Exploiting the Genius of the Genes Matching Headings
You are going to read an article about genetics. Choose the most suitable heading from the list A-l for each part (1-7) of the article. There is one extra heading which you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning (0).
- Ripe and tasty but not mushy.
- Dangerous interference?
- Genetic engineering - a necessary evil.
- Tastier fruit - the genetic way.
- Helping the world of manufacturing.
- The future of plants and animals.
- A fishy way of storing food.
- The starchier the better.
- A clean alternative.
Genetic engineering is creating new kinds of plants that produce oils, plastics and designer foods. Forget about those Frankenstein fantasies: the next 50 years will be all about cows that produce milk with added nutrients and flowers with crazy patterns on their petals.
With the creation of the genetically improved tomato, the gene revolution has already reached supermarkets in America. Unlike other tomatoes, the Flavour Savour is left to ripen naturally. This allows the sugars and acids that add to the flavour of the tomato to develop. Normally, when fruit is ripe it starts to go off. About 50 per cent of fruits and vegetables begin to rot before they ever reach the shops.
To prevent this, growers usually pick fruit and vegetables before they are ripe and then ripen them using artificial means. This method stops the full flavour from developing. The inventors of the Flavour Savour tomato put an extra gene into it which has the effect of slowing down the softening process. The tomato stays firm even though it has been allowed to ripen naturally and because of this it has more flavour than other tomatoes.
When the Flavr Savr comes to Britain, though, it will probably only be found in tomato ketchup as it has been sold to the makers of sauces and purées. But the Flavr Savr is only the first of several genetically engineered foods on their way to the shops. Soon, it could be joined by healthy new crisps and chips. This is because potatoes can now be engineered to produce more starch, and the more starch in the potato, the less oil it absorbs when it is fried. So potatoes with a lot of starch can be used to make low-fat, low-calorie chips.
To date, more than 50 plants have been changed genetically. In theory they could be given genes from any species, not just other plants. Fish that live in the frozen Antarctic survive because they have special “antifreeze” proteins. If you transferred this gene to tomatoes, lettuce or strawberries, they would be able to be deep frozen.
Apart from food, it may be possible to engineer motor oil. This would be a lot more important than cooking oil. Imagine alternative oil fields where easy-to-grow crops like sunflowers quietly and cleanly produce substitutes for petroleum, a substance which is becoming more and more scarce.
Oil is used worldwide to power vehicles and make plastics, drugs, cosmetics and paint. With supplies of oil set to run out in the next century, genetic engineering could save industry from coming to a halt. Specially developed plants could actually start producing plastics and other items which are now made in factories.
Of course, there is a downside to all this. Plants evolve over centuries and develop natural resistance to disease. If we tamper with evolution there’s a possibility that nature’s own defence mechanisms will be damaged. It seems that if used with care, genetic engineering could have a valuable role to play in preserving our natural resources.
Answers: 1- D 2-A 3-H 4-G 5-I 6-E 7-B