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Synthetic Chromosomes Successfully Integrated Into Brewer's Yeast

Soulskill posted about 3 months ago | from the origin-story-for-superyeast dept.

Biotech 107

New submitter dunnomattic writes: "Researchers at New York University School of Medicine have achieved a milestone in synthetic biology. A fully synthetic yeast chromosome, dubbed 'synIII,' has successfully replaced chromosome 3 of multiple living yeast cells. The researchers pieced together over 250,000 nucleotide bases to accomplish this feat. Dr. Jef Boeke, the lead author of the study, says, 'not only can we make designer changes on a computer, but we can make hundreds of changes through a chromosome and we can put that chromosome into yeast and have a yeast that looks, smells and behaves like a regular yeast, but this yeast is endowed with special properties that normal yeasts don't have.' Work is underway (abstract) to synthesize the remaining 15 chromosomes."

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107 comments

One small step for man (3, Interesting)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#46603251)

One giant leap for Synthehol [memory-alpha.org] .

Re:One small step for man (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#46603285)

Hell with synthethol, we've got tomatoes cloned, we've got clam clones, we've got....

Clamato [clamato.com] .

USA! USA!

Re:One small step for man (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 3 months ago | (#46603407)

To hell with clamato, I want Tomacco [wikia.com] !

Re:One small step for man (4, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 3 months ago | (#46603927)

I was bitten by radioactive yeast in the biology lab, and now have acquired the super-powers of YEASTMAN.

Re:One small step for man (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#46604255)

Ya know, if you have the power to shoot alcohol from your wrists, we might have to hang out.

Re:One small step for man (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 3 months ago | (#46604357)

Ya know, if you have the power to shoot alcohol from your wrists, we might have to hang out.

Well, not my wrists, actually...

Re:One small step for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46605131)

R Kelly's song makes so much more sense now...

GMO Beer?? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 3 months ago | (#46605375)

Just fuckin' greatâ¦GMO beer.

Folksâ¦leave our food and drink alone eh?

Please�

Re:One small step for man (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 3 months ago | (#46604377)

You know how yeast makes alcohol, right?

He'll shoot alcohol alright, but he wont need any new orifices on his wrists...

Re:One small step for man (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 months ago | (#46604319)

I was bitten by radioactive yeast in the biology lab, and now have acquired the super-powers of YEASTMAN.

Have fun trying to get laid, Yeastman.

Re:One small step for man (3, Funny)

drainbramage (588291) | about 3 months ago | (#46604787)

Looks like she's itching for more....

Thats ok come at me bro!!! (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 3 months ago | (#46604823)

I can protect my self from you by rubbing Monistat all over my body.

Re:One small step for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604905)

Women hate him.

Re:One small step for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46605199)

So in other words, you have a yeast infection?

Re:One small step for man (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about 3 months ago | (#46606347)

C|N>K

Re:One small step for man (4, Funny)

confused one (671304) | about 3 months ago | (#46603715)

Sir, do you not remember what happened last time? Please reference historical files entitled Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Re:One small step for man (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 3 months ago | (#46606123)

Because when I'm having a beer, the things I want most are tomatoes and clams.

Who comes up with this shit? What next, a combination of beets and shrimp for your margarita? Some broccoli and sardines for your martini?

Re:One small step for man (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46607407)

Because when I'm having a beer, the things I want most are tomatoes and clams.

You may be unaware of this since Clamato isn't widely available in the US ... it's for a Canadian drink called a Caesar [wikipedia.org] .

It's kind of like a Bloody Mary, but with Clamato juice, a celery stick, and the top of the glass is rimmed with celery salt.

Besides, beer and tomato juice is also a tasty thing. And you can have beer at a clam bake.

They're not as mutually exclusive as you seem to think.

Re:One small step for man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46607763)

Because when I'm having a beer, the things I want most are tomatoes and clams.

You may be unaware of this since Clamato isn't widely available in the US ... it's for a Canadian drink called a Caesar [wikipedia.org] .

It's kind of like a Bloody Mary, but with Clamato juice, a celery stick, and the top of the glass is rimmed with celery salt.

Besides, beer and tomato juice is also a tasty thing. And you can have beer at a clam bake.

They're not as mutually exclusive as you seem to think.

Ummm, ugh. This and poutine [montrealpoutine.com] , two reasons to think that long cold winters do bad things to the human mind, not to mention palate.

Molasses and cabane à sucre don't quite make up for it. ;-)

Re:One small step for man (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46607833)

Ummm, ugh. This and poutine, two reasons to think that long cold winters do bad things to the human mind, not to mention palate.

Dude ... scrapple [wikipedia.org] exists.

Americans think cheese is a rubbery long-chain polymer which needs to be dyed orange. It's not even legally cheese, it's "cheese food" or something similar.

There's a dish in the US called Frito Pie [wikipedia.org] .

Twinkies exist.

Seriously, don't even talk to us about poutine -- fries, gravy, and cheese curd are at least recognizable foodstuff. Some of the shit you guys eat doesn't even meet the legal definition of food in a lot of countries.

Next goals: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603271)

1) Metabolize human flesh
2) Able to more easily spread via airborne routes
3) Increase growth exponent
4) Secrete nerve gas
5) Infinite life span

Re:Next goals: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603495)

Unfortunately that is a potential reality given enough sophistication in the field of biological engineering. Although, still a ways off.

Re:Next goals: (4, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 months ago | (#46603839)

Honestly, I think that fear is overblown. Vertebrate pathogens have had hundreds of millions of years of optimization in the most ruthlessly selective "laboratory" ever known, and while there are obviously some pretty deadly ones out there they haven't managed to wipe us out yet. Nothing we do in a lab is likely to come close, in terms of coming up with something that can spread wildly on its own.

I used to work between a synthetic bio lab at one end of the hall and an infectious disease lab at the other. Ask which one scared me more.

Re:Next goals: (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#46604277)

On the other hand, things like Dutch Elm Disease show just how devastating a new pathogen can be. I think co-evolution is why "natural" diseases don't have much chance in wiping us out. Given this new ability to skip evolution altogether, look out.

Re:Next goals: (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 months ago | (#46604479)

Co-evolution only looks "co" on very large timescales; every new trick our immune systems have come up with has been in response to something a pathogen already came up with. Sure, there always can (and will) be new plagues, whether the victims are trees or people. I just think they're a whole lot more likely to come from the nigh-uncountable number of random "experiments" taking place in the wild than they are from anything done in a lab.

Re:Next goals: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604837)

I don't think the fear is overblown and I believe it to be quite justified by the theoretical potential of biotechnology. If history reveals anything to me, it is that humans have a very difficult time comprehending the consequences of their actions -- particular when it comes to non-linear advancements. The field of biological engineering is only a baby and we have yet to fully realize its potential; we only began to sequence genomes within the last two decades and we are just barely beginning to create our own. I suppose its easy to come to the conclusion that its fear mongering, particularly when humans are so optimistic in their ignorance.

1) Metabolize human flesh -- humans form a biosphere that supports trillions of microorganism. There are numerous vectors that may be researched and used. Flesh eating microorganisms are known.

2) Able to more easily spread via airborne routes -- already organisms able to spread via airborne routes. The air you breath is full of spores and other genetic material like viruses.

3) Increase growth exponent -- Many microorganisms already grow exponentially if their isn't rate limiting resources.

4) Secrete nerve gas -- I am unsure if their is a metabolic pathway for the synthesis of nerve gas, but their are many neurotoxins with known metabolic pathways that can be used.

5) Infinite life span -- we currently believe their are some species that don't die from natural causes.

I don't think its a matter of these organisms accidentally escaping...at least I hope nobody is stupid enough to fund this type of research. But rather, a deliberate design of a bioweapon. Technology can be used for the benefit of mankind or its destruction, just depends on how we want to use it. Biotech is no different and it is clearly evident that the attributes of one organisms can be engineered in others given the appropriate conditions.

Technology tends to magnify the actions of 1 individual or organization -- Just look at botnets, sandy hook, 9/11, etc. Other civilizations didn't have worry about the concept of mass shootings because gun technology hadn't been developed. When biotech becomes sufficiently sophisticated and the infrastructure is in place, the actions of a few can totally have an impact on our globalized society. International airports could facilitate a pandemic -- a legitimate fear engineering aside.

Biotech shouldn't be underestimated, particularly when we are biology. Look at the biosphere around you, the complexity of the molecules and diversity of species. It is a reality.

--a published bioengineer

Re:Next goals: (1)

Salafrance Underhill (2947653) | about 3 months ago | (#46606143)

Nature optimises for survival, though, whereas a designer pathogen can be optimised to infect, lie low, and then kill as many host organisms as possible, perhaps by employing some kind of biological trigger in the environment to synchronise its action.

It doesn't matter whether its first efflorescence is sustainable in the long term. There will always be a role for it in human politics.

I'm glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603309)

that the first application of creating designer genes is super-beer.

Re:I'm glad (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 4 months ago | (#46608767)

Super beer yeast [alcotec.co.uk] was already created by old fashioned selective breeding, we really did not have to do anything questionable for that.

So this ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603339)

... is how the zombie apocalypse begins, with mutant yeast in our beer. I have an idea for the first brand: Coorpse Light.

Re:So this ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603349)

Wouldn't that just be a relabeled Pabst?

We Can Rebuild It (3, Funny)

VorpalRodent (964940) | about 3 months ago | (#46603357)

So, no super speed, or strength, or other abilities, no synthesizer music.

For our $6,000,000, all we get is a "yeast endowed with special properties other yeasts don't have"? This will not make a compelling television drama. Perhaps a bland sitcom, but not much more.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | about 3 months ago | (#46603631)

What's that in the bar?

Is it an Ale?

Is it a Lager?

NO! It's SUPERBEER

*theme tune plays*

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

goofyspouse (817551) | about 3 months ago | (#46606255)

Is it an Ale?

Is it a Lager?

I guess that all depends on whether it is a top-fermenting yeast or a bottom-fermenting yeast...

Re:We Can Rebuild It (2)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 3 months ago | (#46603651)

All yeast dies off from alcohol at some level. If this is a serious commercial adjustment to the organism then I would be working on increasing alcohol tolerance. This would give better yields for the distillers and new wine and beer/ale/mead concoctions that will be ass kicking. Fortunately the Beer Pong Table industry is ready!
https://www.google.com/search?q=Beer+Pong+tables&num=30&newwindow=1&safe=off&sa=X&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=UKA1U6LtIKPnsATSlIHABg&ved=0CEsQsAQ&biw=771&bih=428 [google.com]

Re:We Can Rebuild It (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 3 months ago | (#46603823)

All yeast dies off from alcohol at some level. If this is a serious commercial adjustment to the organism then I would be working on increasing alcohol tolerance. This would give better yields for the distillers and new wine and beer/ale/mead concoctions that will be ass kicking.

Or, Montsanto will, besides owning the entire food business, also own the entire alcoholic drink business as well.

Welcome to the new world - where the only thing you can have is specially filtered water. After all, a plain glass of tap or bottled may have Monstanto yeast in it, and you'll need to license that bottle if you want to drink it.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46605007)

Don't forget that Nestle is actively trying to destroy water sources in parts of the world so they can sell their own bottled water in those areas. The Nestle CEO said outright that water should be a product and not a natural resource.

When we let businesses run amok, the future looks very bleak.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 3 months ago | (#46606189)

Or, Montsanto will, besides owning the entire food business, also own the entire alcoholic drink business as well.

Or, you know, you could grow your own food and make your own drink using 'heirloom' stock. Rumor has it [treehugger.com] people have based entire businesses around heirloom strains.

Welcome to the new world - where the only thing you can have is specially filtered water. After all, a plain glass of tap or bottled may have Monstanto yeast in it, and you'll need to license that bottle if you want to drink it.

I've looked at every reported decision where Monsanto has sued some poor innocent farmer who allegedly had pollen blown into his fields -- which is really hard when you're talking about Roundup-ready soybeans -- and, amazingly, the poor farmer always manages to convince the judge that he intentionally planted large quantities of the Roundup-ready crop. He doesn't mean to convince the judge of that. He just happens to do so by 1. nuking a field with Roundup and then collecting the seeds of the surviving crop to replant or 2. buying seed from a non-seed elevator (unusual but not illegal) and then nuking the planted seedlings with Roundup (because of course you'd apply a non-selective herbicide to your non-Roundup-ready crop).

So it's obvious you can karma-whore by railing against the agri-villan, but can you back it up with facts? Or not?

Re:We Can Rebuild It (2)

zippthorne (748122) | about 4 months ago | (#46608339)

Isn't that also the process by which Monsanto created the roundup-ready crops in the first place?

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 3 months ago | (#46606259)

Montsanto will, besides owning the entire food business, also own the entire alcoholic drink business as well.

You are wrong, [agweb.com] promoting a bullshit conspiracy theory, and you didn't even spell Monsanto right either time.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

VorpalRodent (964940) | about 3 months ago | (#46604029)

If this is a serious commercial adjustment to the organism then I would be working on increasing alcohol tolerance.

If that is a thing you can adjust, I think there are organisms other than the yeast that would be better served by that improvement.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 3 months ago | (#46605051)

Please don't test it on monkeys... The idea of super drunk monkeys just freaks me out...

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

ketomax (2859503) | about 3 months ago | (#46606957)

So, you do tremble before grodd!

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 3 months ago | (#46604061)

It would also make higher-alcohol distiller's beer available so less energy has to go into distilling for hard liquor or for fuel alcohol.

Re:high alcohol yeast (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 4 months ago | (#46608823)

Already done. [alcotec.co.uk]

Re:We Can Rebuild It (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#46605143)

All yeast dies off from alcohol at some level. If this is a serious commercial adjustment to the organism then I would be working on increasing alcohol tolerance.

I would be wanting to make it make a biofuel better than alcohol. If you're gonna think about gene-tampering, think big.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 4 months ago | (#46608029)

All yeast dies off from alcohol at some level. If this is a serious commercial adjustment to the organism then I would be working on increasing alcohol tolerance.

I would be wanting to make it make a biofuel better than alcohol. If you're gonna think about gene-tampering, think big.

What if they could make a beer that was so strong it caused you to think you were going somewhere when you were just sitting in your living room? That could save a bunch of carbon.... wait, how much carbon in a beer belch? Munroe!!!

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

mpe (36238) | about 3 months ago | (#46605279)

All yeast dies off from alcohol at some level. If this is a serious commercial adjustment to the organism then I would be working on increasing alcohol tolerance. This would give better yields for the distillers and new wine and beer/ale/mead concoctions that will be ass kicking,

Adding an amylase gene might also help.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604079)

No good will come from this until they insert the "free as in beer" gene.
in everything.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 3 months ago | (#46605177)

It's all fun and games until someone insert the gene in *you*.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 3 months ago | (#46604499)

but not much more

Just wait till you have it growing between your legs and nothing kills it... :p

Action series (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 3 months ago | (#46604721)

I think it will become an action series: the Six Million Dollar Yeast.

Re:We Can Rebuild It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46605559)

What if you could engineer efflorescence triggered by blood alcohol level? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to peer into the eyes of a bar patron / near-future driver and know their blood alcohol level by the background color cast by the blood in the capillaries of the whites of their eyes? Of course you could just as well use the tech to wait 'till your eyes tell you you won't get a ticket or that the intended target of your affects that evening might be more receptive to your overtures than usual too...

Think of the benefits!

The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (4, Interesting)

jcochran (309950) | about 3 months ago | (#46603421)

Oh lord, the Luddites are bad enough with "normal" genetically engineered foods. I hate to imagine the kind of outcry they're do for this.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 3 months ago | (#46603519)

I don't call cross-breeding spider DNA with corn DNA "normal".

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (2)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 3 months ago | (#46603697)

I don't call cross-breeding spider DNA with corn DNA "normal".

What do you have against web slinging crime fighting corn?

Spider Corn, Spider Corn!
Eat this stuff and your guts you'll mourn!

(don't have time to finish the song, an unhappy WD Blue needs me... sorry)

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 months ago | (#46604177)

Trust me, there is nothing we can do the corn genome that corn wouldn't do itself if it had the opportunity. Corn is weird.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46604969)

Corn: it filters carbon by isotope, despite chemical equivalence. What can't corn do?

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 4 months ago | (#46607439)

Corn: it filters carbon by isotope, despite chemical equivalence. What can't corn do?

Be a viable industry without massive federal agricultural subsidies?

I'd like to see it do that.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 3 months ago | (#46606947)

Maybe large overgrown teosinte plants that can't even survive in the wild aren't normal and sea slugs with algae genes [wikipedia.org] are. Normal isn't always what you think.

One kind of outcry, on cue. (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 3 months ago | (#46603591)

I have some experience in the field of invasive, noxious weeds.
My complaint is that Herr Doktor Frankenstein has chosen to perform his fiendish experiments with a creature so adept at aerosol migration and insinuation.
Just sayin'.

Scream. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603707)

Luddite here. The human species is an interesting animal. Despite our desires to see ourselves as independent thinkers, we really just follow the crowd. That's my concern when it comes to generic engineering. Aside from the nightmare scenarios where someone decides to create a generically modified shark with human-like intelligence (poor shark!), there's the more mundane threat where we make it easy for parents to decide on their child's genetic makeup. Like potatoes in Ireland that caused the famine. Most potatoes during the famine were Irish Lumpers, a single variety and were susceptible to a disease that was devastating. Because there was a lack of genetic variety, Ireland's whole potato crop was devastated.

When we're able to determine our children's generic make up so easily, I fear our children will one day be a monoculture unto themselves so that when a deadly virus hits, we all die. Don't believe me? Take a poll of children's names. When I was younger, you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a girl names Ashely ( or Ashley).

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (4, Insightful)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about 3 months ago | (#46603731)

(Yes I do realize that first link is The Onion but its funny because its basically true)

I don't particularly have ill feelings toward genetic engineering, in fact I believe it can be a good thing, but what I do care about is the profiteering of it [theonion.com] that Monsanto has used to hold everyone hostage, though that is more of a symptom of the broken legal system than anything.

Monsanto has achieved a monopoly status by using the legal system to patent their modifications and then they sell those patented GMO plants that are (supposedly) only immune to Monsanto pesticides and then they go around and sue everyone bankrupt for using unlicensed Monsanto technology because nature did its thing and cross pollinated with some nearby farmer's crops. Monsanto's exploitation of nature to achieve a monopoly is so bad that some countries have completely banned Monsanto and its products. At this point it surprises me Monsanto doesn't have a protection racket going on where you can buy a "subscription" to GMO products that might happen to pollinate with your old fashioned non-GMO plants.

Oh and I'll just throw it out there that Monsanto were the ones who developed and peddled Agent Orange to the U.S. Government as a cure all for jungle warfare back in the day.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (1, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46605009)

The only reason anyone cares about Monsanto IP is that the products are better (unless you have the luxury of organic). If the farmer didn't come out ahead by buying Monsanto seed, he wouldn't bother.

But if Monsanto were as profitable as you seem to imagine, it would have several competitors each with it's own IP. Look at their finances: good by the standards of heavy industry, but terrible by the standards of an "IP company". Eh, they employ 20,000 people, and they do OK but not great. Not the evil overlord at all, really.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (0)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 3 months ago | (#46606651)

but what I do care about is the profiteering of it

That would be a reasonable criticism, if it were at all true that Monsanto goes around suing people willy-nilly. They don't. That's a myth fabricated by the anti-GMO movement to discredit genetic engineering via guilt by association. There is not a single case, not one, of Monsanto suing a farmer for being cross pollinated. Every single time, they knew damned well that they were violating the law. What you are doing would be like looking at a guy selling bootleg copies of Frozen and declaring that Disney made home videos illegal. It is dishonest and false.

Monsanto has achieved a monopoly status

Monopoly? Tell that to Syngenta, Dow, and Pioneer. This [agweb.com] does not look like a monopoly to me.

by using the legal system to patent their modifications

They patent plants, so what? Breeders (aka the people ensuring you have an abundant and tasty food supply, you're welcome) been doing for decades. You know those nice, sweet, HoneyCrisp apples that everyone loves? Thank plant patents for supporting the program that developed it.

Monsanto's exploitation of nature to achieve a monopoly is so bad that some countries have completely banned Monsanto and its products

You're not even trying to avoid the ad populum there are you. More countries have laws against homosexuality than genetic engineering, but that doesn't make it right. By the way, they have laws against genetic engineering, not Monsanto. If this is about one single company, why do you think a, for example, GMO papaya developed by the University of Hawai'i (aka not Monsanto) would be just as illegal as a Syngenta corn, while a non-GMO tomato by Monsanto would be legal...and somehow this is about the company? Nope, it is populism combined with fearmongering combined with trade protectionism, and no one cares if science gets thrown under the bus. Stop defending it. There's no defense for it.

Oh and I'll just throw it out there that Monsanto were the ones who developed and peddled Agent Orange to the U.S. Government as a cure all for jungle warfare back in the day.

Now you're just fishing for an emotional response, and you're wrong to boot. The government developed it. Companies such as Monsanto and Dow produced it (during the Cold War, I might add). They actually warned the government about impurities. The government didn't care. And even if you were right, it still doesn't matter. You might as well stop buying Ford cars because their founder was antisemitic or stop buying Volkswagen because of their Nazi ties. You're using what's called the genetic fallacy.

In short, you are wrong. Monsanto is not the bogeyman they are made out to be. They are only the target of so many false accusations because a giant shadow overlord buying off all the independent scientists and manipulating all the data is absolutely essential to maintain the anti-GMO conspiracy. If there were no Monsanto, it would be necessary for the anti-GMO movement to create it.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603941)

Oh lord, the Luddites are bad enough with "normal" genetically engineered foods. I hate to imagine the kind of outcry they're do for this.

And rightfully so. Considering the health problems that artifical foods have foisted upon us, we have no reason to suspect scientists know what the fuck they are doing this time around.

Personally, I like a nice, hoppy IPA. How about you? Perhaps you prefer your beer to taste like cancer?

Luddites (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604439)

Why is it when anyone brings up a criticism or a potential problem that technology may cause, they are labeled a "Luddite"?

Technology is not always good (Hydrogen Bomb) and sometimes causes social problems that will cause quite a bit of adjustment and suffering (automation and the fact that other industries are not absorbing all the displaced workers as happened 175 years ago.)

Going in half-cocked without planning for the possible ramifications causes more problems down the road and turns people off to the new technology - resulting in irrational bans. Sometimes you cannot plan for the future (no one really knew how devastating the atom bombs would truly be on all accounts - sorry, a desert test doesn't cut it).

When we start manipulating genes, there is always a cost. Somewhere down the line there will be a cost - super strong crops end up with super strong weeds.

All of the consequences cannot be foreseen and therefore; makes a cost benefit analysis impractical.

Should we stop? No. Absolutely NOT. For another technology example: even though we have super bugs out there now, I would NEVER wish for penicillin to not have been invented.

What we need to do is take it slow. Let's not rush in and use our new toy - genetic engineering. Let us go slow, learn, and increase our wisdom.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46605205)

Hope you enjoy that shill money, you worthless fucking pothead.

Re:The screams will be forthcoming soon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46605573)

Read this before you judge. And if you still don't see the dangers than re-read it very carefully

http://www.donabee.com/health/klebsiellaplanticola.htm

http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/GEessays/Klebsiellaplanticola.html

synthetic biology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603487)

Synthetic biology is the design and construction of biological devices and systems for useful purposes.

Free softwares [freesoftgame.com]

morgellons designed by murderous felons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603525)

polymorph man

Eloi & Morlocks are Coming (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 3 months ago | (#46603569)

Who will your decedents become?

Re:Eloi & Morlocks are Coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603933)

It's proletariat all the way down.

Isn't this a lot like programming? (2)

3seas (184403) | about 3 months ago | (#46603667)

Take a huge program and hey... lets change this little part and see what happens/

Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 months ago | (#46603765)

In a lot of ways, it is similar, but there are some important differences. The biggest one, I think, is that programs are (or had better be!) deterministic: make a particular change and a particular thing will happen every time. Living systems, even relatively simple ones like yeast cells, are stochastic: make a particular change and the probability of a particular thing happening increases or decreases. What you're counting on when growing a culture of mutated cells is that enough of the cells will behave in the desired fashion to make the behavior of the colony predictable, but the underlying randomness remains.

Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46605043)

Both code and yeast have deterministic underpinnings. But at scale both can only be modeled statistically. Sure, it's way easier to get a billion yeast cells than a billion customers, so you get there faster, but I'm working with software at the billion-user scale now and, well, we do a lot of statistics.

Sure, specific bugs get identified and fixed and you hope the bug fix spreads fast (and you have some control over that), but the same is true with yeast mutations.

Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 3 months ago | (#46605311)

No, biological processes are inherently non-deterministic, and this becomes more apparent the smaller the scale. At the genetic level, it's all about probabilities. I suppose you could argue the same about computation since circuits are now getting small enough for quantum effects to show up, but I don't think most programmers are explicitly modeling random bit flips! On large scales, when you're talking about big programs with lots of different possible inputs, it's often more effective to model them statistically, I agree, but the underlying processes are still quite different.

Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 3 months ago | (#46604261)

The new code has to meet the required interface, so it's basically the Factory Pattern with biological and artificial implementations.

Good analogy actually, I'm not sure what a good car analogy would be...

This is unholy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603669)

Really, beer is one of mans' small pleasures. Why mess with the constituent ingredients. While not a snob overall, I do only tend to purchase high-quality beers because they are actually better.

It's bad enough that water has become something to be sold, but leave our beer alone.

Re:This is unholy (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 3 months ago | (#46603725)

Leave our beer alone? If you could get an Arrogant Bastard for the price of a Keystone, wouldn't you?

Re:This is unholy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603993)

Indeed, but I want my beer made from natural ingredients only. I'm old school for better or for worse.

Re:This is unholy (3, Insightful)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | about 3 months ago | (#46605601)

It's not a perfect analogy, but German and Belgian beers are a good example of what you can do with narrow and open views on ingredients, respectively. The Germans were limited by the Reinheitsgebot to what they could use in their beers, and they produce a relatively narrow range of lagers which are, in my opinion, unspectacular. In contrast, the Belgians use a much wider range of ingredients and adjuncts. They produce what are widely considered some of the finest beers in the world, and they have a much wider range of styles.

Re:This is unholy (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 4 months ago | (#46608807)

Hops are expensive. Keystone and Arrogant Bastard differ in both quantity and quality.
I don't think its the yeast.

I for one... (1)

ubermiester (883599) | about 3 months ago | (#46603709)

...welcome our new genetically engineered super-yeast overlords. May they raise our bread to new heights - like 40 feet in the air maybe...

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603911)

When my daily bread tries to have sex with the neighbor upstairs, I know I vote for the Luddites United party at the next general elections. Before that happens, I continue voting for All Hail To Biotech party.

New dimension for beer (1)

dbc (135354) | about 3 months ago | (#46603845)

Is anyone else thinking this could lead to some interest new craft beers?

Re:New dimension for beer (1)

hippo (107522) | about 3 months ago | (#46603953)

I'd like to volunteer for the testing process. Two pints a day for ten years should give you a good idea if it is harmful. Please deliver to my local.

Re:New dimension for beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604581)

Yeast that could withstand higher ABV would be interesting.

Coming soon from Dogfish Head, no doubt.... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 3 months ago | (#46606617)

Those folks will put anything in a beer....and make some fascinating brews!

BiTch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46603965)

Fuc43r (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604229)

Mea Culpa and the possibilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604285)

From Wiki-Book (TM) edited by eco-beer-friendly: 10:24am August 16, 2056

..... which ultimately led to the great beer shortage of 2056, after all mainstream and craft beer yeast offereings switched to genetically modified products.

"In a statement released Wednesday, Dr. Curtis Shmeckler, current head of the FDA, and former head of the International Brewers Association, stated that 'the long and sustained efforts to quash patent and copyright infringers of our commercial yeast offerings, seems to have taken a most terrifying unexpected turn'. Efforts by commercial, independent, and ameteur brewers to re-kindle a viable yeast for widespread beer production are now underway. Early tests are not promising though, and show that unexpected side-effects from decades long sustained pesticide use, seems to have removed almost all natural fermentation yeast from the eco-system."
via the Associated Press

Great on more thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46604601)

Here we go down yet another scary thing to worry about... Synthetic life wow?

Next stop -- THC... (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | about 3 months ago | (#46605805)

Well, not just THC or other cannibinoids. Antibiotics (that don't kill yeast, anyway). Other drugs. Gasoline. Biodiesel. Name your poison, find the gene sequence that can do it, splice it into yeast the way they are already doing it with so many other microorganisms (e.g. e. coli., chlorella, etc).

But (as a beer maker) -- yeast that synthesizes THC directly into the wort as it works, no actual hemp plants needed, no expensive grow lights, no hidden greenhouse or plot in the middle of the woods, no need to smoke or vaporize, no actual taste (compared to the already sublime taste of barley and hops) -- slightly scary idea, actually. And it would make it so VERY difficult to maintain the prohibition on cannibinoids. I've long wondered how long it will take for some enterprising molecular biologist to splice THC production into tomatoes or corn (where it might have an actual evolutionary advantage as a pest repellant!) but I never dreamed of brewer's yeast. Bread yeast is almost the same thing (very close cousins)! Bread will never be the same!

rgb

Yeah, this could be the THC-orange urban legend... (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | about 3 months ago | (#46606659)

coming true.

http://msgboard.snopes.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=76;t=000176;p=0

A better candidate for sneaking THC into beer would be a GMO hop variety, as hops are the closest botanical relative to Cannabis.

Risk Management (1)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 3 months ago | (#46606487)

To the person who commented that those who don't like GMO will freak out.

Think about this.

A modified yeast which creates an antibiotic or survives in higher alcohol concentrations or (insert your own scenario) escapes into the wild and displaces "normal" yeast. What then?

This is great news but let's have a look at the risks.

YADA: Yet Another DNA Assembler (1)

viking80 (697716) | about 4 months ago | (#46607591)

Now life can be created in minutes.
You can download YADA from sourceforge.net.
The GUI interface allows you to drag an drop and build for example luminescent marijuana plant that also contain caffeine.

Great! New flavours! (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about 4 months ago | (#46608633)

Tastes the future! Welcome to new synthetic flavours: Vin de Nylon, Vin de Phenolic, Cellulose Stout, Polyester Malt, Acrylic Vodka...

50,000 changes called "hardy"? (1)

mattr (78516) | about 4 months ago | (#46609857)

The original yeast had 50,000 copies of the chromosome which were discarded, replacing them with just a single copy of it because they were deemed irrelevant, and when the yeast remained alive it was called "hardy". IANA biochemist but still, one might think 50,000 copies could have an advantage as if cellular processes were to hit them randomly and transparently (like 50,000 disks in a RAID mirror where you don't know which physical disk was actually accessed) then a mutation in one copy would have 50,000 times less chance of hurting the cell. That the cell remains alive only means that in the hours it took for cell division to be proven no mutations occurred, but instead of this meaning the cell is hardy it could actually be 50,000 times more susceptible to mutation or other Bad Things.

Another possibility is that there are very subtle differences among the 50,000 copies, perhaps in just a small number of genes, among which the cell could switch in the event of environmental change, or it could even encode information "learned" over the course of evolution by the strain. Switch to this copy if you are being attacked by this pathogen, or if you see a lot of this nutrient around you, etc. Again this would be the definition of "hardy" so the scientist again would be wrong. Of course this is just a layman's view, have not read the paper, they probably don't care, etc. Anybody with a degree care to comment?

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