Feeding a growing world

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Students examine the sugar content of potatoes in relation to emerging interest in the carcinogen acrylamide produced when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures. Employing cutting-edge techniques to genetically modify E. coli bacteria, they will insert the jellyfish gfp gene to make the bacteria fluoresce, and develop an understanding of the use of this procedure as a research tool in the genetic modification of plants. From there they will be able to debate a range of issues around genetically modified organisms and the future of food production.

Potato variations

How can we ensure future food security for everyone on the planet? To guarantee a supply of adequate, safe, nutritious food that is resilient to climate change and economic and natural challenges, humans will have to consider developing new forms of agriculture, cutting wastage, ensuring better food storage, and using technology to improve crop yields, amongst other possible contributions to a solution.

pGLO transformation of E. coli

How can we modify organisms quickly and safely improve food security? How can we see easily which organisms have been successfully modified and which have not? The use of a plasmid vector bearing a gene for a fluorescent protein is one answer to these questions.  In this investigation students will have the opportunity to try some techniques used in genetic modification, using the gfp gene for green fluorescent protein

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