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From: Biodiversity – Footsteps 47

Understanding and responding to changes in biodiversity

biopiracy The unacceptable taking (or patenting) of genetic material and traditional knowledge without proper informed consent and agreed terms

diversity Variety

ecosystem Communities of plants, animals and other living things, together with the non-living parts of the environment such as rocks and weather, which together form a working system

extinct A species with no living survivors

gene Each living organism has thousands of genes that make up the ‘code of life’. Each one affects a certain characteristic. For example, we have genes that affect our height, the shape of our feet, our ability to fight off disease, etc

genetic material The characteristics of each living organism are controlled by strings of genes found in every one of their cells. Scientists are rapidly coming to understand the exact structure of these strings of genes

genetic modification (GM) The process of removing, modifying or adding genes to a living organism by scientists

intercropping Growing a variety of crops together

landraces Cultivated local varieties of crops that have been grown over many generations

monoculture The growing of one crop species over large areas of land (monocropping)

patent Legal ownership and protection of a new invention or new process to allow scientists and inventors to benefit from their work and research

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