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Human Blood Protein (HSA) From GMO Rice

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the tasty-and-lifesaving dept.

Medicine 89

eldavojohn writes "Wuhan University researchers working with the National Research Council of Canada and the Center for Functional Genomics at the University at Albany announced that they have genetically modified rice to produce a medically useful protein chemically identical to human serum albumin. This protein is used to treat burns, traumatic shock and liver disease at a global demand rate of 500 tons each year. Normally, this would be extracted from blood donations, but now you can just grow rice and extract it at a rate of 2.75 grams of protein per kilogram of rice. After testing on rats with liver cirrhosis, the same response was shown as the protein from blood. This is important for China after a spike in demand and lack of supply lead to fake albumin medicine flowing through Chinese hospitals. Worried about these GMO crops cross-pollinating regular crops? The researchers referred to a study indicating 'a very low frequency (0.04-0.80%) of pollen-mediated gene flow between genetically modified (GM) rice and adjacent non-GM plants.' Nature has a slightly more detailed article with a reference to the peer review publication."

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very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901260)

It only takes one, right? What exactly is this supposed to suggest? That we shouldn't worry about it or that we should? It seems like math tells me that gene flow will occur with a near certitude.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901286)

But is it really a problem?

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 2 years ago | (#37904842)

Do you really want your rice to contain human blood protein without your knowledge? Or anti-cancer drugs, or viagra or whatever else shit someone decided they could make a fast buck from? Once people start putting this stuff into crops, it is only a matter of time before we start eating it. transfer rates of 0.8% sound small until you remember how many plants there are in a field.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901372)

It only takes one, right? What exactly is this supposed to suggest?

In the future, we will all be vampires.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#37906228)

Twilight fangirls here I come!

I'll just show up to a first screening. They can't all be fat, right?

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901450)

HSA flavor Rice Krispies coming to a store near you!

Seriously it's not whether or not they cross breed but what the stability of the cross breed is. Usually these crosses are not competitive.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902022)

Soylent rice milk is people.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901504)

Couldn't they just include a dummy extra chromosome that does nothing but make the GM variety incompatible with reproducing with the natural crop, or some other genetic incompatibility, preventing cross pollination entirely? Or require they do so by law for any crop grown outside of a sealed laboratory? This isn't rocket science or brain surgery; it's genetic engineering!

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901696)

Couldn't they just include a dummy extra chromosome that does nothing but make the GM variety incompatible with reproducing with the natural crop, or some other genetic incompatibility, preventing cross pollination entirely

Certainly. Except for the little detail that such an extra chromosome might well make it incompatible with living and the annoying little fact that even if the GMO was viable, it could drop the chromosome, no problem.

Most biological kill switches tend to need some genetic WD-40 from time to time.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901918)

A genetic kill switch for pollination can result in the GMO competing with regular organisms to fertilize themselves, resulting in a lowered yield.

Thankfully, nobody would ever do this on purpose just so they could be the only ones getting good yields in town.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#37904480)

Monsanto regularly sells seeds that grow plants with useless seeds. It ensures that the farmers have to buy new seeds *every* year.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37909602)

Monsanto regularly sells seeds that grow plants with useless seeds. It ensures that the farmers have to buy new seeds *every* year.
That was the OP's point -- he was being sarcastic...

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37917598)

Darn, I usually catch those. Guess I focused on the first paragraph too much :(

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901702)

plants are EXTREMELY tolerant of chromosomal mismatches. There has not been any method proposed that would limit the ability of this gene to enter into other species, providing that there is an evolutionary advantage (usually just meaning that it doesn't hurt or slow down the organism).

Considering that virus, bacteria and cross pollenation are all viable methods of gene transfer in plants, it will happen with certitude.

it should be easy to control the spread though by not reseeding nearby crops.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902114)

it says "adjacent" non-gm plants. Meaning that, even if you put it right next to regular rice it still has a very low chance of cross polination. So if you don't put it next to rice you don't have the problem. This doesn't even factor in the chance that the cross pollination actually leads to anything bad... which is almost certainly even lower.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37903624)

Low doesn't mean 0.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#37904162)

Never say never.

Also never say always.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

locketine (1101453) | about 2 years ago | (#37903996)

"non-gm plants" is not rice exclusive meaning any crop nearby has a .04-.8% chance of acquiring genes from the rice which make it almost certain that the genes will flow to another crop considering the scale of production required to make this gm-rice useful to hospitals. They would have to isolate this rice in order to ensure that the genetic modification didn't flow to another crop. Unless of course we don't care if that happens but that would require lots of trials to determine.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#37905670)

True, I wonder why they don't make GMO sterile, it wouldn't be that hard.

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 2 years ago | (#37905882)

they often do, but things like that are not 100%, especially since so many crops are grown for their seeds or fruiting body, and so you cannot just scrape out all the reproductive code

Re:very low frequency = 0.80%? (1)

DrStoooopid (1116519) | about 2 years ago | (#37910974)

It's supposed to suggest that when the Vampire Apocalypse happens, it's okay because we can all just eat rice.

Patents (0)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901280)

And, conveniently, the company selling the bioengineered rice can then sue the non-GM neighbor!

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901316)

You didn't read until the end of the summary before jumping in as quickly as possible to announce this bit of genius, did you?

Re:Patents (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901640)

Of course I read it. That's not a zero-risk number, and the low likelihood could be touted as proof that the crop was copied intentionally. I'm sorry, but we've had so many issues of that kind with Monsanto that I don't take it on faith that GMO producers will be ethical. Read the post after mine.

Re:Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37905484)

Yeah, and they've touted the same or lower numbers with STANDARD GMO crops. It's getting hard to even be a farmer anymore unless you do GMO now. Take a 1,000 rice crops, guess what, you just tipped the scale from a low percentage to expected! Crosspolination of GMO's is more expected than anything, and these companies love it.

A very low frequency of pollen-media? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901304)

Do they take us for complete idiots? "Very low probabilities of pollen-mediated genes" means nothing when the GMO crops are grown on large areas -- the "low probabilities" will turn to very large physical rates quickly, and we'll be polluting the gene pool with artificial junk,developed mostly by trial and error and guesswork, without consideration for the long and very long term consequences.

"Low rates" of industrial pollution nearly poisoned the environment in many industrialized countries and have required drastic regulations and expense for "cleaning up". This is the very same thing, only polluting in a much more insidious manner and affecting stuff that is much less understood than industrial pollution.

Re:A very low frequency of pollen-media? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901404)

Do they take us for complete idiots?

Yes, yes they do. And why shouldn't they? Blatant lies have been very successful politically.

GnaJa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901328)

Rice blight in humans?!!! (1)

wjwlsn (94460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901340)

I know this is probably a ridiculous question, but... with this rice, what are the chances of a rice-specific bacteria suddenly developing a taste for human blood proteins?

(Sorry... I just shelled out candy to a couple of neighbourhood zombies, which got me to thinking about disaster scenarios.)

Re:Rice blight in humans?!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901560)

Maybe the National Research Council of Canada is the Umbrella Corporation...

Re:Rice blight in humans?!!! (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901598)

Well apparently the best way to handle a zombie is to give them candy....

Re:Rice blight in humans?!!! (1)

chikanamakalaka (218733) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901810)

Rice Candy

Rats with liver cirrhosis (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901364)

I hope they got them into a rehab program too. Who the hell was giving these little bastards booze? They can't possibly be opening the bottles themselves.

Re:Rats with liver cirrhosis (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902530)

One of my friends works with tobacco addicted mice. They pump the smoke through the ventilation system for them.

Before she told me that I had images in my head of a mouse puffing on a cigarette.

Re:Rats with liver cirrhosis (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | about 2 years ago | (#37903966)

They don't need to puff. My buddy has a bulldog that is downright vicious if you light a cigarette near him and refuse to blow a little smoke in his face. Why? When my buddy was at work during the day, the bulldog would eat butts out of the ashtray, and this went on for some time before anyone figured it out. Goofy friggin' dog, that's for sure.

Good news for vampires! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901436)

Sorry, but you know somebody was going to say it.

Rice, anyone? (1)

wildstoo (835450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901452)

My brain is fried and beer-addled, so I can't even begin to figure out how much rice we'd need to match the annual demand for this protein, but I can tell that it's a LOT.

As a supplement to existing sources (blood donation) this might be marginally useful. When the yield increases about tenfold, I'll be more excited.

Until then, it seems like you could save a lot more lives by just giving starving people ordinary rice. It would cost less, too.

Re:Rice, anyone? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901662)

My brain is fried and beer-addled, so I can't even begin to figure out how much rice we'd need to match the annual demand for this protein, but I can tell that it's a LOT.

182,000 tons, give or take a few.

For reference, the USA, which is hardly a major player in the world's rice production, grows 6,000,000 or so tons per year.

The 182,000 tons would represent 0.05% of worldwide rice production....

Re:Rice, anyone? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902156)

If this method of production turns out to be cost-effective, I'd think that demand could go way, way up from 500 tons/year.

Albumin isn't just used in burns/liver disease, it's actually a very powerful tool for fluid resuscitation. When you give someone normal saline (or any other crystalloid fluid), most of the fluid you administer ends up leaving the vasculature (where it is most useful, as circulating fluid) and distributing rather uselessly to the intracellular and interstitial spaces of the body. Colloids such as albumin, packed red blood cells, and hespan (a synthetic colloid) are "locked in" to the vasculature through the oncotic force of proteins that are unable to cross the capillaries. The only reason that normal saline is the go-to fluid over albumin for circulatory resuscitation is cost. If you're in the ICU and tanking, or just can't handle extravascular fluid (e.g., severe liver disease) then you get the expensive stuff.

Re:Rice, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901960)

OTOO 100 hectares.

Crunching the numbers (1)

nickdc (1444247) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901458)

500 tons = 453 592.37 kilograms 1 kilogram rice = 2.75 grams proteins (0.00275 kilograms) That means we will need 164,942,680 kilograms (363,636,364 pounds) of this rice to support the current need. With these odds 0.80% worst case is a bit scary... I do find it cool that they've been able to do this but the extraction ratio will need to be more efficient and, dare I say, safer before it becomes useful.

Re:Crunching the numbers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901476)

you do realize the next best alternative is EXTRACTING FROM BLOOD?

Re:Crunching the numbers (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901642)

Human serum albumin is the most abundant protein in human blood plasma. The reference range for albumin concentrations in blood is 3.4 to 5.4 g/dL.

So...

500 tons = 453 592.37 kilograms
1 L blood = 44 grams proteins (0.044 kilograms)
That means we will need 10,308,918 liters (2,723,328 gallons) of blood to support the current need.
A blood donation typically takes a pint of blood.
Thus 21,786,624 donations are needed to make this amount of human serum albumin.
Traditional white rice farmers realize a yield of 4000 to 6000 pounds per acre.
Thus we'd need about 32,989 acre's of rice to support the current need.
The area of land needed would be about 5% of Rhode Island (668,800 acres total), assuming Rhode Island could remotely support rice farming.

Re:Crunching the numbers (1)

neoshroom (324937) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901712)

Darn, going too fast with the math and divided the kilograms instead of pounds.

We'd need about 72,727 acre's of rice to support the current need.
The area of land needed would be about 11% of Rhode Island (668,800 acres total), assuming Rhode Island could remotely support rice farming.

Re:Crunching the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37907124)

Traditional white rice farmers realize a yield of 4000 to 6000 pounds per acre.

What about Asian rice farmers? Do they have a higher yield?

Re:Crunching the numbers (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901692)

Yeah, about an order of magnitude less (~11 megaliters; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_serum_albumin [wikipedia.org] ),
but presumably you can extract other useful factors from that as well. The rice might be suitable for fodder after,
if we're lucky.

Rice yield is about 4 tonnes per acre, so this would take 400 km2 to meet current demand.

Crunching the numbers right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901792)

Last time I checked, 500 tons were exactly 500*10^3 kilograms. No more. No less.

Re:Crunching the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901826)

From TFA:

"The final product was a crop of rice seeds in which HSA made up more than 10% of the seeds' total soluble protein — one of the best yields of recombinant protein from plants to date."

Re:Crunching the numbers (3, Interesting)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902010)

just for scale - using Wikipedia's numbers, in 2009 world wide rice production was 1,494,734,140,000 pounds so this would only account for ~0.024% of global production.

Also if you note the rice production in the US it is significantly smaller than world wide production but still larger than what is needed for this - it also would allow for it to be isolated from main production areas so you don't have just a high chance of the gene making it to the normal food supply.

doing GM crops in isolated non food production areas would allow the US to have a major export and not risk the world wide food production.

While i'm not for or against GM crops over all - i am against it in the Food supply or used haphazardly (even glare at Monsanto)

Re:Crunching the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37904946)

this would only account for ~0.024% of global production

How many lives could you save by feeding the starving with those 165 tons of rice? Oh wait, only poor people starve. Never mind then.

You cannot isolate. It's just a matter of time before some GM crop spreads worldwide. Some corrupt corporation WILL sell these crops to whoever asks for them. Of course, the corporations reaping in profits will never be held accountable if shotgun gene modifications turn out to be hazardous and potentially harm more people than they help. Who cares if a buck is to be made? After all, even the most die-hard capitalist is a socialist when it comes to offloading the risk on everybody but himself.

Happy random gene-modding! Look under your seat! It's free damaged-genes for everybody!

Re:Crunching the numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37905152)

165 tons of rice

My bad, that should be 165 thousand tons of rice according to the thread starter.

Re:Crunching the numbers (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#37906884)

And how many people will die because blood supplies are short? One of the big problems facing the medical community is that blood cannot be manufactured and so they have to rely on donations which people tend to be reluctant to give for a variety of reasons both valid and invalid. If we can reduce the demand of actual human blood donated by real humans then that is a big win that saves lives.

The food 'shortage' problem is really a distribution problem anyway, not a supply problem so someone growing rice in Montana isn't going to help starving children in Africa.

As a vampire, I approve of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901460)

If indeed, this quenches my thirst for blood.

get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (1)

MichaelKristopeit506 (2495010) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901486)

rice is not an organism... and even if it was, classifying it as "GMO rice" is redundant.

GMO Rice = GM Rice = GMR

slashdot = stagnated

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901728)

Rice is a plant seed and contains an embryo, it satisfies dictionary definitions of organism:

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

          2. (Biol.) An organized being; a living body, either
                vegetable or animal, composed of different organs or parts
                with functions which are separate, but mutually dependent,
                and essential to the life of the individual.
                [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 2.0 :

    organism
              n 1: a living thing that has (or can develop) the ability to act
                        or function independently

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (0)

MichaelKristopeit506 (2495010) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902268)

once it's harvested and processed, it's no longer living.

either way, it's redundant... i don't eat organism rice... i eat rice.

slashdot = stagnated.

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (1)

Zancarius (414244) | about 2 years ago | (#37904420)

I think the point of the conversation was that the rice (living, not yet harvested) is a GMO, so you're essentially splitting hairs.

I would, however, recommend avoiding the organic section of the grocery store. Organic goods by definition cannot contain GMO products, and most of the ones I've seen state rather clearly that they're not made with "GMO ingredients;" ingredients which, of course, are "harvested and processed" and is labeling that would probably drive you mad.

I see no problem with it, because it conveys information that should be implicitly understood without resorting to arguing over exceedingly minor details.

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (1)

MichaelKristopeit506 (2495010) | about 2 years ago | (#37907528)

most idiots don't see a problem with "ATM Machine", so i'm not surprised there are idiots that don't see a problem with "GMO Rice"

enjoy your organism fried chicken for dinner. maybe have some organism corn on the side.

you're an organism idiot.

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (1)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37930580)

most idiots don't see a problem with "ATM Machine", so i'm not surprised there are idiots that don't see a problem with "GMO Rice"
enjoy your organism fried chicken for dinner. maybe have some organism corn on the side.

There's actually a term for that [wikipedia.org] .

Though, I do think you're being somewhat unfair, and probably intentionally so. It seems useful to classify precisely what type of organism we're talking about. Would you prefer if someone were to state, instead, "Would you like some GMO?"

I'm joking, of course. You'd probably prefer if they simply dropped the O and stated "Would you like some GM rice?" This option would make the most linguistic sense and is much more descriptive.

That said, I would disagree that it's necessarily the same thing as RAS, simply because the exact contents of the acronym are not being repeated in some form (unless you had Genetically Modified Organism Rice and asked if anyone was interested in GMOR rice). It does sound awkward, and even a little redundant, but it's nowhere near as bad as "ATM machine" or "FOSS software." And again, I would argue that it's somewhat helpful: By stating GMO rice, it should be reasonable to understand without much fuss that the rice is genetically modified, and that the organism in question is, well, rice. Arguing over that is almost as absurd as arguing over precisely what shade of blue the sky happens to be on any given day.

In other words: I do think you're splitting hairs unnecessarily. :)

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (1)

MichaelKristopeit423 (2018892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934542)

ur mum's face're being somewhat unfair.

split some more hairs... you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow some more behind your chosen pseudonym, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37935980)

I enjoyed your posts, now stop feeding the 13 yo troll so he can go back to /b and brag how he like totly pwnd joo, or dog willing he'll go get some spelling and debate technique lessons. :)

That's a lot of rice. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901516)

500. tons of HSA/2.75 g/kg rice = 181000 tons of rice.

Re:That's a lot of rice. (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901578)

It does seem a pathetically low yield. Why rice, and not bacteria like insulin?
TFA doesn't say, and the linked DOI does not exist.

Re:That's a lot of rice. (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901862)

I think the albumin protein is a bit to big to be produced by bacteria. Albumin is 65 000 g/mol, insuline is 5 800 g/mol.

Re:That's a lot of rice. (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902476)

Interesting. It looks like yeast should be up to the job though,
apparently folks have had it produce ~50 kDa proteins [google.com] ;
as best as I can tell, android browser won't let me access the other pages of that 4-page chunk.

Re:That's a lot of rice. (1)

Bowling Moses (591924) | about 2 years ago | (#37910618)

Bacteria have absolutely no problem making a protein the size of albumin. It is standard practice in biochemistry labs to have them make proteins of pretty much any size, I've personally worked on 150 kDa (or 150,000 g/mol if you like) proteins that I expressed in bacteria and I knew a postdoc who worked on a megadalton protein complex. Bacteria also have nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) [wikipedia.org] , which are used to make things like antibiotics (in some cases to help bacteria A compete against bacteria B) and other small peptide compounds with unusual chemistries. These NRPS proteins are modular, but are a single polypeptide chain, and can be well over a megadalton in size. Even these large proteins are dwarfed by ribosomes, but ribosomes are composed of many different polypeptides and RNA.

bravo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37936120)

This is the kind of comment that makes me enjoy slashdot after all these years (my first UID was 5 digits).

Re:That's a lot of rice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901654)

Asia produces about 600,000,000 to 700,000,000 tons of rice per year. 181,000 tons of rices isn't much on that scale. And of course rice is produced elsewhere, including the US, and I assume, Latin America.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901606)

Sounds great ... maybe next they can make some corn that produces hemoglobin. I'll eat as much as I can

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37901770)

Next they will make a plant that produces soylent green from corn. And you'll be able to eat as much as you want. Until ...

Regarding Safety (1)

Rasta_the_far_Ian (872140) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901762)

Worried about these GMO crops cross-pollinating regular crops? The researchers referred to a study indicating 'a very low frequency (0.04-0.80%) of pollen-mediated gene flow between genetically modified (GM) rice and adjacent non-GM plants.'

Hmmm. You may find the following news story and its associated paper interesting:
'Escaped' Genetically Engineered Canola Growing Outside of Established Cultivation Regions Across North Dakota [sciencedaily.com]


The Establishment of Genetically Engineered Canola Populations in the U.S. [plosone.org]

Re:Regarding Safety (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#37903248)

Canola isn't a plant is it? It's rapeseed. And then the oil was divorced from the plant name for marketing reasons to canola. So now we've renamed rapeseed oil to canola, but didn't change the name of the plant, and now are changing the name of the plant to match the oil that was deliberately named to not match the plant?

Honestly, I haven't followed it, but this is the first I've heard of a "canola plant." And yes, I acknowledge that you never used that name personally, but that it's in the links you gave did. And now that I look, the rapeseed plant most commonly used to produce canola, is just called canola now.

A very low frequency (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | more than 2 years ago | (#37901938)

>>The researchers referred to a study indicating 'a very low frequency (0.04-0.80%) of pollen-mediated gene flow between genetically modified (GM) rice and adjacent non-GM plants.'

What could possibly go wrong?

A Canadian Farmer was sued by Monsanto (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902086)

A farmer who's crops were pollinated by genetically modified wheat from adjacent fields was successfully sued by Monsanto for patent infringement. GM plants let out into nature spread their modifications just like every other plant. So the question is not 'if' it will spread but what will happen when it does?

Re:A Canadian Farmer was sued by Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902450)

Also happened to a dozen Texan farmers. They went to jail for TEN freakin' years. Talk about insanity.
Also look up âoeThe World According To Monsanto". A critically acclaimed documentation about Monsanto. They've got thousands of deaths and hundred thousands of sufferings on their tab. And it's only just starting.
Monsanto = government-sponsored organized crime of "futuristic megacorp" dimensions.
Worst fuckin' thing that can happen.

Re:A Canadian Farmer was sued by Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902568)

Yeah, Percy was sued not because of accidental modification but because he was deliberately cultivating the GMO (roundup-ready) plants via spraying them with roundup (or equivalent). Which is against the law. Which he knew about. If he had not been cultivating the crop then he would not have been breaking the law nor being sued. Read the court records and Percy's statements within.

This is sort of like purchasing a computer with Win7 on it and then copying the OS to the other computers in your house. You know that it is wrong but it feels so good "stickin' it to the man."

Now we can debate if laws about "crop piracy" should exist. And you won't find me defending Monsanto's heavy handed tactics. But the law is the law and if you break it then expect to get sued.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902228)

Buffy V2
SMG ftw!

Next, brains (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902448)

And we can finally sate the zombie's [slashdot.org] hunger.

Headlines of the Future (1)

cybergremlin (136962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902552)

The main ingredient in "TruBlood" revealed!

Rice farms devistated by vampire bat infestation.

Rice-pudding and blood-pudding, now in the same bowl!

Monsanto sues Dracula for theft of intelectual property.

Buy hcg drops online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37902630)

hcg drops [freshhealthnutrition.com]

True Blood (1)

Tea-Bone of Brooklyn (828337) | more than 2 years ago | (#37902716)

The Vampires will be going public any day now.

.04 to .8 % ?, Only if your 5 foot 4! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37903852)

No really, is this how rice pollinates. because if within that rangee it happens once.. just once. it will have a much greater chance of pollinating
as well as the NGMO rice.

Why bother? (1)

climb_no_fear (572210) | about 2 years ago | (#37905316)

There are already companies that produce human serum albumin in yeast or the milk of cows at gram/liter rates as a marketed products. I have trouble imagining that this costs more than extracting it from tons of rice.

A possible solution (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#37905804)

Wouldn't it be possible to engineer plants that require a certain chemical that's not found in nature to grow? This would prevent GMO plants "escaping" to the wild.

It is possible but it wouldn't work (1)

realxmp (518717) | about 2 years ago | (#37907062)

It is very easy to create a "knock-out" version of a creature which lacks the enzyme to synthesise a particular essential nutrient. This is done to mice and bacteria all the time for experimental purposes. The problem is that plants are harder to contain than animals when it comes to breeding, often it means plucking every stamen off the mutant plant, and in large samples, a couple inevitably get missed. All it takes is a wild-type pollen to land on a mutant-type stamen and you've got a new plant which is heterozygous for the mutant knocked out allele and the wild type. This is then fitter than it's homozygous mutant brethren because it can exist in environments where they can't. Thus natural selection screws up your experiment.

Opps error (1)

realxmp (518717) | about 2 years ago | (#37907106)

/s/wild-type pollen to land on a mutant-type stamen/wild-type pollen to land on a mutant-type carpel/

Re:It is possible but it wouldn't work (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#37908534)

True, this would not protect against crosscontamination, only from getting out, assuming crosscontamination is already solved. Although I wonder if it could be tied to the modifications themselves somehow.

Human Blood Protein From GMO Tobacco, +2, Smoking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37908402)

A list articles is here [google.com] .

Yours In Novosibirsk,
Kilgore Trout, C.I.O.

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