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02/12/19: BLOG 5: GMO: Frequently Asked Questions

BLOG 5:  GMO: Frequently Asked Questions

Read some of the frequent questions asked to experts ofThe Lugar Center about Geneteically Modified Food.

The Basics of GMOs

 

What is genetic modification?

Genetic modification, also known as “genetic engineering,” is a technologically advanced way to select desirable traits in crops. While selective breeding has existed for thousands of years, modern biotechnology is more efficient and effective because seed developers are able to directly modify the genome of the crop.

Plants that are genetically engineered (GE) have been selectively bred and enhanced with genes to withstand common problems that confront farmers. These include strains of wheat that are more resistant to drought, maize that can survive pesticides, and cassava that is biofortified with additional nutrients.

In addition to resistance-based attributes and biofortification, some GM crops can produce higher yields from the same planted area. GM crops have the potential to strengthen farming and food security by granting more certainty against the unpredictable factors of nature. These resistances and higher yields hold great promise for the developing world and for global food security. Yet, contr

oversy remains over access to this biotechnology, corporation patents on certain plant strains, and claims regarding the safety and quality of GM foods as compared to non-GM foods.

Why are seed develope

rs genetically modifying organisms?

Genetic modification can protect crops against threats to strong yields, such as diseases, drought, pests, and herbicides used to control weeds, and therefore improve the efficiency of food production. While farmers have been selectively breeding plants for centuries, genetic engineering allows new traits to be developed much more quickly. Utilizing traditional selective breeding can take multiple growing seasons to develop and test a new variety. Genetic engineering is more precise than conventional hybridization and therefore is less likely to produce unexpected results. For example, mutagenic breeding is not considered genetic engineering yet it exposes plant material to radiation or chemicals to create varieties with new traits.(…)

GMOs and the Environment

What are the effects of genetic modification on the environment?

In order to feed a world population that is expected to top 9 billion by 2050 and to do so in ways that do not harm the environment, farmers will need to roughly double current production levels on about the same amount of land. Genetically modified crops are more efficient and therefore use less agricultural inputs to produce the same amount of food. From 1996-2012, without GM crops the world would have needed 123 million more hectares of land for equal crop production.[i] GM technology reduced pesticide use by 8.9% in the period from 1996- 2011.[ii]Because genetically modified crops require less ploughing and chemical usage, GM technology can reduce fossil fuel and CO2 emissions. Genetic engineering can therefore help to ameliorate the effects of agriculture on the environment. Farming accounted for 24 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 and 70 percent of freshwater use. Additionally, scientists are developing GM crops that are resistant to flood, drought, and cold, which improves agricultural resistance to climate change. GM crops also allow for greater use of no-till cultivation, which helps with carbon sequestration, soil erosion prevention, and better soil fertility.

GMOs and Human Health

How are GM crops related to nutrition and food security?

Genetic modification can improve the nutritional profile of food and therefore serves as a key element in reducing global rates of malnutrition. For instance, golden rice is enhanced with beta-carotene and therefore provides a dose of vitamin A, a nutrient lacking in many diets around the world. Vitamin A deficiency leads to the death of nearly 700,000 children each year, so golden rice is a crucial initiative in reducing malnutrition.[v] Additionally, in India, using Bt corn led to the consumption of more nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, and animal products because of increased incomes. Another study in India showed that each hectare of Bt cotton increased caloric intake by 74 calories per person per day and that 7.93% of households using Bt cotton were food insecure as opposed to 19.94% of those using non-GM cotton.[vi]

What is the scientific consensus of the impact of GM foods on humans?

From 2003-13, 1,783 studies showed no human or environmental dangers from genetically engineered crops, with a study concluding that “the scientific research conducted thus far has not detected any significant hazard directly connected with the use of GM crops.”[vii] The European Commission released a meta study of 50 research projects and found that “the use of biotechnology and of GE plants per se does not imply higher risks than classical breeding methods or production technologies.”[viii] One study in 2013 suggested that consumption of GM foods affected the health of lab animals, but the study’s publication was subsequently pulled and its findings undermined because of digressions from standard scientific research principles.[ix]

GMOs: Farmers and their Crops

Why use genetic engineering if other methods are just as effective at boosting productivity?

Genetic engineering research has focused on overcoming problems that affect productivity, such as disease, weeds, and pests. When crops can avoid disease, weeds, and pests, crop yield is enhanced.  Genetic modification is only one of the tools that farmers can use to boost productivity, and it does not eliminate the need for other advances such as hybridization, agricultural chemicals, and farm machinery. Rather, genetic modification is a technologically advanced application of biotechnology that works in conjunction with other modern agricultural practices. (…)

Source:  http://www.thelugarcenter.org/ourwork-35.html

 Would you eat GM foods? Why, or Why not? Do you know about any organization in our country that gets involved in this issue? Which one? How can we get in touch with them? There is a saying in English: “You are what your eat”. What does this mean? Do you think this is true?

26/11/19: BLOG 4: How to Write an English Essay

BLOG 4:  How to Write an English Essay

Co-authored by Michelle Golden, PhD

Updated: April 20, 2019

When taking English courses in high school and college,

you’ll likely be assigned to write essays. While writing an essay for an English class may seem overwhelming, it does not have to be. If you give yourself plenty of time to plan out and develop your essay, however, then you will not have to stress about it.

 

Read some tips about writing an essay on the link below :

https://www.wikihow.com/Write-an-English-Essay

Then answer the following questions:

you turn

Which of the tips given in the passage do you consider the best? Why? Have you ever written an essay when you were in High School or at University? Was it easy? What were the difficulties that you have faced when doing it? Which would be easier, writing in Spanish or in Engish? Explain!

18/11/19: BLOG 3: WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?

BLOG 3: WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?

Watch and Read about what Emotional Intellience is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-jzWFQLopk? 

Then write your comments by answering the following questions:

 In this unit we have read about “A New Generation of Thinking”. 1 Why do you think this unit is called like this? How does it differ from the old way of thinking? 2 Do you think that in our country or society the Educational System takes into consideration Emotional Intelligence?  Why, or why not? 3 How can you develop the intelligences that you are weak at? Suggest some activities.

12/11/19: BLOG 2 – How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 5 Steps

BLOG 2 – How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 5 Steps

Dan Shewan

 November 8, 2019

Writing a blog post is a little like driving; you can study the highway code (or read articles telling you how to write a blog post) for months, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing like getting behind the wheel and hitting the open road. Or something.

(…)You know you need to start blogging to grow your business, but you don’t know how. In this post, I’ll show you how to write a blog post in five simple steps that people will actually want to read. (…)

Well, this is the introduction to the article that you can read completely on the link below:

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/02/09/how-to-write-a-blog-post

After reading it, answer the following questions:

Have you ever written a blog article? If yes, what was it about and when did you do it? If not, Would you write one? What kind would you like to write and what for? Do you write your comments on other blogs (not this one!)? What kind of topics are you interested in? Why do you think people write or create blogs? Explain.

05/11/19: Interview with Chilean-American author Isabel Allende

Interview with Chilean-American author Isabel Allende

Watch the interview with the Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende on the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZcVcXoBNls

Please, click on the icon subtitles and read what she says. Please, listen and read specially the following minutes:  4:16-5:14 (the question: “who inspires you?”); 5:49-7:49 (question: Why do you write?); 9:00-9:40 (“True stories…”); and 11:10-12 (“latest book).

Then, you can write your comments by answering the following questions:

IT’S YOUR TURN!!  Do you have a favorite author? Why do you like his or her work? List some books you would encourage other people to read and say why you would recommend these books to others? Isabelle Allende said that “Short stories are hard to write than novels.” Do you agree with her? Why or why not? What do you consider good elements to make up a good book or a story?

30/10/13: Welcome!

Welcome to the blog that has been specifically designed for Comprensión Lectora en Inglés – Course CLECV Plus 2 – administered by Idiomas Católica.

This blog aims at providing opportunities for participants to exchange information related to the course. Although our reading course is not meant to develop oral or written communication skills, we have noticed that many of you can and wish to “have your say” in English about issues that we look at in the course. Your participation in this blog can award you up to 5 points in the assessment area labelled Tareas de Evaluación Continua.

Ready to begin? It is easy. The questions on the next message are waiting to be answered! You may want to participate twice. The first time, just write your answers to the questions. The second time, you are supposed to reply somebody else’s answer.

Enjoy the experience!

welcome

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