Chapter 5: DNA

Biotechnology Chapter 5 review

The history of food is to a large extent the history of human manipulation of wild plants and animals. Long before acquiring knowledge of genetics or natural selection, human cultures were changing wild grasses into corn and wheat through cross-breeding, an early form of genetic manipulation. Modern technology allows us to move genes from one species (e.g., a bacterium) into another not closely related to it (e.g., corn). Is this a panacea for the world’s impoverished billions or an ecological disaster in the making?

Full introduction to the chapter Go

Selections in this chapter:

  • Paul C. Mangelsdorf, from “Modern Breeding Techniques” in Corn: Its Origin, Evolution, and Improvement (1974), [119] Go
  • John E. Losey, Linda S. Raynor, and Maureen E. Carter, “Transgenic Pollen Harms Monarch Larvae” (1999), [124] Go
  • Lincoln Brower, from “Canary in the Cornfield: The Monarch and the Bt Corn Controversy” (2001), [126] Go
  • Molly Lesher, “Seeds of Change” (2004), [131] Go

INTERCONNECTIONS-supplementary readings from other chapters of the anthology

  • Richard Levins, “Science and Progress: Seven Developmentalist Myths in Agriculture” (1986) (12), [434] Go
  • Rachel Carson, from “And No Birds Sing” in Silent Spring (1962) (15), [541] Go
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