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Comment Re:So an American hero might be jailed for life (Score 4, Informative) 294

1) It's possible to feel that Trump is right on some issues like the H-1Bs but still wrong on others and/or a raging asshole.

2) Jailed? If he's lucky. Trump has in the past implied Snowden should be executed, and his CIA director has explicitly said as much.

3) Don't make this partisan; Obama had plenty of opportunity to do the right thing. He didn't.

Comment Re: Am I supposed to hate this or not? (Score 1) 291

Or how is it that you missed those news? Are those tomatoes even still on the market? I doubt it.

You're probably thinking of the Flavr Savr tomato. That one made the news, but involved the silencing of an enzyme involved in fruit degradation. It had nothing to do with what I was talking about. I was referring to things like the breeding Solanum lycopersicoides into cultivated tomato. These sorts of things happened a bit earlier, but I recall no fanfare or protest when for example the Plum Regal tomato containing the Ph-3 genes for late blight resistance from Solanum pimpinellifolium hit the market.

Comment Re:Stop apologizing (Score 2, Insightful) 291

When most people say 'genetic modification' what they mean is genetic engineering, which is to say, recombinant DNA techniques, which is different than so-called 'conventional' breeding techniques (for example inserting a spinach gene into an orange for disease resistance which is not naturally present in the citrus genepool), although not different enough to warrant the baseless opposition to it . Unfortunately, most people do not know what they are talking about when it comes to plants, agriculture, and genetic engineering

But I absolutely agree with you that the world should stop bending over to appease the anti-GE contingent. They are the anti-vaxxers of agriculture, and the effects the opposition to genetic engineering has had on the world are just as obscene.

Comment Re:Am I supposed to hate this or not? (Score 1) 291

Yes, cross breeding is genetic modification. When you breed, you mix genes from different varieties, sometimes even different species, and select the genetic combinations which are the most favorable. Breeding absolutely is modifying the genetics. True, it is different from genetic engineering, but you are still making modifications. This is why the term 'GMO' is a rather poor term.

Or, as in this case removing a gene to make something Monsanto can patent and profit more from while not really understanding (or perhaps they do but just don't care) the consequences of doing so.

Plenty of plant varieties are patented and sold for profit, genetically engineered and not. No one gets on Zaiger Genetic's case over pluerries, or UoM's case over Honeycrisp (the patent has since expired), or complains that Driscoll's breeds patented berries. If you don't like that, I don't see you offering to pay the salary of the people who keep the food supply afloat in a world with ever evolving pests, pathogens, and environmental stresses that you never consider because we do our jobs well enough that they never affect you.

Your accusation that genetic engineering is not well understood is just outright patently false. It is used as a valuable tool in basic research all the time, and on the applied side if anything, there's too much regulation on GE crops. It's gotten to the point where most publicly funded genetic engineering work never sees the light of day.

Comment Re:Hipster food (Score 2) 291

In this case, good on the hipsters though. Supporting the cultivation of 'new' species is how you increase the biodiversity of the food supply, which brings all sort of benefits. It is great to see more research and funding going to the support and promotion of less commonly cultivated crops.

Now if only we could get them to stop saying things like 'these benefits could be gained without the use of genetic modification' as if genetic engineering is a bad thing.

Comment Re:Am I supposed to hate this or not? (Score 2) 291

GMO = Man fucking about with genes that may or may not produce something good or bad due to a complete lack of long term studies (i.e. 50+ years).

That's a ridiculous standard. Do you also hold that Wifi and microwaves should undergo a half century of testing?

When someone can explain to me an actual reason as to why genetic engineering is fundamentally different from all the other similar things which occur in nature, then I'll consider advocating a half century of testing. However, the anti-GMO crowd has had over two decades to make their case to the scientific community though, so I'm not holding my breath.

Comment Re: Am I supposed to hate this or not? (Score 2, Informative) 291

The point is to state things in a scary way and hope people mistake that for a rational argument. I hate those three tired tropes in the parent poster's comment. 'GMOs produce pesticides and resist poisons!' It only sounds scary to the uninformed.

First, all plants produce chemical defenses, aka pesticides. This is basic botany. An organism that can't run or swat back against the trillions of insects that want to eat it as to evolve defenses somehow. They use chemical defenses. Domestication has removed some of those defenses to make plants more palatable to humans, but that's how things work in nature. Some genetically engineered crops have a protein which kills certain types of pests. It doesn't affect humans. Hyping up that there is a pesticide in corn is just ignorant. Of course there are pesticides in corn, it's corn. Even your organic, all natural, 'Non-GMO verified' corn still has pesticides in it.

Second claim, about resisting pesticides, yes, some crops do resist certain herbicides. This enables fewer application of fewer herbicides with less need for soil degrading tillage. For all the hate this attracts, I've yet to see anyone say they want to go back to the old ways of tilling for weed control, which destroy topsoil and promotes fertilizer runoff, and of using a wider range of more toxic herbicides at different stages of crop growth. People complaining are more than free to propose better weed control methods instead of presenting basic realities of farming in a fearmongering manner with no proper context. If you can control weeds without herbicides, I'm sure farmers would love to cut that expense from their budget.

And on the topic of genes from sexually incompatible organisms, also already done. It's called embryo rescue, and it can be used to hybridize things that would not naturally be able to cross. No one complained when it was used to bring disease resistant genes into tomato. Genetic engineering is taking this a step further, yes, but merely stating that we are bringing genes in from different species is not making a point.

Honestly, I get why people think some of these things are scary, but I do wish they would spend just a little time reading up on the matter from reputable sources before assuming they see the flaws that scientists and farmers do not.

Comment Re:Somewhat selfishly, I look forward to this. (Score 2) 291

If it's got a bitter taste, are you rinsing it enough? I find bitterness can be an issue if it is not thoroughly rinsed several times before cooking. There's also some pre-rinsed brands on the market now.

Also, maybe try the red quinoa if you can. Personally, I think the red one on the market is better than the white varieties.

Comment Re:Saponins (Score 4, Insightful) 291

That's a workable issue. Plenty of foods have been bred out of more toxic wild ancestors, like the solanine removed from potatoes or the erucic acid removed from canola. Most plants did not evolve to have their roots or leaves eaten; domestication made them favorable to human consumption. Knowing how to make things better is the first step toward doing it.

Saponins I think are less of a concern, since they're usually pretty easy to wash off of commercially processed quinoa. I'd be more concerned with producing low oxalic acid varieties.

Comment Re:No complaints (Score 5, Informative) 262

No, because a keyboard & mouse is a far superior for playing an FPS than a controller. I'm not sure how anyone can consider that a topic of debate as the summery implies. A keyboard and mouse allows you to independently move and aim with greater ease and higher precision than a controller. The issue here would be that people using a keyboard & mouse against console gamer using a controller puts the controller users at a severe disadvantage.

Comment Re:Old movies (Score 2) 257

Forget obscure, old is enough. Copyright should exist as a means of supporting creative works, not a way for large media corporations to sit on something in perpetuity and collect revenue with the only expense being 'investments' in congress to extend copyright.

I'm more than willing to pay for something new because that supports the production of creative works I like enough to give time and money to. Music, movies, books, video games, sure, I will and do buy them. But there's are many things out there that are several decades old and should have fallen into the public domain years ago, and for those I feel no such moral obligation. If the media companies want to avoid piracy, they've got options. I pay for Netflix, I pay for Amazon Prime, there's plenty of options for them to get a piece of the pie even with things that really should be free anyway. If they can't play nice and want to prove just how greedy they are, screw 'em.

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