Conceived with the aim of sorting fact from fiction over genetically modified (GM) crops, this book brings together the knowledge of 30 specialists in the field of transgenic plants. It covers the generation and detection of these plants as well as the genetic traits conferred on transgenic plants. In addition, the book looks at a wide variety of crops, ornamental plants and tree species that are subject to genetic modifications, assessing the risks involved in genetic modification as well as the potential economic benefits of the technology in specific cases. The book’s structure, with fully cross-referenced chapters, gives readers a quick access to specific topics, whether that is comprehensive data on particular species of ornamentals, or coverage of the socioeconomic implications of GM technology. With an increasing demand for bioenergy, and the necessary higher yields relying on wider genetic variation, this book supplies all the technical details required to move forward to a new era in agriculture.
Gene Cloning takes a fresh approach to teaching molecular and cellular biology and will be a valuable resource to both undergraduates and lecturers of biological and biomedical science courses.
Genetically Engineered Crops builds on previous related Academies reports published between 1987 and 2010 by undertaking a retrospective examination of the purported positive and adverse effects of GE crops and to anticipate what emerging genetic-engineering technologies hold for the future. This report indicates where there are uncertainties about the economic, agronomic, health, safety, or other impacts of GE crops and food, and makes recommendations to fill gaps in safety assessments, increase regulatory clarity, and improve innovations in and access to GE technology.
Noted for its outstanding balance between clarity of coverage and level of detail, this book provides an excellent introduction to the fast moving world of molecular genetics.
This student-friendly book, based on a successful course developed by the author, provides its readers with sufficient theoretical background to be able to plan, prepare, and analyze a proteomics study.
The text covers the following:
This contemporary text also includes numerous examples and explanations for why particular strategies are better than others for certain applications. In addition, Introducing Proteomics includes extensive references and a list of relevant proteomics information sources; essential for any student.
This no-nonsense approach to the subject tells students exactly what they need to know, leaving out unnecessary information. The student companion site enhances learning and provides answers to the end of chapter problems.
"I think this book will be a popular and valuable resource for students and newcomers to the field who would like to have an overview and initial understanding of what proteomics is about. The contents are well organized and address the major issues."
—Professor Walter Kolch, Director, Systems Biology Ireland & Conway Institute, University College Dublin
Recent volumes have covered gene therapy research, genetic mapping, plant science and technology, transport protein biochemistry, and viral vectors in gene therapy, among other topics.
As Lurquin shows, it was the intense competition between international labs that resulted in the creation of the first transgenic plants. Two very different approaches to plant genetic engineering came to fruition at practically the same time, and Lurquin's account demonstrates how cross-fertilization between the two areas was critical to success. The scientists concerned were trying to tackle some very basic scientific problems and did not foresee the way that corporations would apply their methodology. With detailed accounts of the work of individual scientists and teams all over the world, Lurquin pieces together a remarkable account.
Transhumanists advocate for the development and distribution of technologies that will enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, even eliminate aging. What if the dystopian futures and transhumanist utopias found in the pages of science journals, Margaret Atwood novels, films like Gattaca, and television shows like Dark Angel are realized? What kind of world would humans have created?
Maxwell J. Mehlman considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in an effort to direct the future course of human evolution. He addresses scientific and ethical issues without choosing sides in the dispute between transhumanists and their challengers. However, Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares reveals that radical forms of genetic engineering could become a reality much sooner than many people think, and that we need to encourage risk-management efforts.
Whether scientists are dubious or optimistic about the prospects for directed evolution, they tend to agree on two things. First, however long it takes to perfect the necessary technology, it is inevitable that humans will attempt to control their evolutionary future, and second, in the process of learning how to direct evolution, we are bound to make mistakes. Our responsibility is to learn how to balance innovation with caution.
In Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, Shiva explores the devastating effects of commercial agriculture and genetic engineering on the food we eat, the farmers who grow it, and the soil that sustains it. This prescient critique and call to action covers some of the most pressing topics of this ongoing dialogue, from the destruction of local food cultures and the privatization of plant life, to unsustainable industrial fish farming and safety concerns about corporately engineered foods. The preeminent agricultural activist and scientist of a generation, Shiva implores the farmers and consumers of the world to make a united stand against the genetically modified crops and untenable farming practices that endanger the seeds and plants that give us life.
Any farmer you talk to could tell you that we've been playing with the genetic makeup of our food for millennia, carefully coaxing nature to do our bidding. The practice officially dates back to Gregor Mendel-who was not a renowned scientist, but a 19th century Augustinian monk. Mendel spent many hours toiling in his garden, testing and cultivating more than 28,000 pea plants, selectively determining very specific characteristics of the peas that were produced, ultimately giving birth to the idea of heredity-and the now very common practice of artificially modifying our food.
But as science takes the helm, steering common field practices into the laboratory, the world is now keenly aware of how adept we have become at tinkering with nature-which in turn has produced a variety of questions. Are genetically modified foods really safe? Will the foods ultimately make us sick, perhaps in ways we can't even imagine? Isn't it genuinely dangerous to change the nature of nature itself?
Nina Fedoroff, a leading geneticist and recognized expert in biotechnology, answers these questions, and more. Addressing the fear and mistrust that is rapidly spreading, Federoff and her co-author, science writer Nancy Brown, weave a narrative rich in history, technology, and science to dispel myths and misunderstandings.
In the end, Fedoroff arues, plant biotechnology can help us to become better stewards of the earth while permitting us to feed ourselves and generations of children to come. Indeed, this new approach to agriculture holds the promise of being the most environmentally conservative way to increase our food supply.
Beyond Biotechnology: The Barren Promise of Genetic Engineering distinguishes between the hype and reality of this technology and explains the nuanced and delicate relationship between science and nature. Authors Craig Holdrege and Steve Talbott evaluate the current state of genetic science and examine its potential applications, particularly in agriculture and medicine, as well as the possible dangers. The authors show how the popular view of genetics does not include an understanding of the ways in which genes actually work together in organisms.
Simplistic and reductionist views of genes lead to unrealistic expectations and, ultimately, disappointment in the results that genetic engineering actually delivers. The authors explore new developments in genetics, from the discovery of "non-Darwinian" adaptative mutations in bacteria to evidence that suggests that organisms are far more than mere collections of genetically driven mechanisms. While examining these issues, the authors also answer vital questions that get to the essence of genetic interaction with human biology: Does DNA "manage" an organism any more than the organism manages its DNA? Should genetically engineered products be labeled as such? Do the methods of the genetic engineer resemble the centuries-old practices of animal husbandry?
Written for lay readers, Beyond Biotechnology is an accessible introduction to the complicated issues of genetic engineering and its potential applications. In the unexplored space between nature and laboratory, a new science is waiting to emerge. Technology-based social and environmental solutions will remain tenuous and at risk of reversal as long as our culture is alienated from the plants and animals on which all life depends.