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Author: Subject: Genetically modified organism
Molecular Manipulations
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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 10:52


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
"Scientists behind 'golden rice' GM crop to receive humanitarian award from the White House"

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-behind-...

Good to know the White House can recognize real applied science that will benefit millions. +1 Islama Obama:D
From the link:

Quote:

Environmental campaigners opposed to golden rice have organised the destruction of experimental field trials on the grounds that the GM rice represents a high-tech “quick fix” to vitamin A deficiency without addressing the underlying problems of poverty and poor nutrition.

Just read that again. They have organised the destruction of experimental field trials. Field trials:D
They're basically saying, "Don't experiment with this (not so) new technology, because *we* already know it won't really solve the problem." Despite it having all the qualities of a solution to the problem, that's about as arrogant as it can get. "Just because it has vitamin A where as white rice doesn't, doesn't mean it will solve the vitamin A deficiency causing tens of millions of cases of blindness and death each year." "It's just a "quick fix"."
At least we (almost) agree that it's a quick fix. Fuck me.:mad::mad:




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 11:22


Quote: Originally posted by Molecular Manipulations  
Good to know the White House can recognize real applied science that will benefit millions. +1 Islama Obama:D


Islama Obama?

Care to explain that?

[Edited on 24-4-2015 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 11:46


Quote:
on the grounds that the GM rice represents a high-tech “quick fix” to vitamin A deficiency without addressing the underlying problems of poverty and poor nutrition.


This is a classic example of allowing perfection to be the enemy of good. Sure, in a perfect world this might not be the perfect solution, but it's nevertheless an improvement that will help a lot of people. Ant it's not done by some evil megacorp to maximize profits:
The company announced in 2004 that it had no continuing interest in the commercial exploitation of golden rice but would continue to support its development as a humanitarian project.

Sometimes I wish we could put the protesters on trial for crimes against humanity.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 12:29


It's also an example of how zealots always end up over-reaching. Can't really use the 'safety' argument? Just make up something else! Anything, anything to avoid admitting there might be something positive about GM foods...



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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 12:32


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  

Islama Obama?

Care to explain that?

Joke from Shameless, some people (not me) believe his birth certificate is fake, and he was in fact born in a Muslim country. This is likely false (and I couldn't care less), but the joke's still funny IMHO.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 13:19


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Crazyboy: I used quote marks because organisms that have been genetically modified by cross breeding or chemical or radiative mutagenic techniques are... genetically modified organisms. No getting around that.


I know what you're trying to say, which is why I'm telling you that you are wrong. I often hear from pro GMO people that all our food is "technically a GMO" because of selective breeding or chemical mutagenesis. This is misinformation. GMOs are made by genetic engineering ie gene knock-out, gene insertion, site directed mutagenesis.

Yes you modify the genome by chemical mutagenesis or selective breeding, that doesn't make it a GMO. A MacBook is a computer, my MacBook is my personal computer. Is my MacBook a PC? No clearly not.
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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 13:20


MM:

Thanks for clearing that up. I'd be loathe to think that some who take a rational view on GMOs happen also to belong to the 'Obama is a secret Muslim' or 'birther' fringe-nut groups. Weirder things have happened of course.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 13:26


Crazyboy:

It's what's known as 'a distinction without a difference'. Much like the difference between a PC and a computer, in fact. It's not worth squabbling about because the argument that selectively bred/chemo or radiative mutagenic varieties have also undergone genetic modification is a good one and made in good faith.

[Edited on 24-4-2015 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 13:35


Whenever I see criticism of GMO crops, I don't normally see both sides of the risk/benefit analysis portrayed. I really hope I don't popularize it by making light of it.... My favorite arguments revolves around prions. We could make new prions in GMOs. Yes, I suppose. The likelihood of any prions forming would be miniscule, and we test the newly inserted proteins, so they would need to have chaperon effects on previously present ones, which is unlikely, as well as allow development from unicellular organism to adult plant/cow/whatever, which is even less likely... but I can't help but shake my head and point to how the USDA and scientists are making headway in preventing prions that already exist naturally!

You essentially have the chance go trade a known problem with the minuscule risk of recreating it on a smaller scale... so, still likely to reduce prion diseases. Now, you may introduce other problems (largely from GMO induced policy rather than necessarily the organisms themselves), but we manage to have these problems today anyway. If you reduce pesticide use, which is fossil-fuel intensive as well as polluting from runoff, we have a known target benefit to account for. I view it similarly to antibiotics. Did antibiotics cause such massive overpopulation that humanity went extinct? No. Worst case scenario with antibiotics is that resistance proliferated to the extent we are just as vulnerable as we were before their advent. Is this really a net loss, or did we capitalize on decades of relative impunity? Consider bacteria have more labile plasmid DNA than eukaryotes. In one sense, this means the college genetics, molecular biology, and possibly some biochemistry labs are risking much more unforeseen consequences than one might consider with golden rice or BSE-free cattle. High schools even have been known to demonstrate some of these, apparently.

Quote: Originally posted by crazyboy  
I know what you're trying to say, which is why I'm telling you that you are wrong. I often hear from pro GMO people that all our food is "technically a GMO" because of selective breeding or chemical mutagenesis. This is misinformation. GMOs are made by genetic engineering ie gene knock-out, gene insertion, site directed mutagenesis. Yes you modify the genome by chemical mutagenesis or selective breeding, that doesn't make it a GMO. A MacBook is a computer, my MacBook is my personal computer. Is my MacBook a PC? No clearly not.
Even ignoring radiation induced mutations for some odd reason, I am not sure I agree with you on the actual practical difference in effect. Just because the preferred technique to KO or KD a gene has changed doesn't mean natural viral insertion doesn't knock in the entire viral genome in an organism, or that a coding region point mutation resulting in missense truncation of an active site isn't a functional knockout. Likewise, a SNP in a promoter can cause a knockup/down. Transposons can cause gene duplication, removal, reversal, or merely an insertion at a new location. Did you know up to 85% of at least one strain of corn's genome is comprised of various types of transposons? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19965430
Pretty fascinating. Our genomes, much as our transcriptomes, vary much more than people often think. Our protein expression levels help set our circadian clocks, and vary throughout a 24 hour cycle. Our infant hemoglobin wasn't the same as when we matured either.

Just because we are so much more efficient at willfully manipulating these changes doesn't invalidate that the techniques naturally occur. Indels and point mutations both also occur in somatic hypermutation for immune responses, and no one seems to be concerned about that natural immune response (though few are probably aware). The difference is what force/will/selectivity is involved in carrying out the changes over a particular timescale.

I don't care if someone altered a genome with heat shock, lipofectamine, modified HSV, CRISPR, etc. other than professional curiosity. We don't call them different organisms based on technique.
In fact, the last time I heard anyone ask outside of a techniques conference or dissertation defense was to ask their grad student if they were using lipofectamine solely because it was expensive and they didn't want to order more, not because they cared how they were altering a genome.

[Edited on 24-4-2015 by Chemosynthesis]
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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 13:48


This distinction is partly semantic, partly technical and somewhat a matter of degree. The bottom line is that it's at least not totally unrelated.

With selective breeding we don't know what happens, but we nevertheless take advantage of it. We know that horizontal gene transfer can occur in nature, so even with selective breeding we take the non-zero risk of ending up with a naturally produced GMO. And that begs the question of what the distinction between "natural" and "man made" GMOs really is?

Mutagens actually rewrite DNA rather than just transpose it between organisms, if this is OK why would artificial rewritten DNA be so much worse? It's monkeys with typewriters vs. Shakespeare. Why should finding something from a pile of random scribblings be any more benign than something written with purpose?

Are we really doing something fundamentally different with GMOs or are we simply doing things more efficiently?




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 13:59


The biggest opposition to GM is due to the fact that it is messing with the bits that make Life work, and that scares the bejeesus out of people.

Quite rightly too.

The same happened when atomic fission was first being explored.

Manipulating DNA sequences can, and will have unexpected results when the organism interacts with wild genes.

Unexpected as the subject is so vast and relatively new that we don't know exactly what will happen.

However there is no other way to find out, so to learn those effects it needs to be done and studied.

As i said before, Humans are a natural product of this planet, which means that the things we do are fundamentally natural acts.

Arguing otherwise is like saying that an intelligent goat that chooses to crap in a hot spring instead of in the field is deranging nature.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 14:45


aga:

Quote:
The biggest opposition to GM is due to the fact that it is messing with the bits that make Life work, and that scares the bejeesus out of people.


Turning the old, wild carrot species into the tens of agricultural varieties we know now isn’t ‘messing with the bits that make life work’? How about cross-breeding the common wolf into a Chihuahua? Creating seedless grapes, by cross breeding? The list is endless.

Quote:
Manipulating DNA sequences can, and will have unexpected results when the organism interacts with wild genes.

Unexpected as the subject is so vast and relatively new that we don't know exactly what will happen.


Assertion without even an attempt to provide a scintilla of evidence. Pure opinion, nothing else. You also grossly underestimate Mankind’s understanding of molecular biology at this point in history.

Unintended consequences can never be fully anticipated but that is true of any technology, ‘new’ or ‘old’ for that matter. Our entire approach to agriculture (for instance) has had consequences, many of which aren’t particularly desirable. It’s hardly unique to anything and not to GMO either.

People fear what they don’t understand, yet lazily refuse to inform themselves on the current state of the art science. In your case, QED.

You demand more research, yet refuse to acquaint yourself with even the basics of molecular biology (had you done so you wouldn’t be using meaningless phrases like “[…] when the organism interacts with wild genes” and other blinders above).

Quote:
However there is no other way to find out, so to learn those effects it needs to be done and studied.


2,000+ studies done in the last 10 years alone.

Quote:
As i said before, Humans are a natural product of this planet, which means that the things we do are fundamentally natural acts.


Bollocks (not to mention irrelevant). By no stretch of the imagination can something like a ‘car’ be described as ‘natural’.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 14:57


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  


Quote:
As i said before, Humans are a natural product of this planet, which means that the things we do are fundamentally natural acts.


Bollocks (not to mention irrelevant). By no stretch of the imagination can something like a ‘car’ be described as ‘natural’.



I kind of giggled at that one... We're not what I would describe as "environmentally friendly".

I don't think ten million years of GMO's could do the damage that we have done in 2 centuries. I am sure we (as a species) will never know...

[Edited on 4-24-2015 by Zombie]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 15:11


Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  

I kind of giggled at that one... We're not what I would describe as "environmentally friendly".



No, but that wasn't my point. We are the only species that shapes its own future by deliberate, reason-based actions (granted, we're not always very good at it), that's 'culture', not 'nature'.

'Natural' really is a bit of a red herring, especially in the context of this debate: we've been altering genomes since the advent of agriculture and these interventions aren't 'natural' either. Anti-GMOers, going by the frequent use of the word 'natural' in their campaigning materials, seem to think they are, ergo 'better'.

[Edited on 24-4-2015 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 15:24


I agree, the whole concept of "natural" is a red herring. Being mawled by a grizzly or getting sepsis from a bacterial infection is completely natural, it doesn't mean it's in our best interest. The only thing that matters is if the food is overall healthy, not why it turned out that way. If anything GMOs should be safer than other foods as they have been tested much more thoroughly than other foods.



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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 15:55


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
We are the only species that shapes its own future by deliberate, reason-based actions

What utter crap.

I suppose we're the only tool-using species too, and magically Better than ants.

We're not.

We're just a Current species blindly fiddling about with the brains we have and doing things (hopefully) differently.

How we have Applied our new found knowledge is hardly any cause for celebration.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 16:21


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
We are the only species that shapes its own future by deliberate, reason-based actions

What utter crap.

I suppose we're the only tool-using species too, and magically Better than ants.

We're not.

We're just a Current species blindly fiddling about with the brains we have and doing things (hopefully) differently.

How we have Applied our new found knowledge is hardly any cause for celebration.


I would say that a percentage of our actions are deliberate and reason-based, some humans more than others. But other animals do that, too, if perhaps less often. There's no hard line that separates us from other animals. But I do feel that the more we know, the more we have a responsibility to not screw everything up for other lifeforms and for future generations.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 16:35


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
We are the only species that shapes its own future by deliberate, reason-based actions

What utter crap.

I suppose we're the only tool-using species too, and magically Better than ants.

We're not.

We're just a Current species blindly fiddling about with the brains we have and doing things (hopefully) differently.

How we have Applied our new found knowledge is hardly any cause for celebration.


Keep the straw men coming, aga. Burn them before you leave.

I don’t believe we are ‘better’ in any moral or ethical sense of the word, nor did I imply that. ‘Reason-based’ implies no moral judgement. ‘Better/worse’ doesn’t come into my reasoning and I thought that was rather clear. I also thought you knew me better than that.

You don’t believe technology development requires Reason? We don’t apply logic to do these things? We just ‘blindly fiddle about with the brains we have’? No Reason, no motivation or targeted efforts? When you carry out some experiment or other you’re just… I dunno… blindly ramming things together for no particular reason, not based on anything that came before or might come of it? Your goal is not to achieve some level of understanding? Because if you do want to achieve that, that's called Reason

Quote:
How we have Applied our new found knowledge is hardly any cause for celebration.


This kind of crass generalisation is almost devoid of any meaning. What we do ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime, from the highly harmful to the highly beneficial. Cause for celebration? Sometimes yes, often not.






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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 16:38


Quote: Originally posted by Amos  
There's no hard line that separates us from other animals.


I fully agree (and evidence for it is strongly on the rise). But it doesn't contradict what I wrote.

In addition, the fact that humans are also often deeply irrational doesn't change the fact that we are capable of very high level reasoning.

[Edited on 25-4-2015 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 16:39


I don't mean this as a shot at you, blogfast, as you've certainly seen me do the same before, but I can't help mentioning that the emotional response you may be having to aga's last post isn't entirely reason-based.

We're still animals, and we're still flawed. But I do think we're farther along and have a better sense of what we're doing and better REASONING for why we do it.




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 16:47


Quote: Originally posted by Amos  
I don't mean this as a shot at you, blogfast, as you've certainly seen me do the same before, but I can't help mentioning that the emotional response you may be having to aga's last post isn't entirely reason-based.



No one's responses are fully reason-based, or do you think aga's (or yours for that matter) are?

He's annoyed me several times on this thread and I make no attempt at hiding it.

As regards his fears about some kind of leaking of genes or DNA of transgenetic organisms into the 'wild', it would help a lot if he could simply concretise these fears at least a little.

[Edited on 25-4-2015 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 17:33


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by Amos  


In addition, the fact that humans are also often deeply irrational doesn't change the fact that we are capable of very high level reasoning.

[Edited on 25-4-2015 by blogfast25]



This statement is entirely subjective. We have no REAL comparator. The only qualification of this statement is an assumption based on what you believe.

WE actually have NO CLUE as to what the earth would be or what would "naturally" transpire without OUR interdiction.

Your statement there reminds me of "God Loves You".

There is NO way of proving it is correct in any form.

That edited strangely. I was replying to mr blog, and it was his quote I am replying to. Not amos...

[Edited on 4-25-2015 by Zombie]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 17:52


Quote:
Quote: Originally posted by Zombie  
Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  
Quote: Originally posted by Amos  


In addition, the fact that humans are also often deeply irrational doesn't change the fact that we are capable of very high level reasoning.

[Edited on 25-4-2015 by blogfast25]



This statement is entirely subjective. We have no REAL comparator. The only qualification of this statement is an assumption based on what you believe.

WE actually have NO CLUE as to what the earth would be or what would "naturally" transpire without OUR interdiction.

Your statement there reminds me of "God Loves You".

There is NO way of proving it is correct in any form.

That edited strangely. I was replying to mr blog, and it was his quote I am replying to. Not amos...

[Edited on 4-25-2015 by Zombie]


Yeah, what's the big idea, attributing that to me!? ;)

As for my response to you, "mr blog", I was just trying to show that there's an in-between to both of yours arguments that might satisfy both of you.

Aga, could you go into a little more detail about what you mean by the genetics of genetically modified organisms "escaping"(not sure if you actually said that) into the wild? If what you're trying to say is that it might throw the ecosystem off, then I'm tempted to agree, but I feel comfortable enough knowing that the modifications are pinpointed to only change the minimum amount of DNA necessary to effect a desired trait. So simple things like adding a source of vitamin A to common white rice seem very unlikely to negatively impact the ecosystem.

If one of your concerns is the potential buildup of pesticide or herbicide tolerance in various other species such as pests or weeds, then yes, I second that concern.

Edit: I have no idea what's causing the quote function to be used on this message. Probably Zombie and his aliens.

[Edited on 4-25-2015 by Amos]




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[*] posted on 24-4-2015 at 18:03


That's what happened to me... The quotes fouled up. Maybe Chemo genetically modified it?

I'm a little scared now...




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[*] posted on 25-4-2015 at 04:51


Whoever made the following statements:

Quote:
This statement is entirely subjective. We have no REAL comparator. The only qualification of this statement is an assumption based on what you believe.

WE actually have NO CLUE as to what the earth would be or what would "naturally" transpire without OUR interdiction.


We DO have a comparator: we can compare the products of Man’s most sophisticated reasoning with that of his smartest animal ‘competitors’. It’s a world of difference (show me an animal species capable of producing a science paradigm like Quantum Physics or building a cathedral)

Yes to the second phrase but I don’t see what it has to do with anything. I’m not passing a value judgement on Reason, only claiming it can produce astonishing results.

Quote:
If what you're trying to say is that it might throw the ecosystem off, then I'm tempted to agree,


Explain what you mean by “throw[ing] the ecosystem off”. Is it not reasonable to assume, based on past experience with agriculture (e.g.), that if there did occur some ‘leakage’ into the ‘wild’ we would simply intervene and take counter-measures? That it's unlikely that the ecosystem as a whole would be compromised?




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