Environmental and Industrial Microbiology – Discussion
When you think of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) , it is common to think of genetically modified foods. Battles rage in the media and political circles regarding the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops. However, there are other many applications for genetic modification, and microbiology is full of examples. Many bacterial species are products of genetic modification as well. Science has the ability to manipulate the simple genome of bacteria to produce many products that are beneficial to humans.
Review the following examples of genetic modification in bacteria:
1. Amalaradjou, M., &Bhunia, A. (2013). Bioengineered probiotics, a strategic approach to control enteric infections. Bioengineered, 4 (6), 379-387.
2. Bernardes, N., Chakrabarty, A., &Fialho, A. (2013). Engineering of bacterial strains and their products for cancer therapy. Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology, 97(12), 5189-5199.
3. Wilson, G. (2014). Deepwater Horizon and the Law of the Sea: Was the cure worse than the disease?. Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 41(1), 63.
Genetically Modified Bacteria
1. Find one example of a genetically modified bacterium used to benefit humans. Provide the genus and species (full scientific name), and discuss the primary uses. You may use one of the examples above or find your own example, but the organism must be genetically engineered or altered. Remember, the genus is the first part of the scientific name and the species is the second part, like this: Escherichia coli.
2. Is it ethical to use genetically modified bacteria? Why or why not?
3. Would you be willing to use medicine or other products that are created by genetically modified bacteria? Why or why not?
4. When a new organism is created in a lab, the scientist responsible for the discovery can patent the new organism. What ethical concerns surround the idea of owning the patent on a living organism?