Prokaryotic Organisms: Essential to Agriculture and the Future of Humanity
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With the significant increase in global human population in recent decades, the pressure for groups of people to produce enough food and energy for everyone to consume while ensuring that these resources remain sustainable and replaceable has likewise dramatically increased. While the first several challenges produced by the rise on population were met with advances in technology, notably the Green Revolution, the continued growth of the population has placed further strains on the fields of agricultural, food, energy/environment, and biotechnology. Prokaryotic organisms, which are single- or small numbered-cell organisms that lack nuclei in their cells are essential to these fields because they provide a mechanism for current resources to…show more content… If the fruit is improperly labeled, hazardous consequences may arise. Furthermore, genetically modified foods have not existed for long enough for long-term studies to be conducted on the effects of their consumption. With the addition of genes that arise from different organisms, there is always a risk that the gene will result in misfolded proteins or proteins that serve a different purpose from the desired effect. As with exposures such as tanning or smoking, the effects of these behaviors may not be seen until several decades later, leaving consumers at risk (Fernandez-Cornejo).
Environmental biotechnology includes the fields of bioremediation (cleaning up environments that have been contaminated), pollution abatement (reducing and eliminating air, water, and other pollution sources as a result of existing industrial technology), and continuing to make chemicals and biofuels that are renewable and green. Because bioremediation is inexpensive and can provide the proper environment and nutrients for the prokaryotic organisms that are used, the technology has been widely explored to clean up heavy metals (lead mercury, selenium, etc.), nuclear waste, and oil. In order for the bioremediation treatment to be effective, environmental engineers must be able to maintain favorable conditions for prokaryotic growth, usually by keeping the environment moist and full of oxygen. When conditions may be difficult to maintain, the microorganisms may be “seeded” by