PLANTS ARE BEING ENGINEERED TO EARN THEIR KEEP!

Dec 2016
5,078
2,606
Canada
#1
This one goes out to all of the unquestioning, unqualified tech worshippers and techno-optimists here! As if there aren't enough things to worry about with scientists genetically re-engineering our food plants so that they survive the onslaught of massive amounts of glyphosate and other toxic pesticides, now they want to make plants that are photo-luminescent, or detect toxins and change color to reflect levels of pathogens......what could go wrong?

Genetic modification is met with great scepticism for a variety of reasons by a populace weary of messing with nature. Now, some scientists are planning what seems to be a charm offensive — proposing that genetically modified houseplants could work for their owners, even replacing table lamps, and that trees could double as street lights.​
Scientists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, published a paper suggesting that modifications used on crops could work on domestic plants and warn homeowners about pollutants in the air.​
The analysis, published in the Journal of Biosciences, described how genetically altered tobacco plants would glow orange under a green light if they came into contact with pathogenic bacteria.​
The Knoxville group suggests this science could be harnessed to create plants for the home that change color if they detect a drop in air quality — due to mold spores, or even radioactive radon gas. The authors have performed no research as yet, and merely present these ideas as theoretical.​
But engineers at MIT in Cambridge, MA, are testing yet another way plants could earn their keep around the house. The group successfully embedded specialized nanoparticles called luciferase into leafy greens like three-week-old watercress plants. Luciferase is what fireflies use to produce their light. The nanoparticle-infused leaves glowed for around four hours.​
The research is at an extremely early stage, and the light given off is nowhere near enough to be useful. But the plan is to refine the technique until it creates plants you can read a book by in the dead of night.​
This is all well and good — proposing genetically modified “houseplant robots” that stay indoors and are hermetically sealed from the outside world. But what side effects might there be if this kind of science were let loose on the world? Allumen, a startup company based in Denmark, has plans doing just that.​
The company’s founder got an idea at a music festival. He “brought 55 liters of glowing algae to Roskilde [Denmark] Festival in 2017,” and after seeing how engaged and excited his fellow festival-goers were, he decided to try and monetize this excitement. The company is now researching how to genetically splice the glowing algae into trees. It hopes these glowing trees could eventually take over the job of street lighting — slashing towns’ CO2 emissions and saving taxpayers money.​
At what cost to the environment, however? Will the seeds from these genetically modified plants wreak havoc on local biospheres? Will glowing trees further confuse birds who struggle with nighttime lighting as it is?​
There are no answers as yet, and — as this science is a long way away from affecting our daily lives — there is plenty of time to conduct research and further analyze what effect this new side to genetic engineering will have on humans, animals, and plant life.​
Plants Are Being Engineered to Earn Their Keep - WhoWhatWhy


Too bad engineers never think of applying the principle of Don't Fuck With Mother Nature unless you can prove that it won't create unexpected adaptations which require fixes in the future!

But, for my part, I welcome the arrival of our new plant overlords!

All Hail The Triffids!!!!​
 
Dec 2018
2
3
Ithaca
#2
This one goes out to all of the unquestioning, unqualified tech worshippers and techno-optimists here! As if there aren't enough things to worry about with scientists genetically re-engineering our food plants so that they survive the onslaught of massive amounts of glyphosate and other toxic pesticides, now they want to make plants that are photo-luminescent, or detect toxins and change color to reflect levels of pathogens......what could go wrong?


Genetic modification is met with great scepticism for a variety of reasons by a populace weary of messing with nature. Now, some scientists are planning what seems to be a charm offensive — proposing that genetically modified houseplants could work for their owners, even replacing table lamps, and that trees could double as street lights.


Scientists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, published a paper suggesting that modifications used on crops could work on domestic plants and warn homeowners about pollutants in the air.


The analysis, published in the Journal of Biosciences, described how genetically altered tobacco plants would glow orange under a green light if they came into contact with pathogenic bacteria.


The Knoxville group suggests this science could be harnessed to create plants for the home that change color if they detect a drop in air quality — due to mold spores, or even radioactive radon gas. The dissertation writers have performed no research as yet, and merely present these ideas as theoretical.


But engineers at MIT in Cambridge, MA, are testing yet another way plants could earn their keep around the house. The group successfully embedded specialized nanoparticles called luciferase into leafy greens like three-week-old watercress plants. Luciferase is what fireflies use to produce their light. The nanoparticle-infused leaves glowed for around four hours.


The research is at an extremely early stage, and the light given off is nowhere near enough to be useful. But the plan is to refine the technique until it creates plants you can read a book by in the dead of night.


This is all well and good — proposing genetically modified “houseplant robots” that stay indoors and are hermetically sealed from the outside world. But what side effects might there be if this kind of science were let loose on the world? Allumen, a startup company based in Denmark, has plans doing just that.


The company’s founder got an idea at a music festival. He “brought 55 liters of glowing algae to Roskilde [Denmark] Festival in 2017,” and after seeing how engaged and excited his fellow festival-goers were, he decided to try and monetize this excitement. The company is now researching how to genetically splice the glowing algae into trees. It hopes these glowing trees could eventually take over the job of street lighting — slashing towns’ CO2 emissions and saving taxpayers money.


At what cost to the environment, however? Will the seeds from these genetically modified plants wreak havoc on local biospheres? Will glowing trees further confuse birds who struggle with nighttime lighting as it is?


There are no answers as yet, and — as this science is a long way away from affecting our daily lives — there is plenty of time to conduct research and further analyze what effect this new side to genetic engineering will have on humans, animals, and plant life.

Plants Are Being Engineered to Earn Their Keep - WhoWhatWhy

Too bad engineers never think of applying the principle of Don't Fuck With Mother Nature unless you can prove that it won't create unexpected adaptations which require fixes in the future!


But, for my part, I welcome the arrival of our new plant overlords!


All Hail The Triffids!!!!
Agree. There can never be anything without unexpected circumstances that may appear any time (each phenomenon or event is presupposed to be facing the consequences). Risk in this case is obvious. And who knows how far these experiments could lead the humanity.
 
Oct 2010
66,893
26,975
Colorado
#3
The Precautionary Principle should be rigidly applied to bioengineering, but it isn't....

The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) generally defines actions on issues considered to be uncertain, for instance applied in assessing risk management.[1] The principle is used by policy makers to justify discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from making a certain decision (e.g. taking a particular course of action) when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.

Precautionary principle - Wikipedia
 
Nov 2013
2,441
1,035
NM
#4
Plants do a great deal of good for humans & the biosphere already - food, fibers, participate in the water & oxygen cycle, condition the soil, condition the air & water. It's possible to engineer additional roles into plants - but always @ a cost in the plant's own self-sufficiency. If plants are engineered to provide light, for instance - what does that cost the plant in terms of its internal energy balance - does it have to take in additional CO2, water, nutrients, sunlight, etc. in order to perform the added-on role? What does that mean for food plants? Should such modifications be prohibited from rice & cereals & related?

If we're going to experiment in this line, the experiments should take place on the far side of the moon by preference, with rigorous isolation & decontamination procedures for all personnel, equipment, ships & so on. Failing that, I would argue for biological bases/farms/labs @ the poles - again, for the sake of isolation, with the same kind of safeguards to keep the subjects from escaping into the World.
 
Likes: right to left
Dec 2016
5,078
2,606
Canada
#5
The Precautionary Principle should be rigidly applied to bioengineering, but it isn't....

The precautionary principle (or precautionary approach) generally defines actions on issues considered to be uncertain, for instance applied in assessing risk management.[1] The principle is used by policy makers to justify discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from making a certain decision (e.g. taking a particular course of action) when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.

Precautionary principle - Wikipedia
Sort of reminds me of a story that came up today debunking most of the rhetoric behind low-carb diets and other dietary fads. The story advocating maintaining a high fiber and complex carbs diet runs with the principle that the foods that are the least processed are the best for consumption. Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease risk
It should be self-evident that artificially created food products which have never existed before in nature-- like hydrogenated fats, are going to have unexpected and harmful side effects. But, why not mass produce them and put them in just about every packaged food in the supermarket and see what happens!
So now, bioengineers want to tinker with nature much further through genetic modification.........what could go wrong!
 
Sep 2015
13,971
5,037
Brown Township, Ohio
#6
This one goes out to all of the unquestioning, unqualified tech worshippers and techno-optimists here! As if there aren't enough things to worry about with scientists genetically re-engineering our food plants so that they survive the onslaught of massive amounts of glyphosate and other toxic pesticides, now they want to make plants that are photo-luminescent, or detect toxins and change color to reflect levels of pathogens......what could go wrong?

Genetic modification is met with great scepticism for a variety of reasons by a populace weary of messing with nature. Now, some scientists are planning what seems to be a charm offensive — proposing that genetically modified houseplants could work for their owners, even replacing table lamps, and that trees could double as street lights.​
Scientists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, published a paper suggesting that modifications used on crops could work on domestic plants and warn homeowners about pollutants in the air.​
The analysis, published in the Journal of Biosciences, described how genetically altered tobacco plants would glow orange under a green light if they came into contact with pathogenic bacteria.​
The Knoxville group suggests this science could be harnessed to create plants for the home that change color if they detect a drop in air quality — due to mold spores, or even radioactive radon gas. The authors have performed no research as yet, and merely present these ideas as theoretical.​
But engineers at MIT in Cambridge, MA, are testing yet another way plants could earn their keep around the house. The group successfully embedded specialized nanoparticles called luciferase into leafy greens like three-week-old watercress plants. Luciferase is what fireflies use to produce their light. The nanoparticle-infused leaves glowed for around four hours.​
The research is at an extremely early stage, and the light given off is nowhere near enough to be useful. But the plan is to refine the technique until it creates plants you can read a book by in the dead of night.​
This is all well and good — proposing genetically modified “houseplant robots” that stay indoors and are hermetically sealed from the outside world. But what side effects might there be if this kind of science were let loose on the world? Allumen, a startup company based in Denmark, has plans doing just that.​
The company’s founder got an idea at a music festival. He “brought 55 liters of glowing algae to Roskilde [Denmark] Festival in 2017,” and after seeing how engaged and excited his fellow festival-goers were, he decided to try and monetize this excitement. The company is now researching how to genetically splice the glowing algae into trees. It hopes these glowing trees could eventually take over the job of street lighting — slashing towns’ CO2 emissions and saving taxpayers money.​
At what cost to the environment, however? Will the seeds from these genetically modified plants wreak havoc on local biospheres? Will glowing trees further confuse birds who struggle with nighttime lighting as it is?​
There are no answers as yet, and — as this science is a long way away from affecting our daily lives — there is plenty of time to conduct research and further analyze what effect this new side to genetic engineering will have on humans, animals, and plant life.​
Plants Are Being Engineered to Earn Their Keep - WhoWhatWhy


Too bad engineers never think of applying the principle of Don't Fuck With Mother Nature unless you can prove that it won't create unexpected adaptations which require fixes in the future!

But, for my part, I welcome the arrival of our new plant overlords!

All Hail The Triffids!!!!​
If you eat Corn Fakes for breakfast that is GMO.
 

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