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Genetic engineering ?

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Genetic engineering ?
Post by TangoLima   » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:18 pm

TangoLima
Commander

Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:54 pm

I am having difficulty understanding what constitutes
'genetic engineering', the term seem vague and generic.

How is ‘genetic engineering’ defined in the Honorverse ?
Is it any procedure that violates the Beowulf code ?
Is removing disease states from a genome, ala Ally & Grayson considered 'genetic engineering' ?
Is prolong considered ‘genetic engineering’ ?
Is it only something the MAlignment does, or can do ?

I’d like himself to weigh in on this, but ‘tis a wee hope at best.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:24 pm

runsforcelery
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Posts: 1889
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:39 am
Location: South Carolina

TangoLima wrote:I am having difficulty understanding what constitutes
'genetic engineering', the term seem vague and generic.

How is ‘genetic engineering’ defined in the Honorverse ?
Is it any procedure that violates the Beowulf code ?
Is removing disease states from a genome, ala Ally & Grayson considered 'genetic engineering' ?
Is prolong considered ‘genetic engineering’ ?
Is it only something the MAlignment does, or can do ?

I’d like himself to weigh in on this, but ‘tis a wee hope at best.



Actually, I have on several threads.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by MaxxQ   » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:17 pm

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TangoLima wrote:I am having difficulty understanding what constitutes
'genetic engineering', the term seem vague and generic.

How is ‘genetic engineering’ defined in the Honorverse ?
Is it any procedure that violates the Beowulf code ?
Is removing disease states from a genome, ala Ally & Grayson considered 'genetic engineering' ?
Is prolong considered ‘genetic engineering’ ?
Is it only something the MAlignment does, or can do ?

I’d like himself to weigh in on this, but ‘tis a wee hope at best.


As far as I'm concerned, the term "genetic engineering" is defined as anything that occurs to actively change (outside of natural causes such as radiation, cosmic rays, etc.) the genetic code of whatever life form is being genetically manipulated.

So, crossbreeding a pair or several varieties of rose to make a new color is genetic engineering at a very basic level. Corn was bred to produce larger ears, with more kernels, as was wheat, and of course, Mendel's peas.

Breeding wolves until you get the modern (many varieties of) dog is genetic engineering.

Fiddling about directly with actual DNA to produce larger fruit, veggies, cattle, chickens, or whatever is also genetic engineering.

If a change occurs that's not the result of radiation, naturally occurring toxic materials, cosmic rays, or other natural phenomena, then, IMO, it's genetic engineering.

Not that I'm against it. As long as the researcher doesn't go all Dr. Moreau, and safeguards are taken to prevent runaway... things... , then I have no issues. Can't say I've ever had GMO foods, but I doubt they're all as bad as people seem to think they are. Food is food, and I couldn't care less if it's all-natural home-cooked French cuisine, or if it comes out of a can.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by roseandheather   » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:21 pm

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MaxxQ wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, the term "genetic engineering" is defined as anything that occurs to actively change (outside of natural causes such as radiation, cosmic rays, etc.) the genetic code of whatever life form is being genetically manipulated.

So, crossbreeding a pair or several varieties of rose to make a new color is genetic engineering at a very basic level. Corn was bred to produce larger ears, with more kernels, as was wheat, and of course, Mendel's peas.

Breeding wolves until you get the modern (many varieties of) dog is genetic engineering.

Fiddling about directly with actual DNA to produce larger fruit, veggies, cattle, chickens, or whatever is also genetic engineering.

If a change occurs that's not the result of radiation, naturally occurring toxic materials, cosmic rays, or other natural phenomena, then, IMO, it's genetic engineering.

Not that I'm against it. As long as the researcher doesn't go all Dr. Moreau, and safeguards are taken to prevent runaway... things... , then I have no issues. Can't say I've ever had GMO foods, but I doubt they're all as bad as people seem to think they are. Food is food, and I couldn't care less if it's all-natural home-cooked French cuisine, or if it comes out of a can.


Oh, you've had GMO foods. Trust me. Virtually all commercial crops in America have been genetically modified. Given your definition, everything you've ever eaten has. For instance, carrots used to be purple, and the modern banana is almost unrecognizable compared to its wild ancestor.

(This is biology. We're in my scientific playground now. :D )
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by MaxxQ   » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:45 pm

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roseandheather wrote:
MaxxQ wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, the term "genetic engineering" is defined as anything that occurs to actively change (outside of natural causes such as radiation, cosmic rays, etc.) the genetic code of whatever life form is being genetically manipulated.

So, crossbreeding a pair or several varieties of rose to make a new color is genetic engineering at a very basic level. Corn was bred to produce larger ears, with more kernels, as was wheat, and of course, Mendel's peas.

Breeding wolves until you get the modern (many varieties of) dog is genetic engineering.

Fiddling about directly with actual DNA to produce larger fruit, veggies, cattle, chickens, or whatever is also genetic engineering.

If a change occurs that's not the result of radiation, naturally occurring toxic materials, cosmic rays, or other natural phenomena, then, IMO, it's genetic engineering.

Not that I'm against it. As long as the researcher doesn't go all Dr. Moreau, and safeguards are taken to prevent runaway... things... , then I have no issues. Can't say I've ever had GMO foods, but I doubt they're all as bad as people seem to think they are. Food is food, and I couldn't care less if it's all-natural home-cooked French cuisine, or if it comes out of a can.


Oh, you've had GMO foods. Trust me. Virtually all commercial crops in America have been genetically modified. Given your definition, everything you've ever eaten has. For instance, carrots used to be purple, and the modern banana is almost unrecognizable compared to its wild ancestor.

(This is biology. We're in my scientific playground now. :D )


Well, yes... you are correct. But I was meaning GMO foods in the way that a lot of uninformed people are using the term nowadays. They make it out to be some kind of scary, mad-scientist-type thing that is pure evil and we should only eat "naturally-grown" foods.

As for your banana example, I'm very much aware of THAT issue after the Kirk Cameron/Ray Comfort banana fiasco* (not that I wasn't aware of bananas being gengineered beforehand - I just never gave it much thought).

Edit: *I'm sure you have, but if you've never seen it (or heard about it), do a search on YouTube and prepare for a few belly laughs.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by Weird Harold   » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:52 pm

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TangoLima wrote:I am having difficulty understanding what constitutes 'genetic engineering', the term seem vague and generic.

How is ‘genetic engineering’ defined in the Honorverse ?
Is removing disease states from a genome, ala Ally & Grayson considered 'genetic engineering' ?
Is prolong considered ‘genetic engineering’ ?


The term is generic an covers a wide variety of tampering with "natural selection." All of the above -- with the possible exception of Prolong -- is "genetic engineering."

Prolong doesn't seem to be passed along to descendants, so it may not be accomplished by manipulation of genes or the genome.

TangoLima wrote:Is it any procedure that violates the Beowulf code ?

Is it only something the MAlignment does, or can do ?



What the MAlign is engaged in is closer to the 1930-ish concept of Eugenics than gene manipulation; it's what various groups inclined to Ethnic Cleansing would engage in if they had the technology to "make the Chosen Ones more perfect."

The Beowulf Code essentially prohibits genetic engineering for Eugenic purposes. It does NOT prohibit genetic engineering of individuals or groups of individuals who choose modifications of their own free will (choosing for descendants is a murky bit for me, but it's apparently allowed.)
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by pappilon   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:57 am

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MaxxQ wrote: (Massive Snip)
... I was meaning GMO foods in the way that a lot of uninformed people are using the term nowadays. They make it out to be some kind of scary, mad-scientist-type thing that is pure evil and we should only eat "naturally-grown" foods.


Hmmm Cigarettes were not scary until they were, DDT was not scary until it was, Thalodomide was not scary until it was. ALAR was not scary until it was. Fluoroscopes were really cool until they weren't. Prescribing antibiotics for ..everything wasn't scary until MRSA.

Yes. I know this has nothing to do with genetic engineering, but Monsanto has no reason to research negative impacts, all $ort$ of reason$ to di$courage it. Nobody does negative impact studies until lots someone elses dies. OOPS.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by MaxxQ   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:30 am

MaxxQ
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Location: Greer, South Carolina USA

pappilon wrote:
MaxxQ wrote: (Massive Snip)
... I was meaning GMO foods in the way that a lot of uninformed people are using the term nowadays. They make it out to be some kind of scary, mad-scientist-type thing that is pure evil and we should only eat "naturally-grown" foods.


Hmmm Cigarettes were not scary until they were, DDT was not scary until it was, Thalodomide was not scary until it was. ALAR was not scary until it was. Fluoroscopes were really cool until they weren't. Prescribing antibiotics for ..everything wasn't scary until MRSA.

Yes. I know this has nothing to do with genetic engineering, but Monsanto has no reason to research negative impacts, all $ort$ of reason$ to di$courage it. Nobody does negative impact studies until lots someone elses dies. OOPS.


:roll: I'm just gonna sit here and finish enjoying my cigarette.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by runsforcelery   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:59 pm

runsforcelery
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pappilon wrote:
MaxxQ wrote: (Massive Snip)
... I was meaning GMO foods in the way that a lot of uninformed people are using the term nowadays. They make it out to be some kind of scary, mad-scientist-type thing that is pure evil and we should only eat "naturally-grown" foods.


Hmmm Cigarettes were not scary until they were, DDT was not scary until it was, Thalodomide was not scary until it was. ALAR was not scary until it was. Fluoroscopes were really cool until they weren't. Prescribing antibiotics for ..everything wasn't scary until MRSA.

Yes. I know this has nothing to do with genetic engineering, but Monsanto has no reason to research negative impacts, all $ort$ of reason$ to di$courage it. Nobody does negative impact studies until lots someone elses dies. OOPS.



That's entirely true and a well-taken point, especially where the profit motive is concerned. But it's also true that sometimes the "negative impact studies" are sadly flawed . . . or radically misapplied.

Marjorie Mazel Hecht, 21st Century Science & Technology Magazine, Summer 2002 issue wrote:
As a result of the propaganda and lies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency convened scientific hearings and appointed a Hearing Examiner, Edmund Sweeney, to run them. Every major scientific organization in the world supported DDT use, submitted testimony, as did the environmentalist opposition. The hearings went on for seven months, and generated 9,000 pages of testimony. Hearing Examiner Sweeney then ruled that DDT should not be banned, based on the scientific evidence: “DDT is not carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic to man [and] these uses of DDT do not have a deleterious effect on fish, birds, wildlife, or estuarine organisms,” Sweeney concluded.

Two months later, without even reading the testimony or attending the hearings, EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus overruled the EPA hearing officer and banned DDT. He later admitted that he made the decision for “political” reasons. “Science, along with economics, has a role to play . .. .. [but] the ultimate decision remains political,” Ruckelshaus said.


It can be argued — convincingly, I think — that the DDT ban killed at least as many Africans as AIDS has, since malaria was literally on its way to being wiped out after the widespread use of DDT against the mosquitos who carry it. Even today, after 40+ years of seeking alternative solutions to the problem, something like 400,000 people die of malaria in Africa every year. That’s about 0.76 people every single minute. Alternative strategies tried in the wake of the US’s DDT ban (which meant the chemical would soon be withdrawn from the world market, as well) proved substantially less effective than DDT had been in the 1960-70s. Now, malaria is a very complex issue, and the various world efforts to reduce it have trouble even agreeing on how to map malaria’s boundaries and define threat zones, but the annual death rate which had been dropping fairly steeply pre-ban bounced upward again when the spraying programs were discontinued, and it’s really only in the last 10 years or so that it's begun declining again. Today, through the use of alternatives which were not available when DDT was banned in 11972 the mortality rate has declined about 29% since 2010.

That leaves only thirty-eight years — in which an estimated 60,000,000 people died of Malaria in Africa — during which what was then the most effective means of controlling the mosquito population was banned. If you assume that the use of DDT would have saved only 25% of those lives, you’re still looking at 15,00,000 people who need not have died. Any rational cost-benefit analysis would conclude that the number of lives saved would have far outweighed the costs of using DDT even had the claims of its danger been substantiated rather than rejected by the Sweeney hearings.

It didn't happen, however . . . and not because the profit motive aborted negative impact research.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Genetic engineering ?
Post by Relax   » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:22 pm

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pappilon wrote:
MaxxQ wrote: (Massive Snip)
... I was meaning GMO foods in the way that a lot of uninformed people are using the term nowadays. They make it out to be some kind of scary, mad-scientist-type thing that is pure evil and we should only eat "naturally-grown" foods.


Hmmm Cigarettes were not scary until they were, DDT was not scary until it was, Thalodomide was not scary until it was. ALAR was not scary until it was. Fluoroscopes were really cool until they weren't. Prescribing antibiotics for ..everything wasn't scary until MRSA.

Yes. I know this has nothing to do with genetic engineering, but Monsanto has no reason to research negative impacts, all $ort$ of reason$ to di$courage it. Nobody does negative impact studies until lots someone elses dies. OOPS.

You realize that half those you posted are complete frauds or mostly frauds? DDT almost a complete fraud(harms almost nothing and no one as it was caboshed by a stupid fictional book and not actual science)(Some countries still use it and aren't dumb idiots), but like all pesticide all you are doing is eliminated the majority which are not resistant to the pesticide, Cigarettes(moderation), Fluoroscopes(moderation and still used today), antibiotics is fine and has zilch to do with MRSA. MRSA has always existed on our skin, rather we finally became aware of it due to the use of antibiotics which were never available before. People just died and no one knew why. One can state that we can be said to be increasing the number of MRSA bacterium... Though even this is problematical as we never truly had hospitals before which pushes enormous numbers of patients into a small space. Thus you could say we are incubating MRSA. Guess why? Bacteria have genetic variation as well.

Does that mean GMO is golden? No. For instance almost our entire banana crop is a single species and if one bug gets into that species, bananas will cease to exist till we train up new banana trees/shrubs from the ancient original banana type trees/shrubs that exist all over the world. Will we die out if we don't have access to banana's? No. I will miss them though. Our great great grandchildren will eventually have banana's again though.

Moderation... Who knew? The ol' addage, "Do all things in moderation" holds true.
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