- Further study of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is considered as one of the aces for future industrial improvements such as clean fuel production, biodegrading and disease vaccinations.
- Although GMOs have a lot of potential, risks are the unknown side effects that might happen when an organism’s natural form was changed.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are the results of altered natural resources through genetic engineering. Some examples of genetic alterations that are currently approved as marketable products are:
Soybean as glyphosate desiccant due to its herbicide tolerance trait with the help of the plant enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) secluded from soil bacterium.
Corn (European corn borer) as insecticide due to its insect resistance with insecticidal protein Cry1AB from Bacillus thuringiensis.
The fatty acid composition of canola was altered to produce Lauric acid by insertion of its gene from the California bay tree for ACP thioesterase; and Plum as Plum Pox Virus (PPV) antibody due to its virus resistance trait by adding coat protein gene to the plum.
Meanwhile, there are also products that are currently under development of GMO. These are the following:
Rice for vitamin enrichment where three genes for beta-carotene production, an origin of vitamin A, in the endosperm of rice prevent its removal from hulls during milling process.
Tobacco as Hepatitis B vaccines when surface antigen or HBsAg result was produced after it was injected to mice.
Maize to be used as oral vaccines through Fusion Protein (F) from Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) which was connected to corn seeds and shown resistant response when fed to chickens; and Coho Salmon as maturity enhancer when 6.2% vector preservation and significant raise of growth rate was the result found after a hormone gene was injected into fertilized fish eggs at the age of one year.
GMOs are also used by pharmaceutical industries. The human growth hormone was the first protein pharmaceutical made in plants and it happened on 1986. In addition, the first antibody was produced on 1989. The said studies used tobacco as subject and topped the industry as the most researched and utilized plant species when combined with other genes on 2003; and on the same year, different antibodies are produced that are used in conducting clinical trials. Laboratories regularly bred transgenic animals (or animals with altered genes) to carry human genes or mutations to a certain gene.
GMOs Research has a lot of benefit opportunities especially in manufacturing businesses. For example, some microorganisms can be used in production of clean fuels and biodegradable materials if thoroughly studied. Aside from that, genetically modified plants might be used to create recombinant vaccines and oral vaccines. Genetically modified animals were also used to grow transplant tissues and human transplant organs known as the xenotransplantation concept.
On the other hand, there are controversies associated with GMO. The gene alteration can change the organism’s metabolism, development rate and reaction to its environment. Possibly, this method might affect the health risk of a human through new allergen exposure due to modified food consumption. In addition, it can also trigger antibiotic resistance to other organisms that may cause ecological imbalance.
With these ideas for genetic engineering, is it still okay to pursue the GMO study or would it be much safer if we just let how natural organisms work? It’s up to us.