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Genetically modified organism

A genetically modified organism is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The exact definition of a genetically modified organism and what constitutes genetic engineering varies, with the most common being an organism altered in a way that "does not occur by mating and/or natural recombination". A wide variety of organisms have been genetically modified, from animals to plants and microorganisms. Genes have been transferred within the same species, across species and across kingdoms. New genes can be introduced. Creating a genetically modified organism is a multi-step process. Genetic engineers must isolate the gene they wish to insert into the host organism and combine it with other genetic elements, including a promoter and terminator region and a selectable marker. A number of techniques are available for inserting the isolated gene into the host genome. Recent advancements using genome editing techniques, notably CRISPR, have made the production of GMO's much simpler.

Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen made the first genetically modified organism in 1973, a bacteria resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. The first genetically modified animal, a mouse, was created in 1974 by Rudolf Jaenisch, the first plant was produced in 1983. In 1994 the Flavr Savr tomato was released, the first commercialized genetically modified food; the first genetically modified animal to be commercialized was the GloFish and the first genetically modified animal to be approved for food use was the AquAdvantage salmon in 2015. Bacteria are the easiest organisms to engineer and have been used for research, food production, industrial protein purification and art. There is potential to use them for purposes or as medicine. Fungi have been engineered with much the same goals. Viruses play an important role as vectors for inserting genetic information into other organisms; this use is relevant to human gene therapy. There are proposals to remove the virulent genes from viruses to create vaccines.

Plants have been engineered for scientific research, to create new colors in plants, deliver vaccines and to create enhanced crops. Genetically modified crops are publicly the most controversial GMOs; the majority are engineered for insect resistance. Golden rice has been engineered with three genes. Other prospects for GM crops are as bioreactors for the production of biopharmaceuticals, biofuels or medicines. Animals are much harder to transform and the vast majority are still at the research stage. Mammals are the best model organisms for humans, making ones genetically engineered to resemble serious human diseases important to the discovery and development of treatments. Human proteins expressed in mammals are more to be similar to their natural counterparts than those expressed in plants or microorganisms. Livestock are modified with the intention of improving economically important traits such as growth-rate, quality of meat, milk composition, disease resistance and survival. Genetically modified fish are used as pets and as a food source.

Genetic engineering has been proposed as a way to control mosquitos, a vector for many deadly diseases. Although human gene therapy is still new, it has been used to treat genetic disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency, Leber's congenital amaurosis. Many objections have been raised over the development of GMO's their commercialization. Many of these involve GM crops and whether food produced from them is safe and what impact growing them will have on the environment. Other concerns are the objectivity and rigor of regulatory authorities, contamination of non-genetically modified food, control of the food supply, patenting of life and the use of intellectual property rights. Although there is a scientific consensus that available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, GM food safety is a leading issue with critics. Gene flow, impact on non-target organisms and escape are the major environmental concerns. Countries have adopted regulatory measures to deal with these concerns.

There are differences in the regulation for the release of GMOs between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the US and Europe. Key issues concerning regulators include whether GM food should be labeled and the status of gene edited organisms. What constitutes a genetically modified organism is not always clear and can vary widely. At its broadest it can include anything. Taking a less broad view it can encompass every organism that has had its genes altered by humans, which would include all crops and livestock. In 1993 the Encyclopedia Britannica defined genetic engineering as "any of a wide range of techniques... among them artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, sperm banks and gene manipulation." The European Union included a broad definition in early reviews mentioning GMOs being produced by "selective breeding and other means of artificial selection." They excluded traditional breeding, in vitro fertilization, induction of polyploidy and cell fusion techniques that do not use recombinant nucleic acids or a genetically modified organism in the process.

A narrower definition provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the European Commission says that the organisms must be altered in a way that does "not occur by mating and/or natural rec

Hugh McGinnis

Hugh McGinnis emigrated from Ireland to America in 1887, he lived in New York and St Louis, Missouri with his sister prior to enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1890, he was a twenty-year-old private in Co. K, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry during the Wounded Knee Massacre, where he was wounded twice; when he died he was the last survivor of the 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee. McGinnis wrote an extensive account of his experiences at Wounded Knee, published in Real West Magazine in January 1966: The screams of mothers as machine gun bullets tore their bodies apart; the curses of the Indian warriors, fighting machine guns and cannons with old muskets and tomahawks, being cut down in rows by demon-crazed white soldiers. All this happened seventy-four years ago at Wounded Knee Creek where soldiers of the 7th cavalry massacred in cold blood Indian men and children. I am now the last surviving member of Troop K, 7th Cavalry; the seventy-four years have never erased the ghastly horror of that scene and I still awake at night from nightmarish dreams of that massacre.

The news that I am the only surviving member of the 7th Cavalry at that massacre brings back many memories to me

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti is a book-length psychiatric case study by Milton Rokeach, concerning his experiment on a group of three paranoid schizophrenics at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The book details the interactions of the three patients—Clyde Benson, Joseph Cassel, Leon Gabor—each of whom believed himself to be Jesus Christ. Rokeach got the idea from an article in Harper's Magazine describing two women who both believed they were the Virgin Mary. After being assigned as psychiatric hospital roommates, one of the women recovered from her delusion as a result of conversations with the roommate and was discharged. Rokeach was influenced by Cesare Beccaria's essay On Crimes and Punishments, concerning the subject of Simon Morin, claimed to have been cured in a similar way; as a similar study of delusional belief systems, Rokeach brought together three men who each claimed to be Jesus Christ and confronted them with one another's conflicting claims, while encouraging them to interact as a support group.

Rokeach attempted to manipulate other aspects of their delusions by inventing messages from imaginary characters. He did not, as he had hoped, provoke any lessening of the patients' delusions, but did document a number of changes in their beliefs. While the three patients quarreled over, holier and reached the point of physical altercation, they each explained away the other two as being patients with a mental disability in a hospital, or dead and being operated by machines; the graduate students who worked with Rokeach on the project have been critical of the morality of the project because of the amount of dishonesty and manipulation by Rokeach and the amount of distress experienced by the patients. Rokeach added a comment in the final revision of the book that, while the experiment did not cure any of the three Christs, "It did cure me of my godlike delusion that I could manipulate them out of their beliefs."The book served as inspiration for the song'Ypsilanti' on the Detroit band Protomartyr's debut album No Passion All Technique.

The Three Christs of Ypsilanti was first published in 1964. Rokeach came to think that his research had been manipulative and unethical, he offered an apology in the afterword of the 1984 edition of the book: "I had no right in the name of science, to play God and interfere round the clock with their daily lives." The book was re-published by New York Review Books in 2011. A dark comedy film based on the book, Three Christs, starring Peter Dinklage, Richard Gere, Walton Goggins and Bradley Whitford, directed by Jon Avnet, was released on September 12, 2017. Folie à deux Religion and schizophrenia