College Of Arts And Sciences | Agricultural Biotechnology: Scientific, Social, and Ecological Aspects
E105 | 0134 | Innes, R

Course format: Lecture: 1:15P-2:15P, MWF, JH A100.

Course description: Did you have a Coke today?  Or perhaps have a cookie or
a muffin?  If you did, you consumed a food derived from a genetically
engineered crop plant.  In the summer of 2001 in the U.S. over 60% of the
soybean and over 25% of the corn grown was genetically modified, meaning
that it contained genes inserted by scientists.  Where did these genes come
from?  Is the food made from these plants healthy to eat?  What impact do
these plants have on the environment?  How are these plants changing
farming methods?  What will be the likely social and economic impacts of
these new high tech crops?  Who regulates the production and use of these
crops?  Why are many environmental groups opposed to these crops?

These questions and more will be the topic of discussion in this course.
To address these questions we will first introduce the basic concepts
underlying genetic engineering such as what genes are, what they do, and
how you can transfer a gene from one organism to another.  We will then
have a number of guest speakers that will introduce various issues and
viewpoints regarding genetic engineering of crop plants.  These issues will
include potential impacts on human health, environmental impacts, social
impacts, and economic impacts.

Students will take an active part in the learning process by using
web-based resources to find news stories and scientific articles pertaining
to this topic.  To tie the whole course together, students will form teams
of four and present a PowerPoint show to the class in which they take a
stand for or against genetic modification of crops.  Additional information
about this course can be found at