Agro-Technology: A Philosophical Introduction (Cambridge - download pdf or read online

By R. Paul Thompson

ISBN-10: 0521117976

ISBN-13: 9780521117975

People were enhancing vegetation and animals for millennia. The sunrise of molecular genetics, even if, has kindled extreme public scrutiny and controversy. vegetation, and the nutrition items which come with them, have ruled molecular amendment in agriculture. companies have made unsubstantiated claims and scare mongering is usual. during this textbook Paul Thompson provides a transparent account of the numerous concerns - making a choice on harms and merits, analysing and dealing with probability - which lie underneath the cacophony of public controversy. His finished research seems specially at genetically converted organisms, and contains an evidence of the medical heritage, an research of ideological objections, a dialogue of felony and moral issues, a urged substitute - natural agriculture - and an exam of the controversy's effect on sub-Saharan African nations. His booklet can be of curiosity to scholars and different readers in philosophy, biology, biotechnology and public coverage.

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Extra resources for Agro-Technology: A Philosophical Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology)

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Open pollinated plants have throughout agricultural history been improved (improved relative to human goals) by this technique. Another technique is hybridisation. Its advantage over selection alone is the development of new traits or new maximum values for existing traits. The beneficial traits are different for different types of maize. Obviously, traits affecting the popping process and product are central to popcorn and traits affecting sweetness are central to sweet maize. Yield, as already indicated, is important to all types of maize since it is a fundamental economic factor.

Goats have also been genetically modified to produce in their milk an industrially useful fibre. Nexia modified goats and marketed the fibre under the registered name BioSteel. BioSteel is spider silk (a protein used by spiders for their web construction); its value lies in its strength, lightness and flexibility. There are several reasons for the modest developments in creating transgenic animals whether for medical, industrial or agricultural use. First, the genetics is more complicated; the behavioural, anatomical and physiological characteristics of agricultural animals are quantitative traits.

This requires another enzyme, DNA ligase. This enzyme catalyses the formation of a phosphodiester bond between two DNA chains; its essential role, in nature, is to repair nicks in DNA, but in genetic engineering it is used to ligate a human-introduced strand of DNA to an existing strand. Techniques for cleaving (separating) DNA at appropriate points and ligating (joining) strands of DNA are now well understood, and enzymes for both processes are available to biotechnologists. Most of the desirable required enzymes can be purchased from specialised companies in the way seeds can be purchased from companies that specialise in seed development and production.

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Agro-Technology: A Philosophical Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy and Biology) by R. Paul Thompson

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