unexpected consequences, which cause a whole new set of problems. These problems would then be inherited by all future generations. There are fears gene therapy could lead to the creation of 'designer brands'
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Explain how selective breeding can contribute to improved agricultural yields. (2)

Back

Producing disease-resistant wheat by crossbreeding wheat plants with disease resistance and wheat plants with a high yield. Increasing milk yield by selecting bulls from high yield herds and breeding them with cows that have the best milk production.

Card 3

Front

What can the transfer of genes be used to produce?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the transfer of genes called?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Give an example of what/why you would genetic engineering an animal

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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