Author Topic: something NEW* to fight about  (Read 5110 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2013, 11:24:34 pm »
IS THIS THE PLACE WHERE WE COME TO SHOW HOW RIGHT WE ARE AND HOW SUPERIOR WE ARE TO THOSE PEOPLE?

NO, THIS IS WHERE WE TALK ABOUT HOW FUCKING AWESOME SCIENCE IS THAT WE CAN DO SHIT LIKE TURN A C3 PLANT INTO A C4 PLANT.

NO, I CHECKED.  WE'RE AT PD.
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Kai

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2013, 11:26:06 pm »
Here's a GMO project which is not Monsanto, is not related to pesticide resistance or production, and will ultimately be free for use.

http://c4rice.irri.org/

Quote
In the majority of plants, including rice, CO2 is first fixed into a compound with three carbons (C3) by the photosynthetic enzyme ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase (Rubisco)this is known as C3 photosynthesis.Rubisco is inherently inefficient because it can also catalyze a reaction with oxygen from the air, in a wasteful process known as photorespiration (rather than photosynthesis). At temperatures above 20C, there is increasing competition by oxygen (O2), with a dramatic reduction in CO2 fixation and photosynthetic efficiency. While all this is happening, water is escaping from the leaves while the CO2 is diffusing in. Thus, in the hot tropics where most rice is grown, photosynthesis becomes very inefficient.

C4 plants are more efficient in carbon dioxide concentration that results in increased efficiency in water and nitrogen use and improved adaptation to hotter and dryer environments.
In nature, this has occurred more than 50 times in a wide range of flowering plants, indicating that, despite being complex, it is a relatively easy pathway to evolve.

In other words, they're going to up yield, increase water efficiency, and lower fertilizer use, by turning rice into a C4 plant. If you can't get behind it, you are some sort of technophobe.

ETA: I've talked to one of the members of this team just recently. To make this work, they have to change about 12 steps in the basic cellular physiology of these plants. As of now, they have four steps. So, one third there. As they keep adding steps the work is going to get more and more complicated.

THAT kind of thing is fucking cool.

It's the way of the Future, Nigel. Once we make it work for Rice, what's stopping us from doing it for all of our crop plants? And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.
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Kai

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2013, 11:32:09 pm »
You know, Nigel, I'm thinking back to that BookFace thread where I got butthurt and you were probably right. Sticking a single gene into a plant to make it produce a pesticide is a rather crude solution. It's a band aid, really. Any pest insect species subjected to a strong enough selection pressure will develop resistance eventually. Equally crude is giving plants herbicide resistance. These are quick fixes. These are first generation transgenic plants, much like the first generation of automobiles, or the first generation of airplanes, or the first generation of computers. They WORK, and at the time they look cool. But remember watching those movies from the 1950s and seeing those clunky gigantic mainframe supercomputers, and thinking that all of that computing technology could now be held in the palm of your hand? Yeah.

Monsanto is playing the first generation game. They have the big boxy supercomputers. But the Rice Initiative is making smartphones.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2013, 11:33:35 pm »
And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.

False equivalence.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Kai

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2013, 11:37:09 pm »
And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.

False equivalence.

You're going to have to elaborate.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2013, 11:42:12 pm »
And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.

False equivalence.

You're going to have to elaborate.

Polio vaccination does not spread from the person vaccinated.  Plants introduced into an environment can.

While I am reluctantly on board with golden rice, that is because the situation calling for it is DIRE, and the regular plant life in the target regions (ie, equatorial Africa, etc) is already more or less gone.

But just deciding that there can't be unintended consequences in the biological sciences because you WANT a particular result is no fucking different than the Luddites denying any science that disagrees with their values and/or religious beliefs.  IT ISN'T SCIENCE.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Kai

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2013, 11:46:03 pm »
And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.

False equivalence.

You're going to have to elaborate.

Polio vaccination does not spread from the person vaccinated.  Plants introduced into an environment can.

While I am reluctantly on board with golden rice, that is because the situation calling for it is DIRE, and the regular plant life in the target regions (ie, equatorial Africa, etc) is already more or less gone.

But just deciding that there can't be unintended consequences in the biological sciences because you WANT a particular result is no fucking different than the Luddites denying any science that disagrees with their values and/or religious beliefs.  IT ISN'T SCIENCE.

Did I fucking say that? NO, I DIDN'T FUCKING SAY THAT. In fact, I admitted that Bt crops and Roundup Ready crops were a shitty solution.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2013, 11:48:58 pm »
And since the patent holders are going to give it out freely, it's like the Polio vaccine all over again.

False equivalence.

You're going to have to elaborate.

Polio vaccination does not spread from the person vaccinated.  Plants introduced into an environment can.

While I am reluctantly on board with golden rice, that is because the situation calling for it is DIRE, and the regular plant life in the target regions (ie, equatorial Africa, etc) is already more or less gone.

But just deciding that there can't be unintended consequences in the biological sciences because you WANT a particular result is no fucking different than the Luddites denying any science that disagrees with their values and/or religious beliefs.  IT ISN'T SCIENCE.

Did I fucking say that? NO, I DIDN'T FUCKING SAY THAT. In fact, I admitted that Bt crops and Roundup Ready crops were a shitty solution.

But you are comparing plant and insect life with things that do not reproduce.  Like computers and vaccines.

This situation's risks have more in common with jackrabbits in Australia.  Once you let 'em into the wild, the situation is more or less out of your control.  You can live with the results, or you can go find a spider to swallow to catch the fly.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2013, 11:50:45 pm »
You know, Nigel, I'm thinking back to that BookFace thread where I got butthurt and you were probably right. Sticking a single gene into a plant to make it produce a pesticide is a rather crude solution. It's a band aid, really. Any pest insect species subjected to a strong enough selection pressure will develop resistance eventually. Equally crude is giving plants herbicide resistance. These are quick fixes. These are first generation transgenic plants, much like the first generation of automobiles, or the first generation of airplanes, or the first generation of computers. They WORK, and at the time they look cool. But remember watching those movies from the 1950s and seeing those clunky gigantic mainframe supercomputers, and thinking that all of that computing technology could now be held in the palm of your hand? Yeah.

Monsanto is playing the first generation game. They have the big boxy supercomputers. But the Rice Initiative is making smartphones.

The irony, of course, being that unless we overcome the problems with food distribution and politicking that are the root of most famine, being able to produce more nutritious and more efficient crops is itself nothing more than a token gesture. Africa has enough arable land to feed the entire world using ordinary crops and ordinary sustainable farming methods, yet is home to some of the most food-poor regions in the world. For some reason people are married to the idea that we have a shortage of farmland, or will face one soon, but not only is farmland being abandoned on a mass scale, but the prices at which big agriculture is able to produce more cheap food (due in part to government subsidies) are driving small farmers out of business all over the world.

I appreciate the idealism behind the research, and I appreciate research for its own sake, but I seriously doubt that more food cheaper is going to result in an improved situation, unless major institutional changes accompany it.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2013, 11:54:27 pm »
You know, Nigel, I'm thinking back to that BookFace thread where I got butthurt and you were probably right. Sticking a single gene into a plant to make it produce a pesticide is a rather crude solution. It's a band aid, really. Any pest insect species subjected to a strong enough selection pressure will develop resistance eventually. Equally crude is giving plants herbicide resistance. These are quick fixes. These are first generation transgenic plants, much like the first generation of automobiles, or the first generation of airplanes, or the first generation of computers. They WORK, and at the time they look cool. But remember watching those movies from the 1950s and seeing those clunky gigantic mainframe supercomputers, and thinking that all of that computing technology could now be held in the palm of your hand? Yeah.

Monsanto is playing the first generation game. They have the big boxy supercomputers. But the Rice Initiative is making smartphones.

The irony, of course, being that unless we overcome the problems with food distribution and politicking that are the root of most famine, being able to produce more nutritious and more efficient crops is itself nothing more than a token gesture. Africa has enough arable land to feed the entire world using ordinary crops and ordinary sustainable farming methods, yet is home to some of the most food-poor regions in the world. For some reason people are married to the idea that we have a shortage of farmland, or will face one soon, but not only is farmland being abandoned on a mass scale, but the prices at which big agriculture is able to produce more cheap food (due in part to government subsidies) are driving small farmers out of business all over the world.

I appreciate the idealism behind the research, and I appreciate research for its own sake, but I seriously doubt that more food cheaper is going to result in an improved situation, unless major institutional changes accompany it.

Cain has the right of this one.  The problem is primarily political.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2013, 11:55:23 pm »
I'M NOT CAIN!

Although I do wish Cain was here.  :cry:
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Kai

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2013, 11:58:00 pm »
You know, Nigel, I'm thinking back to that BookFace thread where I got butthurt and you were probably right. Sticking a single gene into a plant to make it produce a pesticide is a rather crude solution. It's a band aid, really. Any pest insect species subjected to a strong enough selection pressure will develop resistance eventually. Equally crude is giving plants herbicide resistance. These are quick fixes. These are first generation transgenic plants, much like the first generation of automobiles, or the first generation of airplanes, or the first generation of computers. They WORK, and at the time they look cool. But remember watching those movies from the 1950s and seeing those clunky gigantic mainframe supercomputers, and thinking that all of that computing technology could now be held in the palm of your hand? Yeah.

Monsanto is playing the first generation game. They have the big boxy supercomputers. But the Rice Initiative is making smartphones.

The irony, of course, being that unless we overcome the problems with food distribution and politicking that are the root of most famine, being able to produce more nutritious and more efficient crops is itself nothing more than a token gesture. Africa has enough arable land to feed the entire world using ordinary crops and ordinary sustainable farming methods, yet is home to some of the most food-poor regions in the world. For some reason people are married to the idea that we have a shortage of farmland, or will face one soon, but not only is farmland being abandoned on a mass scale, but the prices at which big agriculture is able to produce more cheap food (due in part to government subsidies) are driving small farmers out of business all over the world.

I appreciate the idealism behind the research, and I appreciate research for its own sake, but I seriously doubt that more food cheaper is going to result in an improved situation, unless major institutional changes accompany it.

I can't do anything about the institutional changes. All I can do is promote Science. And it's not just about cheapness. Water shortage is a huge problem, as is fertilizer use. Given that it's the staple crop for the majority of humans, and that 20% of all energy consumed is rice, and that rice farming is heavily water and fertilizer intensive, increasing the efficiency of yield is very much something to work towards.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Faust

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2013, 12:02:57 am »
I've always had the reservations around GM foods based on the unintended side effects of introducing a gene that will interact with other parts of the product in ways that are unforeseen or act in subtle ways. Or that react with one or more of the surrounding habitats, in any way that biases certain parts of the eco system.

I'm aware of the nice 15-25 year trials in closed systems that are then introduced into the wild only after the risk has been mostly mitigated.

I would not place the need for urgency above caution. Antibiotics are becoming ineffectual due to their widespread use, and it has saved a hell of a lot of people, but if we are looking at 200 years+ of millions people dying of relatively basic infections while we look for an alternative, then maybe they shouldn't have always been administered.

When we have a better understanding of the interactions of what GM's on a macro scale, and the role new introductions will play then I would err on the side of caution.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 12:06:46 am by Faust »

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2013, 12:03:48 am »
I'M NOT CAIN!

Although I do wish Cain was here.  :cry:

Sorry, I meant to refer to Cain's earlier comments, in agreement with yours.

On the other hand, we have only your word that you are not Cain.   :eek:
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: something NEW* to fight about
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2013, 12:06:13 am »
I'm not saying it's not potentially useful, just that it will be of dubious benefit on its own.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.