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MEMO

TO: CECELIA MUSSELMAN


FROM: MULAN YANG
SUBJECT: P2D1
DATE: MAY 30, 2017
CC: PATRICK SANFORD

Summary: Bt corn has been developed as an alternative to using harsh pesticides on crops.
Research indicated that the diversity of bacteria in the soil around Bt corn was maintained,
even though the types of bacteria were different. Growing Bt corn also does not affect the
biodiversity of arthropods and insects beyond those being targeted. Larger animals that eat
the corn have shown no adverse health effects. In the future, the overall ecosystem around
Bt corn may be examined because the population of the worm that usually eats corn was not
lowered. Further research may also determine whether the target pests become resistant to
Bt corn and if alternate gene modifications can be made.

Major Points:
Evidence: Information is summarized well and statements are supported with
citations.
Tone: The paper sounds scholarly in general, but the phrasing of the first sentence in
the Outlook section uses somewhat colloquial phrasing.
Style: The text contains a question in the Outlook section: A concern raised by
Shrestha and the community in general is that if the worms are deterred from eating
the modified corn, but still have the same rate of emergence, then what are they
eating? Clearly they must be eating something else [5]. This could be combined to
state that there is concern over what the worms are eating instead of the Bt corn.
Clarity: Sentences like Biodiversity and quantity of organisms at every level of the
food web in the areas where these crops are planted has been assessed from the
microbial to the mammalian level and has been thoroughly researched over the past
two years, this is a review of the current research in this area are quite lengthy. It
could make more sense if split into multiple sentences: For areas where these crops
are planted, the biodiversity and quantity of organisms at every level of the food web
have been assessed. This paper reviews the large body of research done on the topic
from 2016-2017.
Organization: The paper is organized effectively, starting with smaller organisms and
working towards larger ones. However, the last paragraph of the Large scale
concerns section seems more like a conclusion than a continuation of the previous
topic, and may make more sense if separated.
Minor Points:
The text is missing some pieces of information needed from the syllabus (citation
style, word count).
Some sentences have a plural subject with the singular verb form, such as advances
in genetic science has allowed.
Table 1 is referenced as the following, instead of as Table 1.
Commas are used to connect two full sentences; these should be replaced with a
semicolon.
Commas are required after introductory phrases like in this [ ]. For example, In
recent years, this modified crop has come under fire from environmental groups
The text uses et. al. instead of et al.
The paper contains a sixth reference that is never cited within the paper.