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Author’s Name: Due Date: Summer 2013 Exam: Opinion Essays and Short Answer Questions Part A 2. Where do you stand on the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to produce our food? While some think GMOs are a great way to assure a continuing food supply, others argue that the dangers to the environment and to human health are a significant drawback…
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Download file to see previous pages Indeed, while the potential benefits of the new biological techniques in food production may be exciting in the short term, the truth of the matter is that the long term effects on biodiversity, people’s health and the wider ecosystem are rather obscure. More fundamentally, questions linger on who in particular stands to benefit from this technology; is it the wealthy in search of more wealth or the people in need? Advocates have pointed to the potential benefits that include elimination of pesticides in crop production, the development of disease/cold/drought resistant crops, elimination of malnutrition due to over reliance on certain crops [rice], as well as cost effect way of vaccines production in grown crops (Whitman par 5-10). Nonetheless, non-conclusive reports suggest that GM crops may actually transfer the modified genes to non-target species [weeds], and thus reduce the foregoing effectiveness. There are also mounting fears of unexpected allergic reactions by consumers in addition to unknown health consequences (Whitman par 16-18). Though highly debatable currently, a research conducted on the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton, grown by small-scale farmers in Asia and other developing nations, indicates that the plant has extensive environmental harm than the original pest control intention (Losey, Rayor and Carter 214). This debate is just but a sideshow away from the real looming crisis-global warming and impending dire consequences. The benefits notwithstanding, the money-profit perspective may the real driver into the GM foods and not food security. Part B 3. What does the acronym HIPPO describe? What does each letter stand for? (5) The acronym HIPPO describes the complex combinative social, economic, political and biological factors that contribute to the unpredicted rate at which the world is losing its biodiversity, particularly through fast extinction of a number of species. Apparently, the irreparable damage so far is a result of varied assaults emanating from different directions, thus the HIPPO; which stands for Habitat destruction, Introduced species, Pollution, Population growth, and Overpopulation. 4. List three types of chemical reactions when two or more chemicals combine and describe each. a) Synthesis reaction-Water [6CO2] +Carbon dioxide [6H2O]….in the presence of light and chlorophyll produces glucose [C6H12O6] + oxygen [6O2]. {Photosynthesis}. ] b) Combustion- Methane [CH4] + [2O2] produces Carbon Dioxide [CO2] and water [H2O] [burning]. c) Acid-base reaction-this type of chemical reaction yields salt and water; an example is reaction between Calcium oxide + hydrochloric acid = calcium chloride + water [CaO + 2HCl = CaCl 2 + H 2 O]. d) 5. What is bioaccumulation – describe it using an example of a food chain in which it might occur. (5) A general term that describes the absorption of toxic substances such as organic chemicals by living organisms within their systems at a rate that exceeds their loss, leading to high concentration of these substances in the body tissues and/or organs of such organisms. DDT [dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane], a substance used as a pesticide, has a half-life of 15 years. A mouse that eats an infected plant, for instance, may be fed on by an eagle, leading to the transfer of the toxins to the bird’s system. Such toxins ultimately destroys the reproductive system of these ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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