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ChemFood - Ron Paultard 2012 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523462)

I'm a conspiracy theory believin' Paultard, so I've got many conspiracy theories about this.

Probably FEMA camps in disguise.

Niggers, Jews, etc...

Jeff Goldblum (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523466)

Life finds a way

Re:Jeff Goldblum (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523514)

It's been doing this for millions of years. Plants evolve pesticides constantly. There are species of cacti that grow in perfect grids because they toxify the soil against even their own seedlings (a common trick amongst trees, to prevent crowding) and it's why wild almonds contain cyanide. The only real surprise is how fast the insects coevolved—but perhaps, given the rate of adaptation of bacteria to antibiotics, that's foolish of us.

Still, don't take this as an excuse to be ecologically destructive. Species that are already under stress don't have much leeway, and any shot to biological diversity is bad for the biosphere's durability as a whole, excepting perhaps idiotic birds like the kakopo.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523604)

The Kakapo makes perfect sense in a place where there are no mammals, specifically rats and foxes. The Kiwi likewise.

It's one of the things that makes New Zealand bird life so crazy and cool. Damn shame those Maori wiped out the Moa, and introduced mammals look to be trying for the rest of the weird ground-birds.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (5, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523636)

As an evolutionary biologist it is my sworn duty to make fun of helpless species that evolved to fill an ecological niche in the absence of predators. Like Walmart shoppers.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523706)

Fair enough, should have read your signature!

Do we point and laugh at the panda also?

Re:Jeff Goldblum (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523798)

Like Walmart shoppers.

We wanted a car/computer analogy, you insensitive clod!

Re:Jeff Goldblum (-1, Offtopic)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523988)

Reading that as from a Samantha, I imagine that's "clod-ette".

I hope she's hot, that would make her smart, funny and hot. I'm at your feet Samantha!

Re:Jeff Goldblum (5, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524048)

As an evolutionary biologist you would probably appreciate this [blogspot.com] the most out of anyone.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523638)

#correction HUNDREDS of millions of years (if not billions).

I'm rather un-surprised at the adaptation speed of the insects actually.
When studying evolutionary process, we used fruit flies specifically because of the extreme adaptation rates.

The high population size of the insects, coupled with their high mutation rate, and ever-increasing adaptation speed (family lines that adapt faster are a positive selection factor in evolution among many species) points in a fairly obvious direction of their overcoming our ham-handed attempt at creating resistant corn.
The only other real direction I could have seen it going would have been the extinction of those insects that depended on the corn for survival.

My biggest complaint about food crops, rather than their GM-ness (success or failure) is that once we get a "good" strain, we keep cloning it instead of continuing the process via selective breeding. So while each generation of insect improves against the crop, the crop defends damn-near exactly the same way; I suspect that may have reduced the time needed for adaptation as well.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (5, Informative)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523764)

Just so some accuracy can be in here. Life, as in DNA replication, exists for about 3 billion years. The solar system for about 4.5 billion years (our sun is third generation, in other words, 2 solar systems were destroyed before ours was created in roughly the same place), and earth somewhere near 4.4 billion years, although it could have been much smaller than today until about 4.2 billion years.

That "island species" (technically races, not species) die out when reunited with their long lost mainland brethren is not exactly news. It's what's happening to the human species right now. In general, without natural borders, different races are impossible within a species. The fact that we have both global travel and different races is an exceptional situation, and a temporary one (in ~500 years, maybe less, there will only be 1 human race left, unless global travel ends before that time). It is not known which race that will be, but if other island species evolution patterns are any indications, whatever race survives will look a lot like the original human race. It would be interesting to see whether the remaining race would be black or not (if not, that would be a strong indication that the original humans in Africa were not actually black before the races split up. My money's on that they weren't black (cause primates have white skin), but it could very well depend on the exact timing of the split).

My biggest complaint about food crops, rather than their GM-ness (success or failure) is that once we get a "good" strain, we keep cloning it instead of continuing the process via selective breeding. So while each generation of insect improves against the crop, the crop defends damn-near exactly the same way; I suspect that may have reduced the time needed for adaptation as well.

No offence, but this is a trivial, trivial complaint. Don't you think that GM researchers *also* stimulate evolution in those plants ? Also, for extremely obvious reasons predatory species cannot totally wipe out the species they seem to be destroying. Predatory species are fundamentally limited to about 1/500th of the biomass of their victim species (or -usually- much less), except in the extreme short term.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (5, Informative)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523810)

Don't you think that GM researchers *also* stimulate evolution in those plants ?

No, I don't. Many if not most GM plants are rendered sterile so that you are forced to purchase new seeds from year to year, thus making further evolution impossible. In the off-chance that some GM plants manage to produce offspring, the farmer involved (intentionally or no) sued and the crops destroyed.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (2)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524008)

Many if not most GM plants are rendered sterile so that you are forced to purchase new seeds

And now I went on to believe that it was to avoid contamination and halt unforseen outcomes. I don't know how to find back this story of modified crops which contaminated the surrounding fields by pollination and they had a situation going on.

Guess I'm still from the generation where "chaos theory" was theoretical and implications of genetic engineering were investigated in SciFi making people cautious about uncertain outcomes compared to the current one where everything is conspiracy or for economical gains.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523854)

I'd be willing to find out the unintended consequences of exterminating mosquitoes, fleas, deer flies, tsetse flies and other human parasites or disease transmitters.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (0)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524096)

I wouldn't. Disease is about the only thing still left keeping the population in check. What we absolutely don't need is fewer stressors on the human population.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (5, Interesting)

FirephoxRising (2033058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523904)

I'm amazed that anyone is surprised at all. If you have a selection pressure (the BT corn), then eventually (and not that long, insects breed fast) one mutation will arise that allows the insect to eat it, breed and pass on the resistant genes. Soon the new genotype is the dominant one, and the corn is lunch. They'll need to use toxic sprays to wipe out these populations and then stop using BT crops constantly, if you break us the cycle, the BT eaters will have no advantage and possibly be at a disadvantage compared to the other insects, and the population will not be composed of resistant members. The organic movement has been saying that this would happen since they first announced the new GM corn. BT is best used as a spray in combination with other management strategies. Idiots. The amazing thing is that they want to sue neighbouring farmers if the GM genes cross the boundary (when they said it wouldn't) and they are surprised when organic farmers sue them back if they lose their accreditation due to the contamination. Talk about wanting it all ways!

Re:Jeff Goldblum (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523930)

The only real surprise is how fast the insects coevolved

Not really. It's kind of like cracking copy protection on the internet. It only takes one. One successful cracker. Or in this case one successful mutation. Having exclusive access to entire crops that other insects can't touch offers a clear survival advantage, so once the mutation happens it's a given that there will be a population explosion of resistant types, within a single or at best a couple generations. Plagues of insects are not unheard of, because insects have phenomenal breeding capability. Well this is a man-made plague of resistant types.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524030)

Unless the insect that has a mutated gen isn't reproducing and isn't stimulated or motivated to reproduce anymore.

I suggest we play insect-porn on GM-crop fields. So, if there would be any resistant insect.. We'll, he'd be fapping foreveralone, becoming overweight and dieing of diabetes because of excessive plentyfulness.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523732)

That's true!

Re:Jeff Goldblum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523738)

Dead like Goldblum's career.

Re:Jeff Goldblum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523978)

Maybe they should have modified the corn to be half-fly.

becoming resistant or... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523492)

insects that are resistant are breeding more rapidly. Survival of the fittest.

Re:becoming resistant or... (5, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523544)

It's a common abuse of semantics in science, but you're correct. Insects aren't spontaneously becoming resistant, their descendants are being selected for resistance. The belief that major evolutionary adjustments can occur within a single lifetime is an abandoned evolutionary theory called Lamarckianism, the classic example of which is a proto-giraffe's neck stretching out to reach higher and higher leaves, and this stretchedness being passed on directly to the offspring (as if someone who becomes muscular as an adult will pass on their musculature directly to their children!) Incidentally, there actually are two evolutionary elements that function according to a Lamarckian model: epigenetics (censorship applied to DNA that can be changed in response to environmental stressors) and culture (many mammals and birds, amongst others, can pass on innovations to their offspring through teaching.) It appears that an organism that can change itself during its lifetime is preferable to one that must evolve over generations, but the good ol' nucleotide tape is stuck in Mendel mode.

Re:becoming resistant or... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523552)

(Sorry, correction: Darwin mode, not Mendel mode.)

Re:becoming resistant or... (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523778)

It's not at all abandoned. Google "socialist science" (I'm not joking, nor am I trying to insult anyone) It's still practiced.

Re:becoming resistant or... (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523786)

There are examples of epigenetic modifications of somatic cells (that increase fitness) being transferred to gametes?

Re:becoming resistant or... (2)

gringer (252588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523924)

There are examples of epigenetic modifications of somatic cells (that increase fitness) being transferred to gametes?

While this TED talk is not talking about transfer to gametes, it indicates that exposure to different environmental factors while in the womb can have an impact on development later in life:

http://www.ted.com/talks/annie_murphy_paul_what_we_learn_before_we_re_born.html [ted.com]

Re:becoming resistant or... (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523616)

A perfectly reasonable parsing of the headline is that insect populations are becoming resistant to GM corn.

Re:becoming resistant or... (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524108)

But then we'd be left without inane semantic arguments about how there's only one way to understand a given phrase!

Surprise? (4, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523502)

Is this a surprise, that nature can route around humans? Seriously, this was expected. However, all this means is that Monsato and other evil corporations like it who create GM seeds now have an opening for a new product to develop and sell, for an even higher price. And they will get this higher price because the "old" GM seeds are not successful any more. And the cycle continues...

Re:Surprise? (3, Insightful)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523562)

No surprise, End game is when ONLY patented and copyright Monsanto seeds and plants will survive.
All others eaten or killed by mutated bacteria and virus. WIN!

Wonder who made these resistive worms... (0)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523632)

Gotta keep the business going...patents only last so long...

Re:Surprise? (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523634)

Or we have to grow food underground away from insects using only torches for light.

Re:Surprise? (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523814)

Right, eventually the humans will also be concidered pests and the microarray analyzing robots will inherit the earth.

Re:Surprise? (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524038)

microarray analyzing robots will inherit the earth.

Unless you become cyborg and be one of them.

Re:Surprise? (1)

wolfie123 (1331071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523568)

No, lucky/successful mutations can route around certain obstacles. Also, making gene manipulations isn't evil in of itself. I don't see why you needed to make your comment so sensationalistic

Re:Surprise? (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523596)

It may amuse you to learn how the Monsanto people "engineered" their genetically modified and patent-protected seeds.

They hit them with random mutagens until they found something that was resistant to Roundup. And then they bred them like pedigree cats to enhance the effect. The grass genome (from which corn, wheat, and a number of other crops are derived) is absurdly complex, believed to contain four to six times as many genes as the human, and comes in five copies. Engineering it is very hit-and-miss. So they didn't even bother. Instead they patented the outcome of a directed natural process. It's like patenting the domesticated cow genome. (The grass-eating variety, not the mother-in-law variety.)

Re:Surprise? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523612)

Its a surprise to the investors who thought they could sell terminator seeds and use courts to control a revenue stream on a new generation of legally protected crops.
Everything was in place. The changes to US law, the ability of the US to push its new agro products and laws world wide, a wonderful new crop selection and the joy of setting next years seed prices every year.
The critters are doing a select few out of billions of $ of intergenerational wealth - think of all the "trustafarians" who would have been happy on their GMO investment trust portfolios :(

You really don't see where this is going, do you ? (-1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523824)

Actually this is mostly the result of insects becoming resistant to all forms of insecticides. It's not just GM crops that suffer from this, it's all crops. So don't act so smug, unless you like famines (or buy in the fantasy that sustainable farming can actually feed >1% of the world), this is really bad news. All crops are hit by insect's insecticide resistance. GM crops were simply near absolutely immune until 2-3 years ago (and they still are much better than natural crops).

I hope this also destroys any fantasy anyone has about this effect limiting GM crops, it'll have the opposite effect : it'll push more GM on our plate, with more mutations. Since we can't actually feed the world without GM, any sane person hopes against hope that someone, preferably not Monsanto but nobody should be picky, succeeds in fixing this problem. There's 7 billion humans, meaning that if any species adapts to become parasitic on humans or some part of the human cycle of life (ie. exploits what we eat and/or shit), the reward is huge. Is there really any doubt what those adaptations hope to accomplish ?

Opponents of GM, answer me this simple question : what exactly do you think Gaia is planning for us ? Don't you think it might be a global famine with death tolls that'd make all wars combined look like the devil's nap time ?

Re:You really don't see where this is going, do yo (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523916)

Opponents of GM, answer me this simple question : what exactly do you think Gaia is planning for us ? Don't you think it might be a global famine with death tolls that'd make all wars combined look like the devil's nap time ?

No, I don't. Gaia can't "plan" a damn thing since the earth isn't sentient. As for the super famine, that's been predicted for decades and it hasn't happened. There's always a famine somewhere, but developed nations haven't had that problem. The Green Revolution was amazingly successful and has allowed the world's population to reach 7 billion. Yes, millions die from famine, but they are in backwards countries such as North Korea, Somalia, Ethiopia and are attributable to either bad weather, or bad government, or both.

Quit trying to terrify people with bogus prophecies of doom.

Re:Surprise? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523822)

Is this a surprise, that nature can route around humans?

Insects treat pesticide as damage, and route around it?

Re:Surprise? (3, Insightful)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523902)

Is this a surprise, that nature can route around humans?

Insects treat pesticide as damage, and route around it?

Considering that it actually does damage them, then yes insects do in fact treat pesticides as damage.

Remember that the Internet meme is an analogy based on nature; saying that, yes, the nature analogy actually does apply to nature is slightly redundant.

Re:Surprise? (5, Interesting)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523832)

You are on to something there :

- a patent on GM seeds only lasts for a few years
- It only takes a few years for the insects to overcome the GM corn's resistance
- new GM seeds are invented in the mean time , which are again patented

Using this technique, you could trigger a targeted evolution in insects, making them much more dangerous for non-GM crops, effectively forcing farmers to use the GM seeds.

Evil government! (3, Informative)

thule (9041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523964)

How is Monsanto evil in this case? One of the big reasons cited in the article for farmers abusing the BT corn is the market price of corn is very high. Not mentioned in the article is the reason why it is so high. My cousin informed me that he is going to sell off the bit of corn they don't use for cash this year. Why? The government has been subsidizing the corn/ethonal in at least three different ways, exaggerating the price. Why wouldn't a farmer plant and sell of as much as he can and cash in on the high prices? The only reason they are able to do this in the first place is the high yield of corn crops since the 1960's (150-200 bushels and acre compared to only 50/acre years ago). Would we even consider burning corn in our cars if we were not able to realize current yields? If the government wasn't distorting the price, then normal supply in demand would limit the interest in planting too much corn and flooding the market.

Re:Surprise? (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524032)

No surprise- it's just planned obsolescence as usual.

Why is this even a surprise? (5, Insightful)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523512)

Everytime we've hailed a one-shot approach to these types of problems, the same thing happens. Look at antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and the like. Do you really think this is going to be any different?

Re:Why is this even a surprise? (5, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523574)

We didn't expect it to happen so quickly, that's all. Bacteria evolve much more rapidly than insects: E. coli splits once every 8 hours under optimal conditions in colonies of millions of cells, and may mutate up to 0.003% of their genome with each cell division under stress. That's a lot of brute forcing power. Insects, by contrast, have much more elaborate and stringent eukaryotic mutation controls, and most species take a couple of weeks to hatch.

Maybe some of the worms were already resistant (5, Interesting)

erice (13380) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523760)

We didn't expect it to happen so quickly, that's all. Bacteria evolve much more rapidly than insects: E. coli splits once every 8 hours under optimal conditions in colonies of millions of cells, and may mutate up to 0.003% of their genome with each cell division under stress. That's a lot of brute forcing power. Insects, by contrast, have much more elaborate and stringent eukaryotic mutation controls, and most species take a couple of weeks to hatch.

Which probably means that some small fraction of the population was already resistant when the "experiment" began. No need to wait for a lucky mutation. Just apply strong selection pressure and the trait quickly spreads.

Re:Why is this even a surprise? (1)

idbeholda (2405958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523844)

While that may be the case, one can't feasibly expect only a single compound to work for long, let alone indefinitely.

Re:Why is this even a surprise? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523852)

Yeah, antibiotics will stop working in the future ! OMG ! Let's redo the plague infections from the middle ages today while we can avoid it !

Do tell, what is your suggestion ? (and please, before you go there, the quantity of antibiotics consumed doesn't really matter, as long as we prevent large-scale infections with antibiotics resistence will grow. So the only way we could stop resistence is to protect only 1% (preferably less) of the population, and let plagues regularly destroy their breeding pool (that would be 10-20% of humanity dying if history is any indication). The difference between doing the minimum necessary to protect lives and massive overuse of antibiotics is at best a few years).

Oh and let's not forget that we also must stop any long distance travel, unless you want to be blamed again for wiping out indigenous populations with our resistant genes.

Re:Why is this even a surprise? (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523956)

Well for starters, don't use Clavulanic acid on cows. And punish, and then I mean *severely* punish, vets who try to cheat on this.

It's a surprise because god is on their side (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524098)

Clearly god wouldn't have changed the insects if the farmers were on god's good side, so they must have done something wrong. I suggest they sacrifice their first born to get him to change the insects back.

Upgrayedd'd (2)

Jimekai (938123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523516)

Monsawndo, it's got what plants crave!

Re:Upgrayedd'd (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523576)

Actually, Roundup [wikipedia.org] doesn't have any electrolytes in it, but it does cause cancer. And I hear it's going to be responsible for a dustbowl if civilization continues on its present course. I guess that sort of counts.

Re:Upgrayedd'd (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523642)

I'm not a chemist but it says its a isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. Isn't a salt an electrolyte?

Re:Upgrayedd'd (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523686)

...yes. It's a pair of stable counter-ions, and they can most definitely conduct electricity. I should probably be getting to bed.

Re:Upgrayedd'd (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523606)

Come to think of it, given that Roundup is such a powerful mutagen, it's probably why the insects evolved so quickly to overcome it. This story is more worthy of Idiocracy than I initially realised.

Re:Upgrayedd'd (3)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523698)

Actually, RoundUp is a herbicide (weed killer), not an insecticide (worm killer). The article is not about RoundUp, but about the toxins from Bacillus thuringensis (Bt).

Re:Upgrayedd'd (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523758)

If we are going to nitpick here, then insecticide is not a worm killer, it is a caterpillar killer (and even that is not completely correct, I know).

Re:Upgrayedd'd (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523876)

RoundUp ist pretty old, and there are much more interesting resistance stories around RoundUp than this one.

My favorite is the RoundUp resistant strain of the coca plant that gets grown in Columbia: Boliviana negra [wired.com] .

Not "smarter than we thought". (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523528)

"Smarter than they thought". Evolution is a common theme in everything from viruses to insects, and, if I dare say it, us. You would have to be literally retarded not to see this coming.

Look on the bright side (0, Flamebait)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523532)

.. it at least still hurts the people who eat it. They don't adapt as quickly as insects.

Conviction is a luxury (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523536)

I don't know jackshit about biologic or agricultural but I have strong opinions about why this has happened, how it can be prevented, and how our farmers ought to grow the crops.

Re:Conviction is a luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523672)

I have strong opinions about why this has happened, how it can be prevented, and how our farmers ought to grow the crops.

Care to share with us?

Re:Conviction is a luxury (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523720)

Methinks GP was mocking other posters here. I swear sometimes it's as if slashdot would be better off with a crowed sourced sarcasm counter.

Re:Conviction is a luxury (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523746)

...slashdot would be better off with a crowed sourced sarcasm counter.

Personally I'd MUCH rather a crowd-sourced directed-beam sarcasm discharge weapon. As long as I'm at the controls, naturally.

Re:Conviction is a luxury (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523770)

Then you're a lazy idiot.

It just takes research to pick up the knowledge necessary to form valid opinions. Everybody with a computer and a phone line can do this. Information sharing is one of the things the internet is exceptionally good at providing.

Your back of the classroom mocking of those who take the pains to educate themselves helps nobody. Get in the game or shut up.

Planned Obsolescence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523540)

Not to fear, your Good Friends at Monsanto will have an even newer, better, genetically modified-ier model available just in time!

This should not be a surprise (1)

thephydes (727739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523558)

It only takes a small percentage of resistant organisms out of a population of potentially tens of millions( or should that be hundreds of millions in this case ) to pass on their resistant genes to the next generation and the "killer" gene in the plants is overcome. The only surprise here is that it hasn't happened sonner.

So, What have we learned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523566)

~That population control is at the top of the food chain. And as far as we know, (we just don't all know it yet), we are on someone's endangered species list..

"What could POSSIBLY go wrong?" (0)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523578)

Wow, I'm just so taken by surprise by this! I would never have guessed in a million years that something like this could have happened! Oh, and look at this! The GMO corn may well be causing organ failures in mammals that eat it! How could that have possibly happened?

Monsanto == Umbrella Corporation

Re:"What could POSSIBLY go wrong?" (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523744)

Not really. Umbrella corp. were the good guys. Monsanto will set them up with the zombie virus in the sixth episode, which will be a prequel.

Nature vs Biotech 2-0 (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523594)

Nature vs Biotech 2-0? Yes, make that Nature vs Biotech 2-0; I just happened to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1318514/) yesterday! :)

Who was saying that it was the final solution? (4, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523602)

Maybe marketing types. But I seriously doubt many entomologists or crop scientists were saying that this was the "final solution" to rootworm or any other pests.

In fact, they've been advising using non-bt planted in a certain number of acres near the bt ones to slow down the development of resistance.

All these Monsanto people are idiots - easy fix (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523608)

All they need to do is make the corn produce MORE toxins than it already does, duh. They should hire me.

will the bugs race the patent? (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523774)

I wonder if the patent will be useless before it expires. Monsanto, eat your heart out, you just got outsmarted by a couple of bugs. Who are you going to sue to get yourself out of this?

Evolution, smart? (0)

Engeekneer (1564917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523666)

Now it turns out that insects, and evolution, are smarter than we thought

Did they really just write that, really?. While we're at our peak of evolutionary misconceptions, why not sign it all away to Intelligent Design and say god wanted a better insect because it was christmas and Jebus didn't have any friends to play with.

Re:Evolution, smart? (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523754)

Seriously folks, stop bagging the man.

Crowd-Sourcing *obviously* wins out in the case of small-team-of-scientists vs almost-infinite-hords-of-breeding-bugs

Re:Evolution, smart? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523836)

Now it turns out that insects, and evolution, are smarter than we thought

Did they really just write that, really?. While we're at our peak of evolutionary misconceptions, why not sign it all away to Intelligent Design and say god wanted a better insect because it was christmas and Jebus didn't have any friends to play with.

God is only inordinately fond of beetles, not insects in general.

biology = hacking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523668)

The longevity of the utility (usefulness) of an adaptive modification (e.g. endogenous pesticide) is inversely proportional to its distribution, either geographic or temporal.

so an adaptive modification that is consistently found in a small geographic area for a long time will take a decent amount of time for predators/pests to circumvent it.
and an adaptive modification that is quickly and widely distributed will result in predators/pests quickly circumventing that defense.

you know how most of the exploits are against the most widely distributed, and centrally controlled OS?
it's like that.

Thanks, Monsanto! (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523690)

Organic gardeners saw this coming from the get-go - I remember a Mike McGrath (then editor in chief of Organic Gardening) editorial predicting it. Heck, we'd already seen this happen with badly managed organic farms - back in the 1990s, resistance had been seen in Diamondback moths on Hawaiian farms that sprayed B.t kurstaki repeatedly rather than just when monitoring indicated a need for spraying.

The continued usefulness of organic/botanical pesticides has, in large part, been due to their lack of persistence in the environment. Inserting those genes into plants is basically making the pesticides persistent, which (obviously) leads to much quicker development of resistance on the part of the pests.

The part of me that's a cynic wonders if this is what Monsanto had in mind all along... one less organic competitor to their stable of proprietary chemicals.

Re:Thanks, Monsanto! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524022)

You organic gardeners can feed the world! (provided most of us die first)

Re:Thanks, Monsanto! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524058)

Monsanto isn't stupid. Of course, they know that insects will become resistant to their crops. The solution: invent new crops! Tada, new revenue streams, and process starting all over again. What Monsanto is doing is basically monetizing evolution. It's a huge scam, but as long as farmers are happy buying the "shiny new resistant crops" it's ok...

Like it matters.. (-1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523694)

The mess is loose in the wild, our food biodiversity is down to a handful and like someone above mentions.. its destroying mammals organs in non-Monsanto tests. Our Govt has sold our trust and food supply to the highest bidder and now we get to pay in "free" health care costs. Any research on this with the slightest degree of skepticism for the almighty GMO is blasted as Luddite and we as a group simply don't care. Sometimes I think we really deserve the crap we get fed. Literally.

Re:Like it matters.. (2, Insightful)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523866)

Your comment was so vague that either:

1) You don't know what you are talking about
2) You are delusional and think the what you just posted was offering useful information
3) You're social circles do not contain anyone who argues with you
4) etc
5) Some combination of the above

At least offer a link to a "journal" article so we know what you mean.

I'm shocked! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523726)

You mean life is adapting to an environmental pressure? Don't these insects realise they're in breach of Monsanto's patents?

Re:I'm shocked! (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523772)

Surely them insects had to reverse-engineer the toxins before developing a successful workaround?

Lawyers Rejoice.

Except for the fact that insects have no money.

Re:I'm shocked! (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523862)

That's nothing a bank can't fix. We could save the economy, we just need to lend a few trillions to insects and get them back in a lawsuit.

Re:I'm shocked! (1)

arekq (651007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523842)

Here's a thought: we should ally with insects to demolish the patent system. :)

Yet again. (0)

Hillview (1113491) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523776)

Yet again the human race proves it has zero business messing with nature. Seriously, who is surprised by this?

Homo Sapien Hasn't Evolved Against GMOs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523800)

There is some research [huffingtonpost.com] indicating health issues associated with certain GMO corn. Of course it's difficult to say much with certain Food Libel Laws [wikipedia.org] being what they are, but suffice it to say that if there's a reasonable concern that GMO foods could be harming people and if their efficacy at improving our agricultural processes is in question then we should probably slow down on implementation.

It's a snowy tree cricket! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523808)

Based on the number of chirps per minute and the ambient temperature in this room, it is a snowy tree cricket.

Gee, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38523890)

Let's examine the problem and solution:

Problem: bugs eating crops
Solution: make crops produce pesticide to kill them
Problem: GM crops being eaten by the pests that are immune
Solution: Stop planting crops outside you dimwits.

Time for the mega-skyscraper-farm. In all seriousness, with the exception of the construction costs (which is why "outside is cheap") this would be much more efficient use of farming space and can be applied to regions that are entirely unsuitable for farming (like most of the Pacific coastline not near a river, deserts, and tundra.) It does require a lot of planning and is pretty much the Simcity 2000 Arcology type buildings as a step towards megacities that do the same. As an added bonus it solves the greenhouse effect but putting the farm "greenhouse" in a climate controlled environment and recycling all the waste.

A century from now we'll be digging up our landfills in regions that didn't incinerate their trash to recover precious metals and convert the organic waste back into oil. GM crops and animals will be grown inside and natural light will be piped via fiber optics to make more efficient use of the surface area.

NSS (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523912)

No Shit Sherlock!, You mean that they did NOT expect this to happen? gosh! /sarcasm

thanks (0)

zarnadi (2541588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523936)

thanks for your informasian serba serbi [zarnadi.com]

Evolution doesn't exist (0)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#38523950)

Jebus told me.

what about human biology (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524006)

what does this stuff do in the human stomach & intestines? does it cause problems with the natural beneficial biological cultures & enzymes in the human digestive system? (i bet it does)

Not Monsanto's only large GMO problem (5, Interesting)

plsenjy (2104800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38524080)

A couple months ago I drove Dr. Don Huber of Purdue from the airport to a field day (ag industry for product demo) being put on by my family's non-GMO seed firm in the Upper Midwest. He of course had already been hearing of this problem for a while (the plant pathology/development community is pretty small, and when something new crops up everyone is in the loop) but was (and still is) much more concerned with a different pathogen that's been cropping up slowly for the past few years at higher and higher rates. Personally, I am not a seedsman and can't explain it very well, besides saying that it's a bacteria that he has been linking to Roundup Ready plants (Roundup Ready is a gene that Monsanto inserts in all sorts of plants in order to make them resistant to a pungent herbicide, Roundup) that causes infertility in everything it touches and we're unsure of how to deal with it. This website explains the problem pretty well (ignore the activism associated with it, it should just be used as a teaching point) http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/dr_hubers_warning/ [fooddemocracynow.org]

What's really chilling is that our non-GMO firm does very well outside the US. This is because most country's will not allow GMO's to be planted in their country due to their lack of long-term testing of effects on humans. I can't remember the exact regulation but in the EU they only allow something like 10-15% of their foodstock to be GMO. In Japan they're not allowed to be planted at all. My dad (the non-GMO seedsman) always likes to tell this anecdote - that when asked why they won't plant any GMO corn, the Japanese grainsman says, "We are conservative with our food. We want to see what it does to your children's children before we'll even consider it."

Diversity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38524082)

The problem is not within GM itself, the problem is with the reduction of diversity this tends to generate. If plants are identical, insects only need to adapt to one type of corn, once done, its all fucked up. I assume using more traditional methods would yield a gradient of genetic variations over time (which is what evolution is about) and thus less subject (taking corn as a whole) to this things.

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