Week6/ Biotechnology/ James Martin


This week’s lecture was based all around biotechnology and its role in the scientific and artistic fields. When I think of biotechnology, I do not usually think of art, but rather the scientific side of it. The genetically modified food portion of the lecture really spoke to me and made me want to further my knowledge in this area. The video that showed how the McDonalds French fries did not deteriorate was pretty disturbing. Food usually goes bad and the video was very alarming. After doing some research, I have learned that McDonalds uses genetically modified foods especially for their French fries. This is what allowed for the fries to last so long after sitting in the jar. Another interesting video that was created by the same person was the movie “Supersize Me.” In this movie, Morgan Spurlock only eats McDonalds for thirty days and sees the affects of it on his body and health. He gained a lot of weight and his health deteriorated very rapidly. Of course this was a bit of an exaggeration because he only ate McDonalds for an entire month but he did prove how unhealthy McDonalds was. The genetically modified food that they are serving is not good for the body and creates a lot of health issues. After seeing “Supersize Me” a couple of years ago, I have not eaten at a McDonalds and the video that professor Vesna showed us during lecture will only make me stay away from McDonalds even more.

Overall I think that there are both positives and negatives to genetically modified foods. Some of the advantages from these modified foods are nutrition and the prevention of diseases. Some foods are being engineered to obtain more nutrients that are suitable and needed by the human body. If we could create foods that are better for us then we would be able to consume less and create more food for everyone. Also, with the genetic engineering of some foods, some diseases are being prevented. Some plants and foods would be able to resist certain diseases and create healthier possibilities for humans. There are also some negatives to genetically modified food. Some modified foods are harming other organisms and slowly destroying species. Some species may end up becoming endangered if they keep becoming destroyed. There are worries that the foods being created will allow for insects to become resistant to certain pesticides. If they become resistance to these pesticides then our plants can slowly become extinct. There are many pros and cons to genetically modifying foods but I will let you make your own choice on the subject.

Another portion of lecture that was interesting to me was cloning. There is much controversy over cloning and as far as I can tell, it seems that more people are against it than are for it. Much of the controversy was created when “Dolly” was created in 1997. It was the first mammal (a sheep) ever successfully cloned. Much of the controversy that arose from Dolly was that fact that she only lived about half as long as a normal sheep. This brought up the question of whether or not it was ethnically acceptable to try and clone humans. There are many who are against it and there are also many for it. Personally, I do not see the need to clone humans. Sure the technology is there, but I just do not see the point in trying to create many of the same person. It takes away identity and that is what makes each person unique and there own self.


Biotechnology has the potential to be very helpful and useful for mankind but there is also the possibility of it going wrong. I am all for biotechnology as long as it helps mankind in a positive way with little risk of it going bad and harming.

-James Martin

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