About GMO Guide

This forum is intended to supply factual information and discussion on GMO’s. It is a GMO guide to explore the positives and negatives of GMO’s in our society. It is a forum to find out more information on GMO’s; both on the website, the blog, and through reference sites.

GMO History

We have domesticated plants and animals for over 14,000 years, using artificial selection. The process in which organisms with the desired genes, or traits, are used to breed the next generation and organisms lacking the trait are not bred, is a precursor to the modern concept of genetic modification. Various advancements in genetics allowed humans to directly alter the DNA and therefore genes of organisms. In 1973, Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen made the first genetically modified organism (GMO), a plant.

In 1973 Rudolf Jaenisch created the first GM animal, and the first transgenic livestock were produced in 1985. In 1977 Genentech, the first genetic engineering company, produced a human protein (somatostatin) in E.coli. Genentech announced the production of genetically engineered human insulin in 1978. The insulin produced by bacteria, branded Humulin, was approved for release by the Food and Drug Administration in 1982. The “firsts” continue coming every couple of years on the GMO front.

Uses

GMOs are used in biological and medical research, production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental medicine, and agriculture. The term “genetically modified organism” can also include targeted insertions of genes from one species into another. Such methods are useful tools for biologists in many areas of research. On this site we will try to categorize GMO use by Microbes, Plants and Animals.