This article examines genomics from a social science perspective. It defines the terms and provides a brief history and summary of genomic science. It then focuses on GM crops and reviews the politics of genomics in the UK and provides information and statistics on the current situation.
What is genomics and genetic modification?
Contained in every cell of every organism are chromosomes, genes and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and these together are said to constitute the 'genetic information' or 'genetic material' that carries the instructions for all the characteristics that an organism inherits. An organism's genome can be defined as all this genetic material considered together. Genomics is the science of genomes - more specifically, their sequencing, mapping, analysis, study and manipulation. In theory it is thought that any living organism can have its genome modified - including humans. Genomics should not be confused with the closely-related topic of gen