Pollution-fighting plants


14 déc. 2012 (il y a 9 années et 1 mois)

599 vue(s)

Current Events 3

June 20

June 26

Tsunami Debris

Tsunami triggered by a 9.0 undersea
earthquake off the coast of Japan on 11 March

The tsunami swept an estimated 5 million tons
of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

Roughly 70 percent of that sank right away,
which leaves maybe 1.5 million tons still
floating around.

No radiation contamination

Tsunami Debris

A large floating dock (~66’ x 19’ x 7’) that was
ripped from its pilings in Misawa, Japan by the
tsunami arrived on the shores of Newport in
central Oregon late on June 4 or very early on
June 5.

Tsunami Debris

Trouble on the Horizon for GM Crops?

Pests are adapting to genetically modified
crops in unexpected ways

Resistance of cotton bollworm to insect
cotton plants involves more diverse genetic
changes than expected

Trouble on the Horizon for GM Crops?

Cotton and corn have been genetically
engineered to produce toxins derived from the
Bacillus thuringiensis
, or Bt.

Over time, initially rare genetic mutations that
confer resistance to Bt toxins are becoming
more common as a growing number of pest
populations adapt to Bt crops.

Trouble on the Horizon for GM Crops?

Two unrelated, dominant mutations in the field

Dominant resistance is more difficult to
manage and cannot be readily slowed with
refuges, which are especially useful when
resistance is recessive

Refuges consist of plants that do not have a Bt
toxin gene and thus allow survival of insects
that are susceptible to the toxin


2050 population 9 billion

demand for meat will grow

2010, a billion people suffered from chronic hunger
according to UN

From an ecological perspective, insects have much
smaller footprint than livestock

Insects are cold
blooded, making them 4
times more
efficient at turning food into meat than cattle

Fried grasshoppers have 3
times the protein of cattle

Because insects are so genetically distant from humans,
there is little likelihood of disease spreading

swine flu



Many parts of the world eat bugs

Mali children eat grasshoppers

Australian Aborigines eat grubs



Beetles in China

Ancient Romans ate beetle grubs


Greeks ate grasshoppers


FDA allows certain levels of bugs in food

In canned and fresh spinach, 50 aphis,
, or
mites per 100 grams

Peanut Butter can have 30 insect fragments per
100 grams

Chocolate can have 60 insect fragments per 10

Dengue Fever

Like Malaria, Dengue is spread by a bite from an infected mosquito

Dengue Fever is an extremely serious disease

Symptoms: mild and flu
like to high fever, rash, severe headache, pain behind the eyes,
muscle and joint pain

The joint pain can be so severe that Dengue has been given the name ‘breakbone fever’.

Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are also common

In the more severe form, known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF),
blood vessels start to leak and the blood fails to clot, causing bleeding from
the nose, mouth, and gums

Without prompt treatment, the blood vessels can collapse, causing a critical
condition called Dengue Shock Syndrome

About 25,000 people die from Dengue Fever every year

Dengue Fever

Since the 1970s, the number of countries experiencing Dengue
outbreaks has grown from 9 to more than 100

Today, up to 40% of the world’s population, or 2.5 billion
people, is thought to be at risk

Dengue Fever

Aedes aegypti

Eggs can survive for months without water,
allowing them to be transported all over the

The life
cycle of a mosquito is about 3 weeks

from hatching, to adult, to reproduction

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Very small amounts of DNA injected into the
end of a mosquito egg

In a very few eggs, the new DNA will be taken
up by the mosquito’s cells and will be cut and
pasted into the mosquito’s own genome

If this happens in the sperm cells of a male
mosquito, or the egg
producing cells of a
female, the new DNA can be passed on to their

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

The GM males are then released into the
environment, where they mate with wild females

As a result, the population as a whole is reduced

Uses the natural instincts of the released male
mosquitoes to seek out females, so it is much
more effective than traditional means

It is also species
specific: it affects only the target
pest, and doesn’t harm other insects

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

If the gene in the modified mosquitoes kills them, how does
that make them sterile?

When the GM mosquitoes are reared in the presence of
tetracycline, it stops the GM protein from working: in
effect, it acts like an antidote

So when we feed the modified mosquitoes with this
supplement in the lab, they stay perfectly healthy

But when the male mosquitoes mate with females in the
wild, their children inherit the lethal gene

Tetracycline is not present in the environment in sufficient
quantities to allow survival, so without the ‘antidote’ in their
diet, the children of the modified mosquitoes die

Example of Bizarre Genetic Engineering

Dark cats

fighting plants

Example of Bizarre Genetic Engineering

Venomous cabbage

Example of Bizarre Genetic Engineering

Example of Bizarre Genetic Engineering

Goat Silk

Super Salmon

Example of Bizarre Genetic Engineering

Example of Bizarre Genetic

Vaccinating Bananas

Human hens

Example of Bizarre Genetic Engineering