Are GMO’s more natural than we thought?

A recent nugget in The Economist adds to the ever beleaguered conversation about  GMO’s. The article relays the findings of an analysis out of Cambridge in which scientists restate the ubiquitousness of genetic recombination interplay amongst organisms vis-á-vis horizontal gene transfer. A thought provoking read when viewed through the lens of what biotechnology is trying to achieve with GMO’s; the surrounding controversy sounding something like “its just not natural.” OK now. Only. It is, kinda. The scientists, examining the transcriptomes of animals and non animals, were able to determine how many genes in an organism’s genome were due to horizontal gene transfer. Humans have 145 genes in our transcriptome that originated in another organism. Kinda plays into Richard Dawkins’ Selfish Gene idea as well. Could messing with the genome of corn be less unnatural than most people think? Insert shoulder shrug here!


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