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Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 137

by kurzweilfreak (#48040117) Attached to: Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film
The Mechwarrior/Battletech universe has a very rich universe, cast of characters and series of books already written that would make an awesome series of movies. Just the original Blood of Kerensky trilogy introducing the Clans original invasion of the Inner Sphere would make a sweet trilogy. With today's CGI making pretty incredible footage for the games' pre-mission cut scenes, a big screen adaptation would be pretty visually stunning, IMO. Why no one in Hollywood has jumped on this yet boggles my mind.

Comment: Re: Le sigh.... (Score 1) 167

by kurzweilfreak (#47849723) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification
You specifically brought up the argument of Monsanto suing farmers for contamination. Don't try to pretend you don't care about it when you're shown it's bullshit. What happens if the Roundup Resistance trait jumps outside of the intended field? Now it's in a place where RoundUp isn't being used. So what advantage does this rogue plant have now? None, there's no selection pressure for this particular trait outside of farm fields where Roundup is used. This is a ridiculous argument. What's so dangerous about that? I'd be fascinated if you could present a plausible scenario where it mattered. Why aren't you concerned with naturally developed Roundup resistance spreading too? Why single out only engineered resistance? Because it came from a lab? If you now say you're arguing about the use of Roundup and other herbicides in general, you have shifted the goalpost again and now you're not even talk about GMO technology anymore.

Comment: Re: Le sigh.... (Score 1) 167

by kurzweilfreak (#47844013) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification
You really start to show your ignorance of the subject by regurgitating long-debunked anti-GMO talking points. Can you actually cite a case of Monsanto suing someone for accidental contamination? Of course not, because it's a myth. Cases are public record, and when you actually look at cases like Schmieser and Bowman to see what actually happened, it's obvious there was no accidental contamination there, despite the antis continuing to trot that myth out over and over with the relevant details conveniently left out. It doesn't do your cause any good, if indeed the anti-GMO cause is yours, to continue to repeat easily debunked bullshit. If you have to use the same sorry lies over and over, you should probably rethink the validity of your position as a whole.

Comment: Re: Le sigh.... (Score 1) 167

by kurzweilfreak (#47839751) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification
I was being a little sarcastic, it's ridiculous to compare geneticists to backyard mechanics. Of course they know what they're doing, the nature of genes and DNA is such that if they didn't none of this shit would work. It's not the kind of thing that you learn over a weekend. It's highly specialized knowledge and training, which is why so few laypeople understand the details of, hence the fear of what they don't understand. I don't know what you're level of understanding of genetics and biology is, but I think you (and lots of others also) greatly overestimate the worldwide calamity danger potential of these plants we're altering. Changing one or two genes in an organism is very, very, very unlikely to cause them to go batshit and take over the world. As in, so unlikely that it's impossible. Making a plant resistant to Roundup is gonna do just that; there's no Roundup in "nature" so what advantage would it have against it's competition? The same holds true for most other traits we're engineering. The plants we grow as crops for our food are not natural plants; they've been bred for a long time for us to be able to use them as we intend, not to survive in the wild. I'd say that most of our food crops would not survive outside of the artificial environment of the farm. The idea of these plants out competing and taking over the world, frankly I find a little ridiculous.

Comment: Re:Yeah, because that's a good idea. (Score 2) 167

by kurzweilfreak (#47838369) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification

they make plants that produce chemicals to kill pests, with possibly unknown health effects (although at this point these effects have been studied pretty thoroughly)

The effects and method of action of BT genes and their subsequent Cry proteins are well known, understood, and regularly used even in organic agriculture. All plants naturally produce their own chemicals/pesticides, otherwise pests would just be eating the shit out of them and they'd go extinct. Adding one more already naturally occurring pesticide that is demonstrably unharmful to humans is really no sweat.

they make plants that are resistant to herbicides, which promotes the use of these herbicides, which promotes the development of superweeds

Herbicides such as glyphosate were in use long before genetic technology came along, and for good reason: it's relatively benign compared to other more harsh and toxic herbicides that it replaced, and it was much more successful because it was broad spectrum and could kill a wide variety of pest plants rather than having to use two or three different herbicides to accomplish the same. It's for all these reasons that it was chosen as the target for resistance engineering, not the other way around. The idea of "superweeds" is a little ridiculous because at worst, weeds become resistant to glyphosate and we're simply right back where we started before. It's not like these weeds are suddenly going to be super hardy and resistant to everything and begin taking over the world. They'll simply be resistant to glyphosate.

they patent everything and engage in licensing schemes that are really harmful to small farmers.

When you're spending hundreds of thousands to millions on R&D, you kinda want to protect your investment. Plant patents have been around a lot longer than GMO technology anyway. Farmers are falling over each other trying to buy GMO seeds, and no one is forcing them to sign contracts that they don't want to. Anyone is free to go and buy non-GMO seeds wherever they like. Farmers aren't doing this, of course, because the GMO traits allow them to get better yields with fewer inputs, thus making better profits. GMO crops hurting small farmers is laughable to the farmers using them. Unless you think farmers are stupid hicks who don't know how to math.

Comment: Agreed (Score 1) 167

by kurzweilfreak (#47838247) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification

but merely by making it more resistant to pesticide, so that they can smother it,

I'm sure this is a waste of time replying to an ignorant Anonymous Coward, but do you have any idea what level of spray actually hits fields on a per acre or even per square foot basis? I bet if you ran the actual numbers, you'd be dumbfounded at just how little an amount something like Roundup is required to have the desired affect. We're literally talking about oz. per acre, diluted into gallons of water. It'd be quite a stretch to call that "smothering".

Also glyphosate as a chemical is now off patent and anyone can make and sell it.

Comment: Re:Le sigh.... (Score 1) 167

by kurzweilfreak (#47838109) Attached to: Scientists Sequence Coffee Genome, Ponder Genetic Modification
Knowing the genome is pretty much irrelevant to selective breeding since SB is based on phenotypical traits, not genomic ones. If you have the genome, why would just completely ignore that information and continue to do things the slow, random way when you could alter exactly the genes you want in exactly the way you want to without affecting the rest and getting lots of unintended consequences? No, you don't have to splice genes to make improvements in the same way you don't have to use a computer to calculate a spreadsheet because you can do the same thing with pen and paper. It just doesn't make sense to continue doing things the old way when we have understood, proven methods of doing things better. The general population is pretty ignorant when it comes to genetics, but geneticists do kinda know what they are doing...

Comment: No GM (Score 1) 396

by kurzweilfreak (#47249075) Attached to: "Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

Monsanto suicide genes

A myth. Show us where you can buy these, please.

BT soyabeans, which causes all manner of illnesses in humans and animals

Myth #2. BT toxic is completely inactive in mammalian guts due to the acidic environment and lack of appropriate receptors to latch onto. Cry proteins are digested like any others.

Maybe next time, have the first clue what you're talking about before you spout oft-repeated bullshit.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.