miércoles, agosto 19, 2015

RNA threat

Transgenics and microRNA
From Devon Peña's environmental justice blog

For several decades now, scientists have been warning of the dangers of genetically-engineered crops. Many of these concerns have focused on environmental risks. One pattern of such risks involves development of so-called Super Weeds. A well-known example is mutating wild Pigweed  that has developed resistance to Monsanto's flagship glyphosate herbicide, Roundup. 

These mutated weeds pose a bigger threat to organic farmers who rely on natural and cultural controls that can be undermined by these anthropogenic (human-induced) changes in weed morphology, reproduction, and biogeographic distributions.  

Many scientists  also share longstanding concerns over introgression and horizontal gene transfer (HGT). While HGT occurs in nature as in the transfer of genetic sequences between bacteria and plants, the advent of transgenic crops presents a novel set of circumstances and basically involve the contamination of native land races and wild weedy plant genomes by the altered transgene sequences of the bio-engineered crops. 

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