The Lilac Lime- a virtual provocation into DNA and biotechnology
Have you ever seen a purple lime? As a provocation to their Unit of Inquiry "Environment and Biology Shape our Identity," Grade 3/4 invited Dr. James Thomson, Research Geneticist at the Crop Improvement and Genetic Research Unit at the United States Department of Agriculture to talk about genetic technologies in our food plants. Dr. Thomson and his team successfully developed the Lilac lime, a normal looking green lime on the outside, with an attractive bright purple flesh on the inside. This was accomplished by inserting the DNA of a blood orange into a Mexican Lime. The Lilac Lime is currently being used as an opportunity to engage the public in conversations about genetically modified foods and encourage greater public acceptance. Shu Ren students were so curious about the concept, process and of course, the product filling the time with question after question!