15 November 2000

Table of Contents

BABA a natural chemical to fight plant disease
Biotechnology Risk Perception In Liability Insurance
An Economic Interpretation of the Precautionary Principle
ICGEB: Biotech Scandal in India
Getting Terminology right: "conventional farmers"
China implants spider genes into silkworms
Transgenes Are Cellular Invaders
Melumber fruit (melon and cucumber hybrid) made the old way
A Virus that Replicates in both Plants and Animals
Implications of "a virus that replicates in both plants and animals"
More on "a virus that replicates in both plants and animals"
The first GM Organism released
Ethanol Producers and Consumers news letter – link Bioenergy Initiative signed by Clinton
Corrupt science – Biotech Executives Jailed for Data Fix
Multiple Examples Of Science Corruption.

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Date: 7 Nov 2000 18:45:35 U
From: "jcummins"

BABA a natural chemical to fight plant disease

The article below is about a natural chemical,BABA, that is effective in preventing plant disease. The chemical is reasonable free of side effects on mammals and should be safe until it is chemically modified to make it more "effective" and, of course patentable.

Plant Biology Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 97, Issue 23, 12920-12925, November 7, 2000

Potentiation of pathogen-specific defense mechanisms in Arabidopsis by - aminobutyric acid

Laurent Zimmerli, Gabor Jakab, Jean-Pierre Metraux, and Brigitte Mauch-Mani*

Department of Biology, Plant Biology, University of Fribourg, Route Albert Gockel 3, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland

Communicated by Hans J. Kende, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, August 30, 2000 (received for review April 3, 2000)

The nonprotein amino acids -aminobutyric acid (GABA) and -aminobutyric acid (BABA) have known biological effects in animals and plants. Their mode of action has been the object of thorough research in animals but remains unclear in plants. Our objective was to study the mode of action of BABA in the protection of Arabidopis plants against virulent pathogens.

BABA protected Arabidopsis against the oomycete pathogen Peronospora parasitica through activation of natural defense mechanisms of the plant such as callose deposition, the hypersensitive response, and the formation of trailing necroses. BABA was still fully protective against P. parasitica in transgenic plants or mutants impaired in the salicylic acid, jasmonic acid, and ethylene signaling pathways. Treatment with BABA did not induce the accumulation of mRNA of the systemic acquired resistance (SAR)-associated PR-1 and the ethylene- and jasmonic acid dependent PDF1.2 genes.

However, BABA potentiated the accumulation of PR-1 mRNA after attack by virulent pathogenic bacteria. As a result, BABA-treated Arabidopsis plants were less diseased compared with the untreated control. In the case of bacteria, BABA protected mutants insensitive to jasmonic acid and ethylene but was not active in plants impaired in the SAR transduction pathway. Thus, BABA protects Arabidopsis against different virulent pathogens by potentiating pathogen-specific plant resistance mechanisms. In addition, we provide evidence that BABA-mediated papilla formation after P. parasitica infection is independent of the SAR signaling pathway.

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Date: 8 Nov 2000 00:51:31 U


Biotechnology Risk Perception In Liability Insurance

By Thomas Epprecht, Ph.D., Risk Expert
Swiss Reinsurance Company, Zürich, Switzerland

As a rule, biotechnology is currently insured under the many existing liability insurance policies of the insurance industry's large industrial clients. Insurers are, however, facing a global challenge from rapid technological innovation in this field. From a scientific point of view, biotechnology has not brought about an accumulation of losses. Positive as this may be, from the insurer's point of view it translates into a lack of clear loss experience, an important requirement for traditional risk transfer. For this reason, the insurance industry finds new and often controversial technologies with no loss history difficult to evaluate and to measure.

In fact, the less influence insurers are able to exert on the risk they are asked to cover, the more they find themselves in the company of other affected parties who have no voice in the matter. The risk profile of a new and still controversial technology such as biotechnology is determined more by uneasy dissent in terms of risk perception than by agreed consent among stakeholders regarding the resultant opportunities. The question, therefore, is not whether biotechnology is dangerous, but whether it is perceived as being dangerous.

The accelerated societal response to biotechnology and the lack of loss history together create a fundamentally new risk profile. Interest groups are calling for mechanisms to reconcile conflicting interests, arguing that those affected by adverse side effects of the technology should be compensated. This translates into tighter liability regulations, which are increasingly based on anticipated or potential losses, rather than on any losses actually sustained.

When assessing the risks and the possible exposure of biotech companies, professional risk carriers have begun to pay more attention to the psychological and societal aspects of the comprehensive risk landscape. Even though they may well seek a sustainable balance among stakeholders and their interest, they cannot be expected to grant compensation for an alteration in this balance.

Many lawmakers believe that liability regulations and the imposition of statutory requirements for insurance cover are the key to settling such conflicts of interest. On closer analysis, this seems undesirable. From an economic viewpoint, for instance, it binds increasing amounts of investment capital. But it also turns the very principle of insurance upside down, by blocking new channels of action rather than opening them up. Moreover, it does not actually contribute to safety, since those receiving automatic cover tend to accept greater risks than those who are obliged to compete for it.

Meanwhile, liability insurers will avoid being used as carriers of politically undesired risks, striving instead for a clear delimitation, excluding banned risks which must be subject to criminal law. Strict liability is not the appropriate way to draw the line between risks which are politically acceptable or even desirable, and those which are not. Any liability-prone activity requires some form of license to innovate, and should be subject to strict regulatory control, preferably on a case by case basis, especially where controversial technical innovation is concerned.

In the meantime, interest groups are increasingly putting pressure on the biotech industry and its insurers through class action lawsuits. This development would indicate that the possibility of legal action is primarily a question of societal acceptance and less of the risk actually being taken. A rapidly growing problem here is the cost of defending unjustified claims. The insurance industry believes, however, it is not their task to satisfy claims which arise from a change in societal values. This risk is surely a business risk falling to the manufacturer.

If an insurer should decide to refuse coverage of a given risk in biotechnology, it will be because he considers the risk economically uninteresting, or because he is unable to calculate the exposure involved. In this regard, uninsurable risks need not necessarily be "too high" or "too dangerous". Insurability does not depend on the size of a potential loss, but rather on its known probability, on the resources available, on possibilities of spreading the risk, and on a fair, risk-based premium. These economic criteria traditionally prompt an insurer to accept a risk.

An important completion should be made in terms of the societal context: Since insurers also take on responsibility when they absorb risk, they cannot afford just to stand aside and watch. In the medium term, biotechnology will remain a public issue. The insurance industry therefore faces two fundamental tasks: selecting risk and influencing risk. In other words, risk management and issue management. Traditional risk management is based on the identification and the technical assessment of risks. Issue management involves the early recognition of signals from a sensitive public and an analysis of the likely effects on one's own company and on other stakeholders involved. The onus would now appear to be on responding to society's changing values and contributing to how these will evolve.


  • Epprecht, T. (1998) Genetic engineering and liability insurance. The Power of public perception. SwissRe, Zurich.
  • Epprecht, T. (2000) Global Markets, Phantom Risks, and Globalised Losses: A Challenge for the Insurance Industry in the Swiss Political Science Review vol. 6/3 (forthcoming) (debates)
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    Date: 8 Nov 2000 00:51:31 U

    An Economic Interpretation of the Precautionary Principle

    By Nicolas Treich, Ph.D., Researcher
    Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, University of Toulouse, France

    The Precautionary Principle has defined a new guideline for risk management. It encourages the prevention of a risk before that full scientific information is available. A political decision should thus be made before scientific evidence, conversely to the usual timing of decisions. Since the Precautionary Principle implies that a decision should be taken in advance, even if it may be revised later on, it implies that the process of decision is sequential.

    Precaution thus refers to situations where the perception of the risk evolves. In such circumstances, the objective is not only to determine what is the optimal level of risk exposition at a given time but is also to define a prudent and flexible strategy that will be revised in the light of future information.

    This allows us to make a basic distinction between prevention and precaution. Prevention is a static concept that refers to the management of a risk at a given time and given a stable probability distribution. Precaution is a dynamic concept that recognizes the evolution of scientific knowledge; A precaution measure thus defines a prudent and temporary decision that permits to manage the current lack of scientific information.

    The most standard approach to justify economically a decision is to develop a cost-benefit analysis; that is comparing expected discounted cost to benefits entailed by each respective decision. A crucial issue raised by the Precautionary Principle is thus to make cost-benefit analysis sequential, i.e. to integrate the evolution of knowledge and the flexibility implied by each decision into cost-benefit analysis.

    For the sake of illustration, debates on policies for limiting climate change due to greenhouse gases emissions have emphasized the need to develop such a sequential-decision strategy. The choice between moderate or an aggressive emissions reduction is indeed affected today by the improvement of scientific understanding of climate change and the ability to switch to other sources of energy in the future.

    At a pure theoretical level, there is also a need to investigate whether precautionary actions may be optimal. Gollier-Jullien-Treich (2000) consider a model of optimal use of a good whose consumption can produce damages in the future. This is a general model of stock pollutant under uncertainty. In this model, scientific progress is made over time that provides information on the distribution of the intensity of the damages. The model shows that this progress generally induces earlier prevention i.e. so that standard "learn-then-act" strategies are in general non-optimal. Hence, this result provides a normative justification of the Precautionary Principle.


  • Gollier C., B. Jullien and N. Treich, 2000, "Scientific progress and irreversibility: An economic interpretation of the Precautionary Principle", Journal of Public Economics, 75.
  • Treich, N., 1997, "Economics of uncertainty: Analysis of Precaution", Ph.D. Thesis (in french), University of Toulouse, France.
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    Date: 8 Nov 2000 16:35:50 U
    From: "jcummins"

    ICGEB: Biotech Scandal in India

    Scandal in India 09 November 2000

    Indian biotech centre rocked by controversy

    K. S. JAYARAMAN, Nature 408, 127 (2000) © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

    [NEW DELHI] When the board of governors for the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB ) meets next week, it may be in for a shock. The board, which represents the ICGEB's 43 member states, will find the centre's New Delhi component embroiled in controversy over allegations of insufficient funding, staff harassment and political influence on the recruitment of researchers and officials.

    Set up 13 years ago by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the ICGEB was intended to spearhead the transfer of western biotechnology to developing nations. The centre is split into two components, one based in New Delhi, India, and the other in Trieste, Italy.

    Earlier this year, officials at the New Delhi component denied reports that budget cuts and deteriorating working conditions had caused many scientists to leave (see Nature 403, 694; 2000 and Nature 404 , 329; 2000). But the complaints continue.

    For example, the son of a senior official in India's Department of Biotechnology - part of the Ministry of Science and Technology – has been appointed as an international fellow at the ICGEB. The move has raised a few eyebrows, as such positions are intended to be reserved for scientists from member countries other than India.

    And Honey Reddi, a researcher in the virology department, claims she was "harassed" into resigning and then barred from entering the laboratory after she complained openly about working conditions and recruitment practices at the centre. She has now lodged formal complaints with India's National Commission for Women and its National Human Rights Commission.

    There have also been accusations of lax management procedures. S. K. Panda, for example, a professor of pathology at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and a former consultant to the centre, holds a patent on the full-length clone of the hepatitis E virus genome. He says that the ICGEB sent the clone to laboratories outside India without his knowledge, violating the material transfer agreement he had signed with the centre.

    Although Panda's claim is currently under investigation, Arturo Falaschi, the Italian director of the ICGEB, dismisses the other complaints as "trivial". Virander Singh Chauhan, head of the Delhi component, describes allegations of political appointments as no more than "mischievous" propaganda.

    Yashwantrai Vaishnav, who was a senior research scientist in the virology group until resigning in 1998, complains that "the politics is so deep-rooted at ICGEB that, it appears to me, no significant change can be brought about".

    Vaishnav, who now works outside India after being one of 17 scientists to quit during the past two years, says that, although talented researchers remain, they are not being used properly because "the atmosphere at ICGEB is not conducive to it".

    Chauhan denies there is anything wrong at the centre. "For the past two years, we have been continuously hiring people," he says. "Most of the people who left were here either on project positions or on short-term fellowships."

    Responding to charges that the appointments process lacks transparency, Chauhan says: "On the contrary, I think we are too open . . . not even a technician is recruited without advertising for the post and a selection committee."

    But Devaguptapu Subrahmanyam, who was closely associated with the development of the ICGEB as a UNIDO official and later as a senior adviser at the New Delhi component, argues that the centre's recruitment procedures "need to be revamped". In particular, he says, all senior positions "should be filled by advertisement through international media".

    "There are clearly some serious problems with this unit, and an external review is needed to get to the bottom of it," says Deshpal Verma, professor of molecular genetics at Ohio State University. Verma was first choice to head the New Delhi unit when it was set it up by UNIDO in 1987, but rejected the offer.

    Like Chauhan, several members of the ICGEB's Council of Scientific Advisors (CSA) reject criticism of its operation. "The scientific contributions of the Trieste and New Delhi laboratories are world class, and the training and help given the centre's member states are of extraordinary value," says one, Nobel laureate Arthur Kornberg of Stanford University School of Medicine.

    Another CSA member, Govindarajan Padmanaban of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, says he is not aware of internal problems at the centre. "My overall impression of ICGEB is positive," he says.

    Contributing to the current tension is concern over future funding prospects for the centre. According to Subrahmanyam, its long-term financial stability "looks uncertain", as a number of member countries are behind with their dues, and the two host countries – India and Italy – are both showing signs of "donor fatigue".

    Subrahmanyam argues that it is now vital for the ICGEB to persuade other developed countries to become members. But this will mean giving the centre a stronger international profile. At present, he points out, hardly any of the senior positions in the New Delhi component are held by non-Indians.

    Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2000 Registered No. 785998 England.

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    Date: 8 Nov 2000 18:00:08 U
    From: Robert Mann

    Getting Terminology right: "conventional farmers"

    In a recent correction of a lie about organic farming, it was said:

    "What wasn't mentioned is that most of the manure spread on land in the United States is, in fact, used by conventional farmers. . . ."

    This is not factually wrong, but it seems to me an example of a regrettable unwitting error. Why should we concede such a favourable-sounding respectable label as 'conventional'?

    Shouldn't we call it at best 'non-organic', or perhaps 'chemicals-laden', or even 'toxins-laden', or 'non-sustainable', etc?

    The point is that the term 'conventional' implies to most people a degree of approval, if only by default. In this context I would call it a 'lie-in-the-language'. Lies-in-the-language are among the most horribly effective and are central in the Goebbels PR tradition which, to a most dismaying extent, perverts today's world.

    My favourite example is "reclaimed land" meaning filled-in or destroyed water or wetland; the term 'reclaim' insinuates that something is being claimed back for the technosphere that was merely on temporary loan to the biosphere. It is a vicious lie, and all the more outrageous in that it is asserted devoid of argument or even grammar that could attract attention or invite thought. The listener or reader is offered nothing to get a grip on, no invitation to doubt; the poison pill is elegantly slipped in unnoticed.

    I suspect this form of lie is among the most extremely effective. Try compiling a list of lies-in-the-language. Other examples include:

  • Restructuring (when 'sabotage' would be more accurate).
  • Reforms (Thatcherism, Rogernomics, Ruthanasia).
  • Women's liberation.
  • Rightsizing.
  • Repositioning.
  • Feminism.
  • Repatriation (export of profits for foreign investors).
  • Genetic engineering.

    Whatever you may think about particular entries on my version of the list, I urge you to form the concept of 'lies in the language'.

    And please call modern agribusiness something more accurate than 'conventional'. It is a ghastly toxic error and should be implied to be so in any brief adjectives we use for it.


    Robt Mann
    consultant ecologist, P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand, (9) 524 2949

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    Date: 8 Nov 2000 19:20:01 U
    From: Jason Boehk

    China implants spider genes into silkworms

    By David Rennie in Beijing

    THE centuries-old silk industry faces a revolution after Chinese genetic engineers said yesterday that they had successfully implanted spider genes into silkworms.

    Mass-produced spider-strength silk could be used in bullet-proof jackets and parachutes as well as for ordinary clothes, scientists in Shanghai said. Dr Lu Changde, of the Chinese Academy of Science's Shanghai Institute for Biochemistry, said his team had succeeded in producing silk containing spider genes after four years' work, though the resulting silk still required fine tuning.

    He said: "We have successfully implanted the gene that makes spider silk

    viscous into the fertilised eggs of silkworms. There are still many difficulties to overcome, but we have solved the most difficult problem." The scientists still have to prevent the silk from turning yellow and to make it strong yet soft enough to wear.

    Teams elsewhere in China – which has embraced genetic engineering with enthusiasm and few restrictions – last year boasted that they had placed rabbit genes in cotton plants, producing cotton fibres "as soft as rabbit hair".

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    Date: 9 Nov 2000 16:42:31 U
    From: "jcummins"

    The report below brings home the fact that transgenes are seen by cells as invaders. They are frequently silenced like viruses.

    Transgenes Are Cellular Invaders

    Science Nov 10 2000: 1159-1162.

    Transgene and Transposon Silencing in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by a DEAH-Box RNA Helicase

    Dancia Wu-Scharf, Byeong-ryool Jeong, Chaomei Zhang, Heriberto Cerutti

    The molecular mechanism(s) responsible for posttranscriptional gene silencing and RNA interference remain poorly understood. We have cloned a gene (Mut6) from the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that is required for the silencing of a transgene and two transposon families. Mut6 encodes a protein that is highly homologous to RNA helicases of the DEAH-box family. This protein is necessary for the degradation of certain aberrant RNAs, such as improperly processed transcripts, which are often produced by transposons and some transgenes.

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    Date: 10 Nov 2000 22:43:11 U
    From: "jcummins"

    Melumber fruit was constructed the old way. It will likely serve an important role and be economic. In contrast biotech mouseumber fruit is less appealing.

    Melumber fruit (melon and cucumber hybrid) made the old way

    Trends in Plant Science, 2000

    Melumber: melon and cucumber hybrid [Headlines]


    There is no abstract for this article. The text below is the first paragraph of text within the article.

    Joseph Kirkbride (Agricultural Research Service, Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory, Beltsville, MD, USA) and Chen Jin-Feng (Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China) have crossed a cucumber with a melon, which could give both plants more genetic resistance against diseases and pests. The new hybrid Cucumis 3 hytivus was developed by doubling the chromosomes of the hybrid using traditional breeding techniques and will serve as a bridge for shuttling useful genes between the two species.

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    Date: 11 Nov 2000 08:22:53 U
    From: "jcummins"

    Viruses that replicate in both plants and animals are not common but do exist. This is a consideration in evaluating the safety of virus gene insertions in GM crops.

    A Virus that Replicates in both Plants and Animals

    Molecular Plant Pathology 1 (3) 151-157 © British Society for Plant Pathology

    Pathogen profile

    Tomato spotted wilt virus – positive steps towards negative success

    Scott Adkins*


    Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is the type member of the plant-infecting Tospovirus genus in the family Bunyaviridae, a large group of predominantly vertebrate- and insect-infecting RNA viruses.

    Physical properties

    Virions are 80-120-nm pleomorphic particles with surface projections composed of two viral glycoproteins, G1 and G2 (Fig. 1). Virion composition is 5% nucleic acid, 70% protein, 5% carbohydrate and 20% lipid. The genome consists of three negative or ambisense ssRNAs designated S (2.9 kb), M (4.8 kb) and L (8.9 kb), with partially complementary terminal sequences that allow the RNA to adopt a pseudocircular or panhandle conformation.

    Each genomic RNA is encapsidated by multiple copies of the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein to form ribonucleoprotein structures also known as nucleocapsids. The nucleocapsids are enclosed in a host-derived membrane bilayer along with an estimated 10-20 copies of the L protein, the putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.


    Over 800 plant species, both dicots and monocots, in more than 80 plant families are susceptible to TSWV (Goldbach and Peters, 1994). The Solanaceae and Compositae families contain the largest numbers of susceptible plant species (Prins and Kormelink, 1998). TSWV also replicates in its insect vector, thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) (Ullman et al., 1993; Wijkamp et al., 1993).

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    Date: 11 Nov 2000 13:16:28 U
    From: ThePiedPiper

    Implications of "a virus that replicates in both plants and animals"

    By Laura Lee Lanning~Shipton 11 Nov 2000
    Permission granted to reprint [intotal only] with this url attached

    Something that I have been attempting to do is

    see if plagues have had more impact on civilization than religion or anything else.

    If so, it seems that microbes evolve very fast and that the Earth has a diversity that has not been taken into account.

    Some of these survive by killing higher life forms like Humans and when they run out of food they go dormant.

    Thomas Gold: "The Deep Hot Bioshpere"

    "The Theory of Unlimited Oil": By Kevin Newman March 16
    One heretic predicts more oil to be drilled in the Ground

    Consider, water (H2O) is being used to get these (H)ydrocarbons out of the ground.

    What does the bacteria that seems to make oil do with the (H)ydrogen part of water and does it release the oxygen part?

    So, do we ever reclaim the water?

    They have found that the Earth has a lot more oxygen during some of the dinosaur ages, so could these be tied to how the dinosaurs dying out?

    "Dinosaur Breath" by John G. Cramer

    Has the fact that in nature there are some natural things that keep some things from replicating be what has kept a world wide plague from happening? What is happening in the ocean right now.

    Science News Jan 30, 1999 Sea Sickness.(pollution, algae blooms, and climate change affect coral reefs and other marine organisms)

    Author/s: Janet Raloff

    This next link shows that these items do not break down easily, so what happens if the very plants make poisons? Hemlock anyone? Enjoy your next glass of water, and purification may not do it. May 7 2000 Britain Anti-depressants get into water system Roger Dobson

    - Toxic Mercury Found in New England Rain and Snow

    WASHINGTON, DC, September 19, 2000 (ENS) – Rain and snow falling on the New England states has been found to contain levels of mercury that far exceed what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe for people, aquatic life and wildlife in surface waters, concludes a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

    If you do an experiment: put a stalk of celery in a glass of water with red food dye in a few days you will see the dye as it travels up the plant.

    Plants Express Items Through Their Stomata items like oxygen, and poisons like pesticides, and herbicides. To make a plant that is poison like nettles are means that the poison will eventually get into the water supply. How? The chemicals sprayed on plants are already showing up in rain water at concentrations that would make the water unsuitable to see as drinking water.

    This link shows that rain water is contaminated

    It seems as if some perfumes are already so loaded with chemicals that the flower expressed that they are as toxic as if you were using the chemical straight from the bottle. The substitutes for these perfumes are about as bad, especially when made from petrochemicals.

    The alternatives: use of biochips to measure pollution, but not in humans, because these things are DNA based and if they get a virus or fungus will we know?

    Why shouldn't we use biochips or nanites in humans? Because we still have not gotten past this point on thinking that survival is because of multiple insemination.

    Sixty percent are sleek, racing sperm or "egg-getters." Then there are blockers, which have coiled tails, a big head or numerous heads, or are bent or fat – their job is to block the new guy's sperm. Then there are killer sperm, which have pointy and poisonous heads that bite enemy sperm in the vulnerable side of the head. It is an obstacle race, moving always to a higher level of danger and the ultimate reward.

    Instead of this I hypothesis that the very sperm are the first line of defense. The vagina is acidic and the seminal fluid is alkaline. Both sets of sexual organs have natural bacterial balance that keeps them healthy.

    A male produces many sperm and it seem possible that some of these sperm have fungus or pathogens that have attached to the sperm's DNA, and it seems as if there are sperm that attempt to kill these. This means that one man can have sperm that have many different DNA codes.

    In Genetic Engineering they arbitrary choose a sperm and an egg, what could code into the human DNA? Plants seems to have ways of protecting their DNA as well – Yet what happens when they just arbitrary shoot foreign DNA into the plant, especially if they are using a virus to do it with?

    As the link below shows some of these ideas have been around for a long time, yet there are still some American Biology courses that teach "Bacteria only reproduces by cloning" when it was known in 1958 that bacteria also reproduces by sexual recombination. JOSHUA LEDERBERG
    +Lederberg+nobel&hl=en 1958 Nobel Laureate in Medicine for his discoveries concerning genetic recombination and the organization of the genetic material of bacteria.

    Genetic Modification needs to be reassessed because many of these people think that man is omnipotent they do not think that microorganisms are a viable variable yet it seems as if microorganisms have a higher survival index than man might.

    In the race of survival of the fittest antibiotic resistant bacteria is already taking humans out of the race. How many more pathogens will be bring into being? How many more will global warming release to go after us?

    Laura Lee Lanning~Shipton 11 Nov 2000 Permission granted to reprint [intotal only] with this url attached

    jcummins wrote: (see article above)

    Any person can stand adversity, The true test is to give a person power.

    If you treat a relationship as if you are the only one in it, eventually you will be.

    Atrocities happen when the people about you - start considering you surplus.

    "I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion"

    Thomas Jefferson
    My Grandfather told me there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to be in the first group – there is less competition there. –
    Indira Gandhi ICQ 14484977


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    Date: 11 Nov 2000 14:27:43 U
    From: Robert Mann

    More on "a virus that replicates in both plants and animals"

    Laura Lee Lanning~Shipton wrote:

    Something that I have been attempting to do is see if plagues have had more impact on civilization than religion or anything else.

    A good place to start would be the classic

    'Plagues and Peoples' by the famous Univ. of Chicago Prof Wm H McNeill (1976; Penguin 1979). A few chapters in, you will get the distinct, indeed overwhelming, impression that plagues have mattered much more than wars. (Of course, some wars have spread plagues – the two phenomena are not separate). I doubt whether it is meaningful to ask whether plagues have had more impact on civilization than religion has.

    it seems that microbes evolve very fast

    this too is not in doubt.


    Thomas Gold "The Deep Hot Biosphere"

    Gold mounts an extremely strong argument that our planet's crust contains huge amounts of methane – primordial, not fossil. Some readers may not know what a prestigious scientist is Prof. T. Gold. He is perhaps best known for astrophysics with H Bondi, but his deep primordial gas theory is now so well founded – see USGS prof. paper #1570 57-80 (1993) - that offshore drilling should be stopped immediately, to prevent marine blowouts, and 10km holes should be drilled where natural gas is needed. I urge those interested to read this homepage of Gold's, but not bother with the sloppy journalism which is also mentioned by Laura Lee.

    Her concern about the water used to get out some of the oil can I think be allayed quite simply. The amount of water thus used, and indeed the amount of oil altogether, is tiny compared with the water of the ocean and the ice-caps.

    Laura's concern about multiple pollutants is expressed in novel ways but the general idea has been well justified for 3 decades. She is right that the ecosphere into which GM now emerges is already being rapidly degraded by many types of pollution. This is all the more reason for caution with GM.


    Robt Mann
    Mulgoon Professor emeritus of Environmental Studies, U of Auckland consultant stirrer & motorcyclist
    P O Box 28878, Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand (9) 524 2949

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    Date: 12 Nov 2000 09:43:23 U
    From: "jcummins"

    The article below focuses on the first GM organism released to the environment and its ability to cause disease.

    The first GM Organism released

    Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, September 2000, p. 624-653, Vol. 64, No. 3 1092-2172/00/$04.00+0
    Copyright © 2000, American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

    Bacteria in the Leaf Ecosystem with Emphasis on Pseudomonas syringaea Pathogen, Ice Nucleus, and Epiphyte

    Susan S. Hirano1,* and Christen D. Upper1,2

    Department of Plant Pathology1 and USDA Agricultural Research Service,2 University of WisconsinMadison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706

    The extremely large number of leaves produced by terrestrial and aquatic plants provide habitats for colonization by a diversity of microorganisms. This review focuses on the bacterial component of leaf microbial communities, with emphasis on Pseudomonas syringaea species that participates in leaf ecosystems as a pathogen, ice nucleus, and epiphyte. Among the diversity of bacteria that colonize leaves, none has received wider attention than P. syringae, as it gained notoriety for being the first recombinant organism (Ice P. syringae) to be deliberately introduced into the environment.

    We focus on P. syringae to illustrate the attractiveness and somewhat unique opportunities provided by leaf ecosystems for addressing fundamental questions of microbial population dynamics and mechanisms of plant-bacterium interactions. Leaf ecosystems are dynamic and ephemeral. The physical environment surrounding phyllosphere microbes changes continuously with daily cycles in temperature, radiation, relative humidity, wind velocity, and leaf wetness. Slightly longer-term changes occur as weather systems pass. Seasonal climatic changes impose still a longer cycle. The physical and physiological characteristics of leaves change as they expand, mature, and senesce and as host phenology changes.

    Many of these factors influence the development of populations of P. syringae upon populations of leaves. P. syringae was first studied for its ability to cause disease on plants. However, disease causation is but one aspect of its life strategy. The bacterium can be found in association with healthy leaves, growing and surviving for many generations on the surfaces of leaves as an epiphyte. A number of genes and traits have been identified that contribute to the fitness of P. syringae in the phyllosphere. While still in their infancy, such research efforts demonstrate that the P. syringae-leaf ecosystem is a particularly attractive system with which to bridge the gap between what is known about the molecular biology of genes linked to pathogenicity and the ecology and epidemiology of associated diseases as they occur in natural settings, the field.

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    Date: 13 Nov 2000 14:21:44 U
    From: ThePiedPiper

    Ethanol Producers and Consumers news letter – link Bioenergy Initiative signed by Clinton

    Laura Lee Lanning~Shipton 13 Nov 2000

    This could be why Petro problems open dome to compete price wise? and why meat slaughter is being consolidated why they are trying to down play meat to keep the plant farmers from having a market until they attempt to corner it with Factory Farms. Organics are hard to monopolize UNLESS you have control of all seed.

    Web Page Link follows ETHANOL PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS September/October 99 Newsletter

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    Date: 14 Nov 2000 11:32:08 U
    Originated from:

    Corrupt science – Biotech Executives Jailed for Data Fix

    Norfolk Genetic Information Network (ngin)

    Why just these two? See below for multiple examples of science corruption.

    From Nature Biotechnology October 2000 (Vol. 18, No. 10, p. 1024)

    A former executive of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (Birmingham, AL) and his wife have been sentenced to federal prison for their part in a plan to falsify clinical trial data on a psoriasis and skin cancer treatment. The couple, who falsified data from clinical trials of the enzyme inhibitor BCX-34, were convicted in March of conspiracy, mail fraud and making false statements to the US Food and Drug Administration.

    On August 31, a federal court judge in Birmingham sentenced Harry Snyder and Renee Peugeot, who was a nurse in the trials, to three years and two and a half years in prison, respectively. Snyder was also ordered to pay $26,000 restitution to the FDA. BioCryst spokesperson AK Schleusner says Snyder, who was running phase II trials of the drug in 1994 and 1995, was fired in 1995 when false data was discovered; BioCryst subsequently abandoned development of the drug in 1997 after phase III trials were unsuccessful.

    The sentencing did not affect the firm's stock price, which was trading at $30 per share in early September.

    "All policy makers must be vigilant to the possibility of research data being manipulated by corporate bodies and of scientific colleagues being seduced by the material charms of industry. Trust is no defence against an aggressively deceptive corporate sector."

    THE LANCET, April 2000

    Top PreviousFront Page

    Date: 14 Nov 2000 11:32:08 U
    Originated from:

    Multiple Examples Of Science Corruption.


    1. evidence that the withholding of unfavourable research evidence into product performance may have led to thousands of deaths

    2. evidence that patents and other financial interests may be influencing researchers' behaviour in ways which could place the public at risk

    3. evidence of aggressive corporate deception involving government, researchers and the media,2763,156849,00.html

    4. evidence of widespread industry pressure on scientists to tailor their research findings and advice to suit sponsors

    5. evidence of the falsification of data to suit commercial objectives,2763,194211,0....

    6. evidence that even indirect industry-linked funding can critically distort researchers' findings and published opinions on issues relevant to public safety

    7. evidence of suppression of unfavourable research evidence into product safety

    8. evidence of misrepresentation of research to the public and the media to suit commercial objectives

    9. evidence of government coordination of scientists' contributions to the media to support its pro-biotech line and rebut scientific and political criticism

    10. evidence of pressure to suppress publication of unfavourable research evidence

    11. evidence of pressure on journalists to under-report unfavourable research evidence

    12. evidence of heavy corporate influence over research funding, research agendas, and top-level appointments

    13. evidence of the use of silencing agreements to gag scientists

    14. evidence of scientists' self-censorship and of the direct suppression of dissenting scientists

    15. accumulating evidence of corporate bias in the science base of regulatory bodies charged with protecting the public interest