Genetically Modified Foods - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Genetically Modified Foods

A genetically modified (GM) food is a plant that has a genetic change in each of its cells that a researcher has introduced. The modification may add a gene from a different species and thereby create a transgenic plant, or it may overexpress or silence a preexisting plant gene. Overexpression is accomplished by altering the promoter region of a gene, which controls how rapidly and in which cells the encoded protein is synthesized, thus directing a plant to manufacture more of a natural product. Conversely, a gene may be "silenced" (directed not to synthesize a protein) through the use of antisense technology, which applies a complementary nucleic acid to messenger RNA, halting expression of the encoded protein.

Genetic Modification in Animals and Plants

Animals have not yet been genetically modified to provide foods. Transgenic animals can, however, produce certain pharmaceuticals, but this approach is...

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This section contains 1,531 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Genetically Modified Foods Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
Genetically Modified Foods from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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