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For my biology internal assessment, I will be assessing the rate of decomposition between naturally grown and genetically modified tomatoes of the genus species Solanum lycopersicum. I have chosen to do this in order to determine whether the lifespan of a genetically modified fruit is worth the unknown consequences of the unnatural hormones being consumed. This subject specifically pertains to me as living in Florida has exposed me to many surrounding tomato farms. I will be taking safety measures through the means of gloves and a face mask to avoid any contact with unknown growths and fumes.
In today’s day and age, good is all the rage- whether it is good for consumption and/or the environment surrounding it. Genetically modified crops that formulate their own nitrogen would drastically decrease energy consumption on conventional farms by eliminating the natural gas used in synthesizing ammonium nitrate and the fuel burned in trucks that deliver fertilizer to farms. Such technology could reduce the current organic practice of planting legume cover crops, of which continuously are trampled to ensure nitrogen stays within the soil.
These measures could reduce an organic farmer’s fuel bill by as much as 50 percent.
According to the World Health Organization, two to three million people undergo eyesight failure and even death each year due to a vitamin A deficiency. In order to combat this issue, Swiss scientist Dr. Ingo Potrykus genetically modified Golden Rice in 1998. In this rice is beta-Carotene which boosts the one’s immunity and overall good health.
However, businesses were determined to contain this discovery of non-commercial GMO product with the excuse of environmental and health risks despite the fact that organic consumables have resulted in millions of deaths.
Anti-GMO activists seek to ban the use of modified organisms altogether. Although the research into the science of it has been successful, the skeptics have not changed their view on that of modified crops posing a threat to people and the environment. These activists hope to take a step forward by collectively confronting local governments. However, politicians are not educated in the field of science and may not handle the situation properly. The idea that GMOs are harmful to human and animal health has no supporting evidence in science that is known of so far. These precautions have been examined globally and denied of harmful consumption; this includes the European Union, the World Health Organization, and the National Academies of Science.
While GMOs are regulated daily, organic producers are hardly checked over. There have been no recorded deaths stemming from genetically modified crops, yet hundreds of thousands of citizens contract illnesses and eventually die annually due to unsanitary conditions (such as the manure used in place of fertilizer) and diseases prone from uncontrolled genetic history in the organism. Organically grown crops may have a rough history, yet GMOs in their entirety still remain unknown to this date. Only time will tell the potential effects that may or may not be there, whether they are long-term or short-term. It is up to the individual to decide whether or not they want to take the chance of what is not yet discovered.
I hypothesize that the organic organisms (tomatoes) will decompose more quickly than the genetically modified tomatoes. I also predict that the more intense the lighting, the more quickly the tomatoes lose their water weight. I will be using the measurement scale of grams to weigh this.I believe this because of the fact that one trait of modified crops is so that they possess a longer shelf-Life. My background evidence suggests that organic organisms have more negative qualities than they do positive, unlike the GMOs. The characteristics of the modified crops are tested to be fit under certain conditions while the natural ones are unpredictable.
My independent variable for this assessment is the light for the tomatoes. My dependent variable is the rate of decay on different light settings (being off, low, medium, high, and full). I selected these settings to put the organisms to the test of what they can or cannot withstand, and the rate of how they hold up under certain exposures. I will obtain this by the means of a lamp and blinded shelter. Overall, I will be running every setting for two weeks with five tomatoes each. My dependent variable is the weight of each tomato between daily intervals for two weeks. I will use a scale to determine this. Some controlled variables in this experiment will be the containers they are placed in and the scale; as well as temperature and light when testing different settings. It is important to keep these factors the same in order to get truly accurate results when calculating.
No Light Weights Days 1-3 Days 4-6 Days 7-9 Days 10-12 Days 13-15
Low Light Weights Days 1-3 Days 4-6 Days 7-9 Days 10-12 Days 13-15
Med. Light Weights Days 1-3 Days 4-6 Days 7-9 Days 10-12 Days 13-15
High Light Weights Days 1-3 Days 4-6 Days 7-9 Days 10-12 Days 13-15
Full Light Weights Days 1-3 Days 4-6 Days 7-9 Days 10-12 Days 13-15
After analyzing my results, I have come to the conclusion that my hypothesis is correct. However, there wasn’t as drastic a distance in the rate between the two differently grown organisms as I expected. Both the organic and GMOs had a larger decrease in weight when under a stronger light source, as well as an even stronger/quicker decrease during the last days. Because of these results, it is up to the individual to speculate if they deem GMO’s being worth the “longer” shelf life. Of course, one would also have to consider the fact that GMO’s are safer from carrying diseases. If I were to run through this lab again, I would like to test the decomposition characteristics through different environments and weather conditions as well as light.
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