Would you like Fishoil with that?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Vortexx, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Vortexx Skull & Bones Spokesman Registered Senior Member

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    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1038508.htm

    While i am somewhat concerned about GM in general this would be great to put in the human DNA also. Pure Fishoil works great in preventing colon/stomach cancer and aids in a healthy flexible skin etc, however, many commercial fishoil on the market is polluted with heavy metals from our industries spillage into the sea, also many artificially bred salmon contain often more PCB and metals than wild Salmon, because the breeders feed the salmon the cheapest fish they can find (unsuitable for human consumption), you have to be very carefull what brand fishoil you buy. it would be better if we were able to make Omega-3 from less healthy Mac donald Omega-6 directly.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2004
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  3. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    My understanding is that the Omega-3 fatty acids come from algae that the fish eat. As with astaxanthin, eventually humans should be able to aquaculture the stuff and avoid the pollutants that concentrate in the fish. BTW, these fatty acids are also what makes up a very large portion of brain cells. That recent book "The Omega-3 Connection" detailed some studies that indicated people were better off in general using it rather than Zoloft, Prozac and the other highly prescribed psychoactive drugs. I take it and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a real mood lifter. Of course you can not patent and hold profit rights on naturally ocurring oils so doctors and the public don't see ads or media blitz campaigns for the Omega-3s.

    Ever read that Clarke series on Rama? I'd like to someday go so far as to adjust my genes to maybe give me three legs and arms and eyes but for right now, I'm going to wait until each GM option can be quite thoroughly tested and proven safe.
     
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  5. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    From the news story...

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1038508.htm

    <I>"Opponents to this technology say genetically modifying animals could be hazardous, arguing that inserted genes could be disseminated to wild animals or leap the barrier to other species."</I>

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    How? By what mechanism might the transgene in question "disseminate to wild animals or leap the barrier to other species"?
     
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  7. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    One species eating another, parasites moving between hosts, wastes moving about and then the DNA altering activity of some bacteria or plasmids working with the moved proteins, but its the ways you can't foretell that are the most dangerous.

    Living beings do not live in a vacuum, well maybe there are some mites and bacteria and the sort in the dust you suck into your Hoover but, in general, messing with DNA is risky because evolution is still going on. You do ascribe to evolution?

    Don't get me wrong. When we can have secure experimental sites I am all for experimenting. Evolution full steam ahead! But that might have to wait until we have built some decent space colonies off of our numero uno seed colony, Earth. Not too sensible to experiment with your home world when you got no where else to go and it holds all the original seed plasm we have.
     
  8. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    No Mr Chips, you haven’t provided any mechanism by which you can reasonably suggest that a transgene from a knock-in mouse can be transferred to another organism.

    (1) One species eating another

    So? The nucleic acids from biological matter that you eat are digested in the alimentary canal.

    (2) parasites moving between hosts

    So? Parasites might be able to transfer whole cells or DNA from one animal to another, but mammals aren’t bacteria. There is no reason to believe that our cells would take up foreign DNA from, say, a mosquito bite let alone transport it into the nucleus and recombine it into the genome.

    (3) wastes moving about?

    So? See number 1.

    (4) the DNA altering activity of some bacteria or plasmids working with the moved proteins,

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I cannot make any sense out of this one.

    >>>messing with DNA is risky because evolution
    >>>is still going on. You do ascribe to evolution?

    Yes, I do believe in the ToE and I am a strong advocate of genetic technology. It’s my career. And we’ve been “messing” with DNA for years. Your point? We’ve been making knock-out/knock-in mice for how long? 30 years? Has there been any instance of the transgene from such a mouse somehow transferring to another organism? I was merely trying to pour cold water on the usual luddite objections to any theoretical suggestion of applying genetic engineering technology.

    Having said all that, I think this whole omega-3 transgenic farm animal idea is stoooopid. I’m all for GM approaches when there is a need for it. But this whole idea seems to revolve around countering peoples’ bad eating habits. Don’t bother making pigs with a <I>C.elegans</I> gene, just start eating properly!
     
  9. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    I'm afraid you haven't convinced me otherwise due to posts by people who appear to be quite learned and certified in associated fields such as the following URL and as I said, "its the ways you can't foretell that are the most dangerous."

    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/FSAopenmeeting.php
     
  10. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Messages:
    954
    BTW, "years?" "30 years?" Just what kind of fractions of the phylogenetic tree is that and why do you think that is any kind of assurance of safety? Maybe horizontal gene transferance usually happens by design and rarely by accident but as far as I can tell, some of those accidents have had far reaching consequences that have had a lot to do with what is in each and every one of yours and my cells.

    Who was only talking about mice? Eating stuff can lead to material entering other parts of the body rather than just the alimentary canal. I think that is part of the reason why we wash our hands before eating. You do wash your hands? 1, 2 and 3 were all basically precursors and partially dependent on 4 and if you can't understand that one and you work in the field, I hope you have your insurance paid up.

    Call me Luddite if you will, I'm an A+ certified computer technician.

    Tell me you are employed in the stuff and now tell me you don't have a vested interest in skewing the evidence.

    I find it difficult to weigh your comments with much credibility so far. Maybe you could kind of try to approach things more like "it is my opinion that" or "to the best of my knowledge" or some other clarifying language that would give me cause to consider you as more of a scientist than a dupe.
     
  11. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    >>>I find it difficult to weigh your comments with much credibility so far.

    A don’t give a rat’s ass how much credibility you think I have. I’ll bet good money I’ve made more transgenic organisms than you have. As a result, I can say that I have a very good understanding of the sorts of risks, whether they are large or small, that are involved.

    >>>Maybe you could kind of try to approach things more
    >>>like "it is my opinion that" or "to the best of my knowledge"
    >>>or some other clarifying language that would give me cause
    >>>to consider you as more of a scientist than a dupe.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that I was merely stating my opinion in the matter. I used the clarifying phrase “reasonable mechanism” to indicate such. And my post may have been my opinion, but it’s an informed opinion, which is more than can be said for yours.

    >>>BTW, "years?" "30 years?" Just what kind of fractions
    >>>of the phylogenetic tree is that and why do you think that is
    >>>any kind of assurance of safety?

    When discussions about genetic engineering take place on internet forums, it’s always a dead giveaway that someone doesn’t understand what they are talking about when they start referring the evolution, which has very little (if anything) to do with this topic. Who do you think is the dupe here?

    Another dead giveaway that you do not understand what you are talking about is the fact that you are equating transgenic animals with transgenic crops. I was never talking about plants. The article linked to in the original post was talking about making transgenic <I><B>animals</B></I>. There has never been any question that transgenes can transfer from GM crops to wild relatives due to the “promiscuous” nature by which plants can interbreed with wild relatives, and even other species. But that’s irrelevant to this discussion as we are talking about animals.

    Your link that you used as “evidence” to back up your position is feeble. What the hell is the Institute of Science in Society? If you knew anything about science you’d know that science is weighed by peer-reviewed journal papers. Instead you offer the <B><I>opinions</I></B>of some person at this society. Furthermore, this person uses his/her own non-peer-reviewed correspondence as references! 99% of them are things like “Correspondences between myself and Ministry of Agriculture” and numerous references to newsletter articles. There are only four references to peer-reviewed journal papers, and they all relate to plants. In fact, one of them (the <I>Nature</I> paper), if I remember correctly, was subsequently soundly refuted by other researchers. So you’ve a pretty poor job of defending your position.

    In contrast to your feeble understanding, I’ll offer the more relevant opinion of someone referring to transgenic animals in a peer-reviewed journal….

    <I><blockquote>The issue of 'release', in particular the inadvertent transmission of transgenes to wild varieties that has dogged the genetically modified (GM) plant debate should not pose a problem for livestock. In many parts of the world there are no wild populations of agricultural species. Also, it is much easier to keep gene flow within the agricultural population in animals than it is in plants. In animals it is a matter of confining the population, whereas in plants genes can be introgressed through indirect means such as pollen transfer.

    Nature Reviews Genetics 4, 825-833 (2003)</blockquote></I>

    I’ll ask again, who do you think is the dupe here?

    >>>Who was only talking about mice?

    That’s what the article was talking about you idiot. The researchers in question made transgenic mice with a <I>C.elegans</I> gene, so that’s what I was referring to in my reply.

    >>>Eating stuff can lead to material entering other parts
    >>>of the body rather than just the alimentary canal. I think
    >>>that is part of the reason why we wash our hands before
    >>>eating. You do wash your hands?

    WTF are you talking about? Do you inject your food intramuscularly? Who do you think is sounding like the dupe here?

    >>>1, 2 and 3 were all basically precursors and partially
    >>>dependent on 4 and if you can't understand that one
    >>>and you work in the field, I hope you have your
    >>>insurance paid up.

    You’re an ass clown. I’m not going to be losing any sleep over what a computer technician thinks of my science knowledge, I can assure you. This is what you said in your original post….

    <I>“(4) the DNA altering activity of some bacteria or plasmids working with the moved proteins,”</I>

    I work with bacteria, plasmids and proteins every day, and I’m telling you that that sentence makes no sense. I think I can <I>guess</I> what you are trying to say, but it’s difficult. What the hell is a “moved protein”? What “DNA altering activity” are you referring to in the context of a transgenic animal?

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again. You offered no <I><B>reasonable</B></I> mechanism by which the transgene in an <I><B>animal</B></I> could transfer to another animal of a different species. The exception when it comes to livestock is farmed fish for which there are substantial and much debated risks of gene flow to wild populations.

    If you don’t want to believe anything I say, then that’s fine, but don’t embarrass yourself by trying to play scientist.
     
  12. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    954
    You're use of colorful language does not increase your credibility in my eyes. I see calling someone an "idiot" when the supposed reference would be better placed as "ignorant" as you willing to be literally incorrect, false, a liar, a spreader of fantasy, someone who allows themself to speak falsehoods. Besides that, the article has the researchers talking about using the process for other animals other than mice so even if you had called me ignorant in that instance you still are mistaken. I hope I do not have such a stubborness about myself when I should recognize that I am mistaken.

    What mistakes have I made in this thread so far? Apparently, the citation I used is of a researcher who seems to make a career out of claiming there is great danger to GMOs including animals from horizontal gene transference. Well, as you pointed out this is not necessarily an unfounded claim. I see the references on the web concerning the gene transference in fish. Seems some researchers had to learn the hard way. I also see the old reports saying that GM corn could be kept from contaminating existing strains and now we have such genes invading the original or oldest sites of maize cultivation on the planet . I see the fact that funding for the testing of GMO appears to be decreasing rather than increasing as the GMO increase in frequency. How can we depend on peer reviewed studies when they are not even conducted in the first place? The fact that little testing is done leaves the field open for speculation. Speculation is further fueled when one sees yourself, a GMO career worker, obviously quite emotionally attached to your position of unquestionable safety.

    Hey, you basically inferred that eating food would not lead to any possiblity of gene transference. I do know that it can transfer viruses and bacteria. I do know that some viruses and bacteria can effectively transfer genetic material. In a situation where there is a paucity of testing, such speculation is more healthy than repugnant and if you don't like it then others can gain a sense of increased alarm, not solace. I don't think you are allaying anyone's fears here and very possibly increasing the trepidation. Look, folks, here is how a dedicated worker in the GMO industry sees things. Oh boy!

    I must thank you for the heads up about the gene transference in fish as that decreases the merits of the quote you include from your almighty trustworthy peer reviewed journal. I have gotten a bit of a bad taste for some of these journals as they seem to offer a direct channel and target for big money to have something to work on to corrupt so-called science. I remember seeing an article in Psychology Today about alcoholism where the researcher was wondering as to why alcoholics appeared to exhibit stronger addiction than was warranted physically and then the same issue had hard liquor advertisements strewn throughout. Many of the medical journals I have seen contain full page glossy ads from pharmaceutical companies who brandish their designer drugs while the unpatentable food stuffs that find merit in many medical situations will never get such an ad campaign. I avoid Scientific American partly because its title is a contradiciton in terms, Does it still have the many ads for fossil fuel vehicles and oil companies?

    By moved protein I was referring to DNA. Do I have that wrong? Isn't DNA a protein? Without the extensive testing speculation is wise. You say you don't understand a sentence I wrote as it seems you want me to just gag in recognition of my stupidity and then you state that you can guess what I am trying to say. Well, you don't seem to want to help me to make it clearer but would rather take aim at the messenger. You are not helping your position this way. YES, I am referring to the context of GM animals. Why on earth ask if that is the case or not? I do not think you can keep a level head when you find that there might be some real honest to goodness reasons why your money making may be immoral.

    I do not feel embarassed but you are not instilling a sense of trust as an example of one who would consider himself a scientist.
     
  13. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    This, unfortunately, is not quite correct. In the case of bacteria, they can assimilate genetic material into their own genome, but can't transfer it to us. There are mechanisms within our cells that present compatability issues, and there are other mechanisms that are designed to destroy foreign genetic material that enters our cells. Viruses are incapable of this in the sense that you are suggesting. Also, were DNA able to incorporate itself into our genome, the only way it would have an effect is if it found it's way into pre-meiotic cells (sex cells) in the gonads. The problem arising with plants, is that they interbreed with wild species, and with other plant species, therefore spreading the inserted gene through sex. It's not often you find domestic livestock and their wild counterparts intermingling, so the risk of that is very little.
    No. DNA is a nucleic acid. DNA is transcribed into RNA, which is translated proteins. The genes present within the DNA are 'read' to create a protein end product (simplified), which in turn make our cells and bodies what they are.

    Most of the material we ingest has to go through the stomach, which is a very inhospitable place for any materials. DNA is not very stable, as there are many enzymes capable of destroying it. Therefore, there is very little risk of inheriting any GMO traits by ingesting their tissue.
     
  14. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    Messages:
    954
    Very little risk is not none at all. Thanks for the remindance concerning DNA not being a protein.

    I've been going over a study recently published in England, http://www.gmsciencedebate.org.uk/ which is of necessity basically about GM plants. I see that

    1) great uncertainty exists as to what long term effects may be
    2) unlike other new substances released into the environment, after market monitoring is given greater priority

    I suspect that 1 applies to transgenic animals also due to the field being newer and less tested.

    Is 2 due to the fact that much more time needs to be used to consider possible long term repercussions? It is difficult to test for unforeseen interactions over generations especially for animals as they usually require more time for aging and reproduction. Seems that we have a potential case of catastrophic testing if the environment must be the guinea pig.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2004
  15. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    Right, but there is zero chance of having those traits pass down into future generations if they happened to incorporate themselves into our genome (the chances of which are astronomically small). The worst that would happen, is the somatic cell in which they were incorporated, and all daughter cells may express the phenotype of that gene. Hardly a consequence, and certainly not a case where the gene escapes into wild animal populations and changes animals as we know them.
     
  16. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

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    954
    I feel I should explain my position a bit. I am of the opinion that humans need to grow, need new territory for expansion and that we can do that to many times the area of earth using space colonization. I suspect that thinking life is basically destined to become more space based than planet bound. I then see Earth as our germ plasm conservation area, the source of our seed genetic material. I see genetic material as data, species contain the result of millions of years of experimentation that would not be wise of us to disregard or destroy. Risks to the integrity of the gene pool should become of greater significance as we grow to realize the rarity and virtual irreplaceable importance of our mother ship and its seed material.

    It has been estimated that the available land surface for human habitation can be increased by many times the area of earth within less than a hundred years. We must place the value of our genetic source material as higher than the amassing of tokens in the banks of those who own stock in or other immediate benefit from companies that manipulate gene code. So it is not just danger to humans that I see as risky or perhaps, not immediate danger to current generations. I am thinking about the welfare of humanity, the welfare of other life forms that make up and sustain this thin film that coats our home world as a bubble. I am concerned for the sake of my children and theirs.

    That is my motivating opinion. In order to make it out there, we need to take great caution and respect what we have here.

    BTW, Idle Mind, I appreciate your level headedness and informative posts. I really don't think that new animals will spontaneously arise through horizontal gene transference but I do believe there has not been enough testing as to exactly what kinds of dangers may arise due to pressure to realize monetary profit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2004
  17. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    I agree with you to some degree. I am still on the proverbial fence when it comes to GM livestock and agriculture. You are completely right in saying that there has not been enough research going into the possibility of unforseen problems that may occur. However, the concerns you have with horizontal transference in animal species may not be where the problems occur.

    Genetic research is not inherently evil though, and we must work to improve the lives of those that are here suffering now, before we consider recolonizing. Genetic research can be a powerful tool when it comes to treatments for certain diseases, such as AIDS and cancer, and could be the key to solving parasitic infections, such as trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and malaria (although the repercussions of removing these may be more than the costs of living with them...but that's a topic for another thread). It doesn't have to be about agriculture.
     

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