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Genetic Engineering
by Cathy Herzog
Challenge
Amelia Middle School
Congressional Hearing
Research genetically modified corn. Is it safe for the
environment? Is it safe for humans and animals to eat?
Present your findings at a Congressional Hearing. Hear
other facts and ideas regarding this important topic.
You Need to Know
Background
As the population of the world continues to grow, finding
more efficient ways of growing and raising food becomes
more important. Agriculture has been modifying our food
throughout the ages through selective breeding. Modern
technology now allows us to choose traits and even
introduce new traits by altering the DNA of our food. This
gives rise to the question, should we alter the genetics of
our food?
Academic Content Standards
Diversity of species occurs through gradual processes
over many generations.
Changes in environmental conditions can affect how
beneficial a trait will be for the survival and reproductive
success of an organism or an entire species.
Expression of all traits is determined by genes and
environmental factors to varying degrees. Many genes
influence more than one trait, and many traits are
influenced by more than one gene.
 How do species change over time?
 How does an organism’s genetic make-up affect it’s
ability to survive in different environments?
 How prevalent are genetically altered foods?
 Does genetic engineering affect ecosystems?
Analyze the information you have gathered from your
own and other’s research.
Choose a side. Is genetically modified food a good idea.
Defend your opinion.
Activities
Nature at Work
Investigate how variation in an organism and changes in the
environment can result in changes in a population.
Designer Genes
Design your own creature. How will it do when placed in a
new environment? Will it thrive or will the new conditions
prove to be terminal?
Our solar system has many harsh environments. Design a
creature that will be successful in one of these
environments.
CEEMS is supported by the National
Science Foundation grant # 1102990.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions,
and/or recommendations are those of the
investigators and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the Foundation.