- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
Sunday, Jun. 24, 2001 at 10:24 PM
Plant Vaccine Promises Safe Genetic Modification
(Please read carefully: NO NEW GENE IS INSERTED! Down with MONSANTOS' GENETIC POLLUTION!!!)
By Michael Byrnes
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian scientists say they have scored a world breakthrough by developing a vaccine to make plants immune to viruses. Because of how it works, they say, the vaccine sidesteps consumer concerns about genetically modified food.
The vaccine could increase yields of major crops such as wheat and barley by up to 30% by activating plant defense mechanisms to knock out diseases before they take hold, in the same way a shot in the arm can protect humans from flu.
But unlike other forms of genetically modified (GM) food, rejected by many consumers around the world, the Australian technique does not change plants by inserting a foreign gene. It simply silences an existing gene.
``From that point of view it's perhaps more acceptable to consumers,'' scientist Peter Waterhouse said on Wednesday. ``It's very exciting. It's enabling technology, you can do all sorts of different things with it.''
The vaccine could be used to knock out plant genes to produce non-browning bananas, caffeine-free coffee and many other changes in plants that do not involve altering their protein structure, said Waterhouse, a scientist with the government's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
The technique can also silence unwanted genes that produce allergens in nuts or pollen.
TECHNOLOGY READY TO ROLL
The technology, recently proven in barley plants raised in greenhouses and about to be used in trial crops, involves inserting a small, incomplete piece of virus RNA into plant DNA.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the material from which genes--which transmit hereditary characteristics--are made. RNA, or ribonucleic acid, helps cells make proteins, and is also the hereditary material in some viruses.
The plant recognizes the virus RNA as foreign and activates its defense mechanism, degrading the invader before it multiplies.
This results in immunity to the virus, which scientists say can be passed down through plant generations.
When the breakthrough will be brought to market is complicated by cross-patent negotiations with multinational corporations active in the GM business, as well as by consumer reaction. But technologically the process is ready to roll.
``From a technical point of view there's nothing stopping us getting plants that would be ready to be commercialized,'' Waterhouse told Reuters.
The technology is likely to be commercialized first in a proven process which switches off unwanted genes in cottonseed, producing ``healthier'' cooking oil, he said.This is three to five years away from commercialization, research team leader Allan Green told Reuters on Wednesday.
The CSIRO team has also already developed potatoes resistant to potato leaf roll virus using the technique, with plants tested in laboratories, glasshouses and in field trials.
Waterhouse said the vaccination technology would be worth millions, if not billions, of dollars in license fees and increased productivity.
HUGE SAVINGS SEEN
Savings to Australia's big wheat crop alone, worth around A billion a year on world markets (about billion US), would be huge.
Multinationals would have to buy licenses from the CSIRO if they wanted to use the technology, which was in the process of being patented, he said. Hundreds of international laboratories had already requested technical details.
``It's a technology everyone wants to use.''
CSIRO's biggest breakthrough with the new technique has come with successful trials to knock out the major world-wide crop disease barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), which affects Australia's wheat, barley and oats crops.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
More Local News...
Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration
Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator
Democratic Socialists of America
Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's
Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup
FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution?
Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians
The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally!
Social Policy as Social Infrastructure
Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud
Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner..
June 2018 Honduras coup update
Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support
New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients
Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation
Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why
Change Links 2018 July posted
Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme )
Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA
For a World Free of Nuclear Risks
Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls
The (Temporary) End of Globalization
Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD
U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner
ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money
Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him
More Breaking News...