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How GMOs are Created

Posted in Basic GMO Information, GM Health Effects by stopmonsanto on July 18, 2010

The first step to understanding what a genetically modified organism is, is to learn how they are created. To make a genetically modified plant that has a built in insecticide to kill insects, for example, a protein from a gene that kills insects is inserted with signals that enable the protein to be made by the cell, which is called a promoter, and to stop the production of the protein called the terminator. The end product which includes the promoter, gene, and terminator, is known as a unit construct. The outcome of several unit constructs stacked together is a plasmid, which is part of the DNA in bacteria that multiplies so that the construct is copied millions of times. These copies are launched into the cells or embryos of organisms so the construct can be inserted into the genome of a cell. To get the constructs into the cells, geneticists either use mechanical means or gene splicing into a vector. Mechanical methods include using a glass pipette to inject fine gold and tungsten particles with the genes coated on them to fire it into the cell membrane, which most of the time causes a lot of damage to the cells. Vectors are created by viruses or bacteria that can get into cells; the construct is spliced into the vector which is then able to get it into the cell.


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