Welcome to the GMOFacts Wiki

A site to present the facts about genetically modified organisms with as little bias as possible. Subjects from background science to policy will be presented with reliable sources.

What is a GMO?

According to Wikipedia genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been modified using genetic engineering. This definition however, is one that has evolved recently with the advent of transformation and modification techniques. Prior to the use of this technology, a genetically modified organism was one whose genes were directly and intentionally modified, usually by the use of breeding techniques or mutagenesis. Breeders, in charge of creating a healthier and more robust crop, would intentionally cross two high-performance plants together, hoping to retain offspring with the traits from both. These breeding techniques indirectly modify the genes that will be present in the offspring of the cross.

In modern times, the definition of a GMO has been narrowed to refer mostly to organisms modified by genetic engineering technology. This technology allows scientists to more quickly achieve the results from traditional breeding, by locating the genes responsible for increased productivity, and inserting them directly into the organism. This technique by-passes the rigorous crosses required by traditional breeding, and ensures that the derired genes are efficiently transferred. In addition, genes responsible for traits in different organisms are able to be inserted. One popular gene, green flourescent protein from jellyfish, has been used by scientists for decades to show where an organism uses different components.

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Green Fluorescent Protein in mice

Main Topics

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Common Myths and Misconceptions


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