Monsanto

Ed of all trades

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He just wanted to show that there was no harm in eating them, although we had just sprayed herbicides on them.

Going back to the question of what bigwigs eat...

He is now enjoying chemo at the local HP.:licking: Ed
 

SPYDERLK

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He just wanted to show that there was no harm in eating them, although we had just sprayed herbicides on them.

Going back to the question of what bigwigs eat...
As of this date; has STUPID been fixed?
 

DFB

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Haha funny stuff...application rates, exposure, drift, re-entry periods, required protective gear, but hey why read a label warning! :rolleyes:
 

DFB

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Food for thought today...


The latest experimentation for Monsanto scientists is to develop a topical spray on RNA formulation.

RNA interference is a way of turning off a plants genome.

Some GM plants already use RNA interference to disable unwanted enzymes, or to kill viruses or pests. The Flavr Savr tomato the first genetically modified crop to be approved in the United States back in 1994, harnessed the mechanism to block an enzyme that makes tomatoes soft, so they could ripen longer on the vine. Like Monsanto's Roundup Ready cotton and corn, the Flavr Savr was a GMO. Its seeds have an extra gene that manufactures a specific RNA molecule. Since then, companies have engineered a few other plants to take advantage of RNA interference. The Granny Smith apple genetically modified to silence a gene that turns apple slices brown.

Before that, the Hawaiian papaya industry was saved by plants engineered to produce RNA that defends against the ringspot virus.

And Monsanto is awaiting approval to sell corn plants that use RNA interference to kill the western corn rootworm. That plant is the first GMO to incorporate an insecticidal RNA into its genetic makeup.


"But what if you could just spray the RNA on instead of tinkering with a plant's genome?"

A chemist named Doug Sammons was the first person inside Monsanto to have the idea. He studies weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate, the herbicide that Monsanto markets as Roundup. These weeds have become a huge problem for farmers and for Monsanto.


According to the MIT article the problem is the weeds are wild plants, so their RNA cannot be controlled through laboratory gene insertion like with a commodity grown corn crop.


So according to Monsanto patents, the technique involves spraying a silicone surfactant that let the RNA molecules slip into air-exchange holes in the plant's surface. Somehow, soaking the leaves with RNA caused the silencing effect to spread through the entire plant, affecting it long enough to let the herbicide take hold.

AND the technology could give Monsanto a new, exclusive formulation of Roundup which lost its original patent several years ago.

Monsanto now thinks it has hit on an alternative to conventional genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. It can already kill bugs by getting them to eat leaves coated with specially designed RNA.


As Monsanto put it in a letter to U.S. regulators..."consuming RNA molecules appears no more toxic to people than drinking a glass of orange juice." :D


Monsanto isn't the only one working on genetic sprays.

Other large agricultural biotech companies, including Bayer and Syngenta, are also investigating the technology.

The appeal is that it offers control over genes without modifying a plant's genome that is, without being classified as a GMO.

That means sprays might sidestep much of the controversy around agricultural biotechnology. Or so companies hope.


Not everyone is convinced, though, that applying RNA will be commercially feasible or any less controversial than genetic modification. The public is not accepting GMOs, and this could be more alarming.

"People are going to say you are taking the RNA and spraying this in the open" says Kassim Al-Khatib, a plant physiologist at the University of California, Davis. "The acceptance of biotech has to be there before you can deliver another approach."

Monsanto is the financial backer of a 15-person company called Preceres, a kind of skunk works it established just off the campus of MIT, where robotic mixers are busy stirring RNA together with coatings of specialized nanoparticles.
also began trying to crack the problem of getting RNA into plants.

The startup was created by drug delivery specialists, including MIT professors Daniel Anderson and Robert Langer, who have spent a decade learning how to get RNA drugs into human cells? problem so difficult it almost derailed the idea of such medicines.


"It's easier to envision if you are injecting a person in their veins, but if you are spraying out of a plane, that would be a whole different set of challenges, he said. We don't have to worry about wind currents with drugs."

The basic task at Preceres is how to get a large, electrically charged molecule like RNA to move through a plant's waxy cuticle and into its cells. To do it, researchers there are working to encapsulate the RNA in synthetic nanoparticles called lipidoids, greasy blobs with specialized chemical tails.

The potato beetle is an interesting target for RNA sprays in that it is famous for becoming resistant to conventional insecticides.

Since 1952, it has developed resistance to more than 60 of them, starting with DDT.

Roger Wiegand, the company's CEO, says the company is also trying to kill insects that aren't as easily affected by RNA as the potato beetle.

"There are insects that just laugh at naked double-stranded RNA" he says. Those include a caterpillar now infesting Brazilian soybean crops. He says some of the formulations get tested for endurance in caterpillar spit that Monsanto sends to Cambridge.


With BioDirect, Monsanto Hopes RNA Sprays Can Someday Deliver Drought Tolerance and Other Traits to Plants on Demand | MIT Technology Review
 

ruffdog

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So, change the GM so you can start a new patent because the old one is running out. Yep, it's all about the money.
 

NorTracNY

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DFB - that technology is scary. I just read that it's the next generation biological weapon. You can spray an area with these nanoparticle which will carry whatever disease you want. That's much better than a nuclear bomb. Spray another country, wait till the nanoparticles have done their job and decayed and it's all yours.
 

MikePA

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So, change the GM so you can start a new patent because the old one is running out. Yep, it's all about the money.

Darn companies who want to continue to make a profit and continue to employee people. What's this world coming to? :confused:
 

sseelhoff

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Darn companies who want to continue to make a profit and continue to employee people. What's this world coming to? :confused:
Nothing wrong with free enterprise, as long as it is practiced ethically. It's not about Monsanto making a profit. It's the methods employed that are the concern.
 

mark02tj

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Darn companies who want to continue to make a profit and continue to employee people. What's this world coming to? :confused:

Nothing wrong with free enterprise, as long as it is practiced ethically. It's not about Monsanto making a profit. It's the methods employed that are the concern.

ABSOLUTELY agree, sseelhoff!! I am a complete Libertarian, free market guy, but that only works with ethics. Monsanto is known for suing farmers for pirating their GMO crops when a farmer is actually planting non-Monsanto seed. Anyone that knows anything about pollination knows that crops will cross-pollinate in the wind. So, if you have two corn fields next to each other, the wind will pollinate them across the two fields. Monsanto will test the corn in a non-Monsanto corn (because a lot of the farmers will put a sign along the road letting you know whose seeds they're planting) and will find Monsanto genes in that corn due to the cross-pollination. Then they sue the farmer and win.

There's a great documentary that I saw on PBS about this. Pretty scary what they've done to a lot of farmers that are trying to stay with heirloom crops. Once Monsanto brings any sort of legal action against a small farmer (and what farmer isn't small compared to Monsanto?), the farmer has pretty much no choice except to roll over.
 
 
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