Showing posts with label Genetic engineering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Genetic engineering. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lab Grown Meat, Vertical Farms

Painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem
Painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For me the number one concern is cost. It has to cost less than how they do it now, much less. Or why bother?

Feeding Tomorrow’s Billions: Lab-Grown Meat Products, Vertical Farms, AI-Designed Recipes, and More
Food and agriculture accounts for about 5.9% of the global GDP. Global food retail sales alone account for about $4 trillion/year, and food accounts for 15% of what American households spend each year. .... In 1790, farm jobs accounted for 90% of US jobs, compared to less than 2% today. ...... they won't be meats in the conventional sense, but something altogether new. ...... In 2012, it took 60 billion land animals to feed 7 billion humans. If successful, cultured animal products have huge advantages: 99% less land, 96% less water, 96% fewer greenhouse gases, and 45% less energy. ........ We will increasingly rely on genetically engineered crops. In 1996, there were 1.7 million hectares of biotech crops in the world; by 2010, the number had jumped to 148 million hectares. ..... More than a trillion GE meals have been served, and not a single case of GE-induced illness has turned up. ...... Vertical farms will be immune to weather, so crops can be grown year-round under optimal conditions. One acre of skyscraper floor produces the equivalent of 10 to 20 traditional soil-based acres....... Employing clean-room technologies means no pesticides or herbicides, so there's no agricultural runoff. The fossil fuels now used for plowing, fertilizing, seeding, weeding, harvesting, and delivery are gone as well. On top of all that, we could reforest the old farmland as parkland and slow the loss of biodiversity. ....... The average American foodstuff travels 1,500 miles before it's consumed. As 70% of food's final retail price is from transportation, storage, and handling, these miles add up quickly. With vertical farming and genetic engineering, production will become decentralized and distributed, allowing food to be produced nearer the location of consumption,

and food's price to plummet

....... companies turning plants into foods that look and taste just like meat and eggs.... data scientists are actively weeding out billions of proteins from hundreds of thousands of plants to learn what could form the equivalent of a chicken's egg. ....... IBM's Watson uses machine learning to construct new recipes and cocktails that no human chef would come up with....... As technology converges, the future will be a tasty, and abundant, one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Genetically Modified Crops: Overall Positive

GloFish fluorescent fish. Genetically modified...
GloFish fluorescent fish. Genetically modified. Danio rerio. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Going through the early versions of a computer operating system would generate less controversy than the early versions of genetically modified food, but if done right, I think GMOs will ultimately prevail for the larger good. But it is not enough to get the final product right. We also have to make the product right and participatory. People have a right to know what's going on.

Genetic modification is what happens all the time in nature. That is what the theory of evolution is based upon. Human intervention can not be all that evil.

Genetically modified crops: Field research
the largest review yet conducted of the crops’ effects on farming. It concludes that these have been overwhelmingly positive....... all examinations of the agronomic and economic impacts of GM crops published in English between 1995 and March 2014 ..... Commercial genetic modification for crops comes in two forms. One makes them resistant to insect pests. The other confers tolerance to glyphosate, enabling farmers to spray their fields with this herbicide and kill off all the other plants (ie, the weeds) in them. ..... With both forms of modification, however, the yield rise was so great (9% above non-GM crops for herbicide tolerance and 25% above for insect resistance) that farmers who adopted GM crops made 69% higher profits than those who did not. ...... GM crops do even better in poor countries than in rich ones. Farmers in developing nations who use the technology achieve yields 14 percentage points above those of GM farmers in the rich world. Pests and weeds are a bigger problem in poor countries, so GM confers bigger benefits. .... who pays for a study does not seem to influence its results.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Life Secrets: Beyond Reach?

A slight mutation in the matched nucleotides c...
A slight mutation in the matched nucleotides can lead to chromosomal aberrations and unintentional genetic rearrangement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Biology's Master Programmers
Since the mid-1980s Church has played a pioneering role in the development of DNA sequencing, helping—among his other achievements—to organize the Human Genome Project. To reach his office at Harvard Medical School, one enters a laboratory humming with many of the more than 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows over whom Church rules as director of the school's Center for Computational Genetics. ..... synthetic biology, an ambitious and radical approach to genetic engineering that attempts to create novel biological entities—everything from enzymes to cells and microbes—by combining the expertise of biology and engineering .... modify microörganisms to create new fuels and medical treatments. .... "It will change everything. People are going to live healthier a lot longer because of synthetic biology. You can count on it." ..... The very idea of synthetic biology is to purposefully engineer the DNA of living things so that they can accomplish tasks they don't carry out in nature. ...... a rapid drop in the cost of decoding and synthesizing DNA, combined with a vast increase in computer power and an influx into biology labs of engineers and computer scientists, has led to a fundamental change in how thoroughly and swiftly an organism's genetics can be modified. ..... we will be able to replace diseased tissues and organs by reprogramming cells to make new ones, create novel microbes that efficiently secrete fuels and other chemicals, and fashion DNA switches that turn on the right genes inside a patient's cells to prevent arteries from getting clogged. ..... The cost of both decoding DNA and synthesizing new DNA strands, he has calculated, is falling about five times as fast as computing power is increasing under Moore's Law ...... Up to now, it's proved stubbornly difficult to turn synthetic biology into a practical technology that can create products like cheap biofuels. Scientists have found that the "code of life" is far more complex and difficult to crack than anyone might have imagined a decade ago. What's more, while rewriting the code is easier than ever, getting it right isn't. ...... The idea, Church explains, is to sort through the variations to find "an occasional hopeful monster, just as evolution has done for millions of years." ..... no matter how elegantly compact the DNA code is, the biology it gives rise to is consistently more complex than anyone anticipated .... synthetic biology is genetic engineering on steroids ..... an expanding list of DNA circuits, including biosensors, oscillators, bacterial calculators, and similar molecular gadgetry ........ the claims that some synthetic-­biology companies made now appear to have been overly optimistic ...... Codon, in Church's words, was established to be the Intel of the bioengineering industry ...... Warp Drive, which was launched in January, employs fewer than a dozen full-time staffers and occupies only about 1,000 square feet of office and lab space in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But the startup, which has raised $125 million in investments ...... nature is particularly adept at creating chemicals that act safely and precisely on a desired biological target ...... "Nature seemed to have already engineered in complexities that drug chemists don't understand." ..... nature is still the best programmer.
A lot of people can't wrap their head around the fact that even biological processes are subject to engineering. It is not that different from metal engineering, just at a different scale.

It is like this friend of mine at high school. He just never could wrap his head round the fact that the earth was round. He wrote the right answer for exams and stuff. But he said, you know what, I just don't buy it. The earth feels flat to me, he said.
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Monkey Business

Raw Peanut pods ... Trái đậu Phộng tươi .
Raw Peanut pods ... Trái đậu Phộng tươi . (Photo credit: Vietnam Plants & America plants)
Is this a good idea?

Scientists Control Monkeys' Brains with Light
optogenetics—a technique by which genetically modified neurons are made to fire with light. ..... These brain circuits control behaviors such as movement and emotion and, when faulty, can lead to diseases ranging from depression to Parkinson's.
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