On April 6th, 2018 the Tahanto AP Biology class had the amazing opportunity to go to Harvard University to work with talented scientists in discovering more about GMO’s. I am sure that you have all heard of a GMO before and you may even know what it is, but very few understand what it can do! To start off, GMO stands for Genetically Modified organisms, but what does this mean? GMO’s are a big part of our lives whether we are aware of it or not. Many of the foods we eat have GMO’s in them, but this is not necessarily the worst thing. Many people think that GMOs should be avoided and taken out of people’s diets. But GMO’s are also capable of benefiting the human body. As a class we learned about the amazing stories of GMOs helping different areas of the world. We learned about the the story of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines which became the first licensee and became known as Golden Rice. The IRRI wanted to make Golden Rice rich in nutritional benefits to help those with vitamin A deficiency (VAD), without any additional cost compared to white rice, in developing countries to governments, small farmers or consumers.
As you can probably tell we learned a lot from this trip, we were able to extract DNA and test for GMOs in our food sample! Doritos have GMOs, and so do a bunch of other foods we eat everyday. These GMOs can be both harmful or helpful. But regardless it is up to us as a student body to get educated on a topic before jumping to conclusions. Going to Harvard and getting to work with some of the coolest scientists taught me the unexplainable power that science holds. Even greater than that we hold the power to discover this science and understand our world. You don’t have to visit Harvard to discover, start here, start right now, and your eyes will open to the amazing world that still needs to be discovered!