Graduate Student Discussion- Genomics and Domesticated Animals


Part of unit 4 of the Course on Genomics, Ethics, and Society, this graduate-level case study looks at issues of genomics, ethics, and domesticated animals. 


Directions: Read the following scenario to prepare for the discussion.

Imagine that you work for the U.S. Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) and your main responsibility is to conduct evaluations of potential risks to the environment. Suppose you have been assigned to evaluate applications for the commercialization of genetically modified salmon. The salmon have been modified to require 25% less food and reach maturation in half the time of salmon already on the market. The scientists who submitted the application to commercialize the salmon have conducted their own tests in an attempt to ensure that they can be safely consumed, but there's much less information about their possible environmental impacts.                                                      

In this discussion forum, explain to your colleagues possible steps you would take to reduce any environmental risks posed by the fish, and comment on steps proposed by your colleagues. Next, discuss what reasons there might be for accepting or rejecting the commercialization of GM salmon. We expect a lively discussion, not an essay, and it is OKAY to change your arguments more than once during the discussion or stick to your argument throughout the discussion. Post your brief initial entry on the FIRST DAY so that everyone can respond to others' ideas throughout the discussion. You should contribute at least three times to the discussion. The graduate grading rubric explains what we're looking for in this discussion: good writing quality, clarity and relevance, a response on the first day of discussion, then a collegial exchange with other members of the discussion; your posts should show knowledge and understanding of the readings, and you should try to develop an argument for which you provide support, and that engages critically and thoughtfully with the course materials.

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