sábado, diciembre 01, 2007

Rethinking Agriculture, by Colin Tudge


NOTE: Dr Colin Tudge is Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and a three-time winner of the Science Writer of the Year Award, as well as former features editor of New Scientist.

EXTRACT: ...one often hears the glib assertion that genetic engineering does nothing unparalleled in nature, as transfer of genes between unrelated species also occurs in the wild (mediated by viruses). Not so. One important detail is that genes in a state of nature are shot through with 'introns' - lengths of DNA that do not code for protein. Introns were once written off as 'junk' - but we now know that they are serious regulators and modifiers of gene function. But genes for engineering purposes are transferred without their introns...