Into The Wild: Do Genetically-Engineered Plants “Leak” Into The Environment?

Escape of the Transgenes? Last week, I was a bit startled as I listened to a podcast of NPR’s Science Friday program. In this episode (2/18/2011), host Ira Flatow was interviewing the new president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dr. Nina Fedoroff (a distinguished plant …

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Gene Guns, Terminators & Traitors (DIY Plant Genetic Engineering? – Part 3)

“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie….” After the initial reports in 1983 of successful genetic transformation of tobacco, petunia and sunflower plants using Agrobacterium to mediate gene transfer, this technique was tried on many other crop plants. By 1989, a colleague at the time summarized a “Plant Gene Transfer” meeting he’d attended …

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PLANT TREK – To Boldly Go Where No Plant Has Gone Before! (DIY Plant Genetic Engineering? – Part 2)

Where Do New Plants Come From? Well, new plant species arose (and still arise) through plant evolution, that is, as a consequence of hundreds of millions of years of natural selection. About 12,000 years ago, however, humans got involved. Early examples of humans trying to manage plants for their benefit …

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