VGEC: Teacher Notes

portertoaststicksBiotechnology

Oct 23, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)

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Virtual Genetics Education
Centre: http://www.le.ac.uk/ge/genie/vgec/



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VGEC: Teacher Notes

GM Crops: Miracles or Monsters?

A simple
activity in which children try to guess which plants have been genetically modified
.

The children look at several common plants and decide whether they have been genetically modified.
They
then pull back the top sheet of the question sheets (Miracles.pdf) to reveal the answer
s

and some additional
information
.

In the process, they learn something about the range of genetically modified crops and realise that GM
plants cannot always be d
istinguished from ‘normal’
varieties

by sight alone.

Intended l
earning outcomes



That
many common crops have been genetically modified

to meet a range of needs
.



That
some crops have been developed by

transgenics

:
that is, by
moving genes from one
species

to
another
.



That

you can’t always tell a GM/transgenic crop from a ‘normal’ one just by looking

at it.

Possible c
urriculum links

Key Stage
3: 1.2

Applications and implications of science

Key Stage 4:
4

Applications and implications of science

F
iles
provided

1
GMCrops
.
docx/rtf/
pdf



This document


includes T
eacher Notes
.

2
GMCrops
Questions
.
pptx/
pdf



Question/answer sheets to accompany the activity
.

Key vocabulary



DNA

(short for
deoxyribonucleic acid
): DNA is the
material from which genes are made.



Gene
: A gene is a length of DNA that codes for a specific protein.



Genetic modification
: The use of modern biotechnology to change the characteristics of an organism
by inserting, deleting or altering its genes.



Transgenics
:
The genetic modification of an
organism using genes from another species.

Main points



All crops are the result of genetic modification through selective breeding.



Some crops have been developed by transgenics:
that is, by
moving genes from one organism to
another.

Virtual Genetics Education
Centre: http://www.le.ac.uk/ge/genie/vgec/



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In many cases, the pro
cess involves traits that occur naturally. Transgenics and/or selective breeding
just speed
s

up the process

of selective breeding
.



The ‘normal’ tomato and potato are the result of selective breeding


indirect, rather than direct, genetic

modification.



You

can’t tell the GM/transgenic potato and tomato from the ‘normal’ ones just by looking.



Genes

can be moved from one organism to another, because DNA works the same whether you are an
ape or a banana.



There are rules and laws that prevent GM crops
from
bein
g released until scientists are convinced that
they are safe.

Background facts



Almost every
agricultural
plant we eat is the result of genetic modification


if only through selective
breeding.



Crops have been developed in two ways: selective breeding and

direct genetic modification, including

transgenics (moving genes from one organism to another).

Procedure

Print out and laminate the sheets in the file Miracles
Questions
.pdf

Arrange the sheets in pairs, with the question on top (‘Has

this plant been genetically modified’) and an
answer sheet underneath. Staple the pairs together.

Place example of each plant crop next to the relevant sheets.

Introduce the activity to the students, and explain the nature of selective breeding and geneti
c modification.

Mention the possibility of moving genes from one species to another.

Allow the students to examine the plants and to try to decide which have been genetically modified. They
can then reveal the answer by lifting up the top sheet.

If possib
le, use real examples of genetically modified and/or normal varieties of each plant crop.

Examples of a
ll the plants are available from most supermarkets.