Give me spots on my apples… and other scientific debates

Debates about scientific issues are often very heated and bring in many emotions and opinions which are poles apart, as these studies often effect patients or consumers directly. The longest and most wide spread debate I know of is the one on GM crops.

Technology that can genetically modify food crops to increase food quality as well as medical applications seems like a good idea to me but not to everyone. The stance that messing with the genes of plants would affect other organisms of the environment is help by strongly by groups such as Take the Flour Back. In 2012 around 400 anti-GM protesters tried to destroy Britain’s first open air trail of aphid resistant crops causing a re-emergence of the argument.

The other big scientific debate that has occurred in my life time was on the use of embryonic stem cells for research and to treat disease. This holds huge ethical issues as it uses fertilized human embryos that could have the potential to become a baby. This topic has not only split the scientific community against the general public but it has split people on a moral basis, which is the reason for the tight regulation of the required licence for this type of research in the UK. New technology such as iPSC’s may hold the answer for using stem cells from a non-embryo source.

We need debates like this is get the opinion of the public, but in the past has this hindered research significantly?


About juliarosencl

I’m Julia Rose Humes and my main area of interest is the biochemistry of brains. Give me an intracellular pathway that leads to cell death in neurons or a drug that can affect how brain cells respond and I’m your girl. I don’t pretend to be an expert on anything but I am constantly amazed by scientific research and discoveries, and that’s my reason for wanting to be part of this blog. I hope that my career path will lead down the rabbit hole into a laboratory working on neurodegeneration but I intend keep up the hobby of scientific writing as much as I can. Science can be scary when your first starting out or don’t have a scientific background. I remember trying to read a journal article in the first few weeks of my undergraduate degree and even the title gave me a headache. If I can be any help in explaining the science behind the news or just present the intriguing science that hasn’t made it onto the TV, my job will be done.
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One Response to Give me spots on my apples… and other scientific debates

  1. vanarm says:

    Great material, couple of grammatical points you could edit. Like the controversy idea.

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