The Chemistry of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)


G.M.O.s are widely talked about everywhere by many however, not many actually know much about them. G.M.O.s are in almost all fruits and vegetables you eat daily. Many things are to be believed about them like the long term effects and danger of them. While the statistics are still not clear of the long term effects with them. I choose this topic because of the lack of knowledge many have of it, also to discover how this happens and what it takes. I wanted to know more about how it happens and what is used to make it happen.

Composition of ...

    • DNA
    • Nucelous
    • Polymerase chain
    • CaMV, cauliflower mosaic virus (double stranded DNA genome)
    • Viruses and bacteria

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Nucleus- the nucleus is home to the DNA which is what is genetically modified in the plant or animal. Taking part of the DNA strand from one organism and combining it with the other to get the results you are looking for. In a sense, it is like an arranged marriage. There is no precise way to make sure the new DNA strand crosses with the new product to get the results desired.

Viruses and Bacteria- they take the DNA strand from viruses and bacteria and other organisms like spiders and Round-Up etc. Organisms have a protective layer around their cell that is made to protect them from other DNA strands so the process to get the DNA strands into the nucleus consists of Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets and using a specialized gun and shoot it into the nucleus with a very fine needle.

Chemistry's Role

GMOs are recreating the DNA of an organism. DNA makes RNA which creates proteins. So when you change it you are changing what the organism is. It will look different, taste different, grow differently and can possibly grow in other climates than before. What happens and what makes this possible is DNA splits apart and will bond together again, so when you combine the DNA from one organism to the other once, in the organism you are trying to modify, the DNA strands will combine and start to make different RNA and proteins.

Background Research

The process of genetically modifying organisms is quite complicated. You have the organism you would like to modify, then you have the organism whose characteristics you want to give to the other, take strands of the DNA you are going to inject into the other organisms nucleus. The nucleus has a protective layer around it so no DNA can get it. The process of getting the DNA into the nucleus is quite long and strenuous and isn't very precise. They send shock waves throughout the cell creating little holes in it protective layer. Then they take the DNA strand from the other organism and use it to coat over a metal pellet which loads into a specialized gun with a very thin needle at the end of it. Then the needle is stuck in the holey protective layer and used to inject it. There is no way to know if it crosses, but the hope is that it takes.


What GMO means

What all has GMO

Are GMOs safe

Are GMOs labeled

Effects of GMOs

The foods that are genetically modified

The safety of gmos

What would make them safe

Traceability of gmos in foods

Labeling issues for genetically modified foods

Chemicals in gmos

The Composition of GMO’s

The change in DNA

One of the viruses used in genetically modifying organisms

The process of injecting DNA

About the Author

Jodi Kauffman is a sophomore at senior high school. She is good at math and is really good at procrastination. She has done FFA and 4-H for many years. She enjoys the outdoors and raising her animals.