Jennifer Y.

Experienced Biotechnology Professional and Former Math Teacher

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Biology

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Question:

Describe why the term "GMO" (Genetically Modified Organism) is a misnomer, as applied by current-day activists regarding Genetically Engineered (GE) crops. How are GE crops different from traditional agricultural crops from a biological standpoint?

Jennifer Y.

Answer:

The confusion regarding the GMO debate seems to start with a mis-understanding of genetics in general and wide-spread lack of knowledge regarding conventional commercial farming practices. To focus on the biological standpoint, we should establish that all plants and animals we eat, in many ways we ourselves are genetically modified. All genetic modification means its that specific traits have been carefully selected for. Genetic Engineering is one type of method for this selection process. Being against GMOs is silly because you would have to be against everything. For example, Broccoli, Kale, Brussels Sprouts, and Mustard leaves are all genetically modified versions of the same original plant. Anti-GMO activists aren't against them, because no Genetically Engineered version of them currently exists, but that does not change the fact that their genes have been modified through years of careful cross-breeding and cultivation for the traits that we now think of as distinct plants. There is substantial evidence to support GE as a more effective, safer, and more precise practice than traditional agricultural breeding practices because targeted undesirable genes can be "turned off" or desirable genes can be "turned on." The types of genes targeted could do everything from make the plant disease, bacteria, or fungus resistant making the necessity for pesticides significantly lower and often increasing the produce's crop yield. In other cases, like in a type of apple known as "arctic apple," the undesirable browning trait is turned off. So when you bite into the apple, or cut it into slices, the normal oxidation process that turns the apple brown within minutes is significantly delayed and the apple stays appetizing for much longer. Biologically, all plants and animals, all living organisms actually- have DNA or genetic material. As part of the normal biological processes, DNA is replicated constantly. As with any copying process, mistakes are sometimes made. Sometimes the mistakes are significant, sometimes they have no effect at all. The issue from an activism standpoint is whether the method of editing DNA or more specifically, genes, makes a plant or animal more or less safe. The effectiveness and safety have already been proven, and with the rise of anti-GMO activism, so has a complete misunderstanding of science. Better education on genetics, what they are, how they work and how genes in the things we eat can and cannot affect us, will help to quell this argument. For the meantime though, this activism seems to be very poorly based in reality, as GMO-free sticker can be seen on things like water and salt- compounds of elements where no DNA would ever exist means focusing on the science is the best way to go.

English

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Question:

Write one or three sentences using "there, their and they're" correctly at least once each.

Jennifer Y.

Answer:

The swing set is on the playground, over there, by the slide. This form indicates a place or position. Anna asked her mom, " Can I sleep over at their house tonight?" This form indicates possession Tell me what time they're coming over. This form is a contraction actually meaning "they are"

Algebra

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Question:

Solve for the two variables if: 3x +2y = 18 4x - y = 13

Jennifer Y.

Answer:

In order to solve a two or more missing variable equation, you must first solve for one variable. In this problem, it is easiest to solve for x first. Use the second equation: 4x -y = 13 and isolate y Add y to both sides: 4x - y + y = 13 + y Simplify: 4x = 13 + y Subtract 13 from both sides: 4x - 13 = 13 + y -13 Simplify: 4x-13 = y Now that y is isolated, use the simplified second equation by plugging it into the first equation: 3x + 2( 4x - 13) =18 Distribute the 2 into the paranthesis first: 3x+ 8x - 26 = 18 Simplify: 11x - 26 = 18 Isolate x by adding 26 to both sides: 11x -26 +26= 18 + 26 Simplify: 11x = 44 Divide by 11 on both sides to solve for x: 11x/11 = 44/11 X = 4 Now use the value for X you just found to find the value of y using ANY equation. I recommend using the simplest equation, our second equation simplified from step one: y = 4x - 13 Add the value of X into the equation: y = 4 (4) - 13 Simplify: y = 16 - 13 Finish the equation: y= 3 Double Check your work: Use the variables you solved for in one or both equations to confirm you found the right numbers: Equation 1: 3(4) + 2(3) = 18 Simplify: 12 + 6 = 18 18 = 18 CORRECT! Equation 2: 4(4) -(3) = 13 Simplify: 16- 3 = 13 13= 13 Correct!

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