Do You Know What You Are Eating?
People are increasingly concerned about the food they eat. Many food products include genetically modified organisms (GMO), yet we may not know which foods because there is no regulation in the USA on the use or labeling of GMO. This seminar will begin with a discussion of genetic engineering and GMO. Students will then learn to carry out two simple and powerful laboratory techniques that can be used to detect and identify GMO: (1) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to determine if food items purchased off supermarket shelves may contain “Roundup Ready” soybean components, and (2) Western blot for the detection of specific proteins in food authentification. These scientific methods will help us uncover what is really in our food and how to appreciate the utility of science research.