Transgenics – next wave of genetically modified crops could ease concerns over ‘Frankenfoods’

Transgenic canola

When the first genetically modified (GM) organisms were being developed for the farm, says Anastasia Bodnar, “we were promised rocket jet packs” — futuristic, ultra-nutritious crops that would bring exotic produce to the supermarket and help to feed a hungry world.

 

 

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Three myths about genetically modified crops

GM crop technologies have seen dramatic uptake in the past 20 years.

It can be hard to see where scientific evidence ends and dogma and speculation begin in the debate over genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. In the almost 20 years since they were first commercialized, GM crop technologies have seen dramatic uptake. Advocates say that they have increased agricultural production by more than US$98 billion and saved an estimated 473 million kilograms of pesticides from being sprayed. But critics question their environmental, social and economic impacts.

 

 

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Genetically engineered mice can detect explosives 500 times better than normal mice

Scientists inserted a gene into odor sensing neurons in mice that could drastically increase their ability to smell TNT.

Mice have been genetically modified by scientists in hopes of increasing their ability to smell TNT with 500 times the sensitivity of normal mice. If successful, the mice could provide a cheap and effective way to sniff out landmines and other explosive devices that haunt nations all over the world.

 

 

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Glow in the dark sushi the latest food craze to hit America

glow in the dark sushi

The genetically modified fish were originally bred to help detect environmental pollutants.

The latest must try food craze to hit America is sushi that glows in the dark. The sushi was inspired by genetically modified fish first bred for scientific research, a video showing how to make the glowing sushi has become a huge hit online. (Pics and video)

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Is there any hope for a non-genetically modified future in America, or Africa?

monsanto-toxic-corn

It is really only a matter of time before our food crisis becomes crippling.

In the past few days a number of interesting articles have been circulating, all discussing genetically modified crops and starkly different versions of the future of food. One one hand we have the state of affairs in the US. On the other we have the future Bill Gates would like to manifest in Africa, all in the supremely laudable goal of reducing poverty and hunger, which looks an awful like the current situation in America.

It’s not a pretty picture, for people, for farmers, for the planet…

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Grains of rice genetically modified to produce human blood

blood-donor

Blood protein from genetically modified rice could ease demand for blood donations.

Genetically modified grains of rice produce a key component of human blood in an attempt to provide an alternative to donations. The protein, extracted from rice plants containing human genes, could be used in hospitals to treat burns victims and help patients who have suffered severe blood loss.

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Genetically Modified Cows in China to Produce ‘Human’ Milk

DrinkHuminMilk

Scientists have successfully created a herd of more than 200 cows that is capable of producing milk that contains the characteristics of human milk.

Details are a bit thin on this one, but my initial reaction to this is an overwhelming grossness: Researchers in China have genetically modified some 200 cows so that the milk they produce is similar to human milk.

 

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Sheep Are More Intelligent Than Previously Thought – They Can Even Make ‘Executive Decisions’

smart sheep

Sheep can remember faces and have long memories.

Sheep aren’t as stupid as previously thought, according to researchers.  Never considered particularly intelligent, sheep are actually so smart they make ‘executive decisions’ and have long memories, remembering friends for two years.

 

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Genetically Modified Chickens Developed Than Cannot Transmit Bird Flu

bird flu

Scientists develop GM chickens that do not spread bird flu.

British scientists have developed genetically modified (GM) chickens that cannot transmit bird flu infections — a step that in future could reduce the risk of avian flu spreading and causing deadly epidemics in humans.

 

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Spontaneous GMOs in Nature

A real life Jack and the Bean Stock! Genecially modified plants

Genetically modified plants can come about by natural means. A research group at Lund University in Sweden has described the details of such an event among higher plants. It is likely that the gene transfer was mediated by a parasite or a pathogen.

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