So, you meet your friend’s mother for the first time. And she quickly exclaims how much you look like your dad! Or like your uncle or grandparent or a distant cousin! Has that ever happened to you? How can one look similar to so many people in the family? Do all of us carry some secret code that makes us resemble our family members?
Well, that secret information we carry in our bodies is called genes. And these genes decide how we look, how tall we become and things like the color of our skin.
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Fish modified with new genes is just the beginning. We will soon have more types of modified plants and animals. These are referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs.
GMOs are expected to become more common with new developments in science. We can expect them everywhere – from the sweet corn we will eat, to the exotic pets we will play with!
But why are GMOs made?
They have a great number of uses. For example in crop-farming, in livestock production, and also in pet breeding. Consider pet-breeding, which is a very popular thing for pet-lovers. Before GMOs came along, pet-breeders used to cross-breed pets of two different species. Their goal was to make a young animal that had traits of both the species. With GMOs, now, the same young one can be made just by changing the genes of one of the parents.
More examples of GMOs
How about plants? In some areas of the globe, tomato crops get damaged by insects very often. Farmers need to spend a lot of money on pesticides to kill such insects. One way to save money is to produce gene-modified tomato crop that is resistant to common insects, like the tomato fruitworm and the fruit borer.
All in all GMOs offer a very interesting future to all of us. If the area is fascinating to you see if you want to become a Biotechnologist when you grow up?