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Biotech

Submission + - Hidden Viral Gene CaMV IV in GMO Crops Discovered by Researchers (independentsciencenews.org)

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Researchers with the European Food Safety Authority discovered variants of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S in the most widely harvested varieties of genetically-modified crops, including Monsanto's RoundupReady Soy and Maze. According to researchers, Podevin and du Jardin, the particular "Gene IV" is responsible for a number of possible consequences that could affect human health, including inhibition of RNA silencing and production of proteins with known toxicity. The EFSA is endorsing "retrospective risk assessment" of CaMV promoter and its Gene VI sequences — in an attempt to give it a clean bill of health. It is unknown if the presence of the hidden viral genes were the result of laboratory contamination or a possible recombinant product of the resultant organism. There are serious implications for the production of GMO for foodstuffs, given either possibility.
Science

Submission + - Why Are Cells Powered by Proton Gradients? (nature.com)

Jeremiah Cornelius writes: Virtually all cells "breathe" by pumping protons, in the form of hydrogen ions, across a membrane. Molecular biologist Leslie Orgel considers this the single most counterintuitive idea in biology after Darwin's, and the only one to bear comparison with the concepts of Heisenberg, Schrödinger, and Einstein. Brainchild of biochemist Peter Mitchell, the concept was controversial for a twenty year period now known as the "ox-phos wars". The wars drew to an end only after Mitchell received the Nobel Prize in 1978. Complex life is dependent on this process, but only now are the pertinent questions being asked, about why this is so.

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