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The ‘Guardian’ of Honest Journalism? Hardly. – American Council on Science and Health

We grew up in an era when the mainstream media reported the news straightforwardly, but now much of it is bought and paid for. In other words, it is propaganda defined as information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

The British Guardian newspaper is Exhibit A, or maybe, as members of the scientific community, we should say Public Enemy No. 1. The paper sought and received a grant$886,600from an advocacy group, the Open Philanthropy Project (OPP), to publish a series titled "Animals farmed." The grant spurred a succession of articles that paint animal husbandry variously as inhumane, unhealthy, or dangerous to the environment:

To put it bluntly, the transactional arrangement between The Guardian and OPP has yielded propaganda, not news.

The Guardian's hypocrisy is prominently on display in view of its stated commitments: "We will inform our readers about threats to the environment based on scientific facts, not driven by commercial or political interests," and "The Guardian's editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Our journalism is free from commercial and political influence."

We can cite 886,600 rebuttals to those hollow promises.

What motivates the Open Philanthropy Project? It supports animal welfare, as do we, but the group has a conflict of interest from a financial interest in a competitor of animal husbandry. That is revealedhereby University of California Davis Professor of animal science Frank Mitloehner:

The Guardian was a likely candidate for such a shady arrangement, in any case. For decades, it has been a predictable source of disinformation and fear-mongering about molecular genetic engineering in agriculture, including asympathetic descriptionof Greenpeace's rationale for the wanton destruction of genetically engineered crop research, and stories supportingcritics of genetic engineering. The Guardian even had the audacity to run astoryclaiming that "Father of the Green Revolution" Dr. Norman Borlaug, killed millions, when in fact his research arguablysaveda billion people from starvation.

The reality is that four decades of research and development on genetically engineered food crops has confirmed what theory predicted from the outset, and what data have reinforced repeatedly that the use of the technology confers no incremental risk and is essentially an extension, or refinement, of earlier, less precise techniques for genetic improvement, and that it could yield monumental commercial and humanitarian successes.

The Guardian frequently propagates the myth that the terms "genetic modification" and the common shorthand "GMO" (for "genetically modified organism") represent a meaningful grouping of things that is, a genuine "category." In fact, organisms improved with the newest molecular genetic engineering techniques and the foods derived from them do not in any way constitute meaningful groupings, which makes any choice of what to include in them wholly arbitrary and misleading. Nor have they been shown to be lesssafeor, given the pedigree of the foods in our diet, in any way less "natural" than thousands of other common foods.

Genetic modification by means of selection and hybridization to say nothing of the "natural" movement of genes, as part of Darwinian natural selection has been with us for millennia, and the techniques employed along the way, including the newest ones, are part of a seamless continuum. For more than a century, plant breeders routinely have used radiation or chemical mutagens on seeds to scramble a plant's DNA to generate new traits.

Since the 1930s, "wide cross" hybridizations, which involve the movement of genes from one species or one genus to another, have given rise to plants thatdo not exist in nature; they include the varieties of corn, oats, pumpkin, wheat, rice, tomatoes and potatoes we buy and consume routinely. (Yes, even "heirloom" varieties and the overpriced, often inferiororganicstuff at Whole Foods.) With the exception of wild berries, wild game, wild mushrooms and fish and shellfish, virtually everything in North American and European diets has been genetically improved in some way.

The erroneous assumption that "genetic modification" is a meaningful category has led to various kinds of mischief, including the vandalization of field trials and the destruction of laboratories; local bans or restrictions; and a spate of spurious lawsuits of various kinds.

The Guardian has published a few accurate news articles about genetic engineering, such asoneabout Nobel Laureatesstatingthere are no unique health risks from GE crops, andanotherthat reported positive attributes about GE crops. The paper also ran anarticleby a British farmer that paints an accurate picture of animal agriculture.

But fear sells far better and can be more persuasive than facts and it gets more prominent presentation; recall the old adage about media, "If it bleeds, it leads." In any case, those few do not undo the litany of misrepresentation and bias. Responsible journalism is not served by a false equivalence between inaccurate, scurrilous, hit-pieces whether paid for or not and accurate news or opinion articles, especially when the former have predominated for decades. The Guardian's fear-mongering is part of a calculated "information cascade" that has stigmatized andstymiedthe adoption of this safe effective technology in many parts of the world.

In democracies, freedom of the press includes the right to be biased and dishonest. The Guardian invokes that right repeatedly and, thereby, lets down its readers.

Rob Wager is in the department of biology at Vancouver Island University. Please follow him @RobertWager1. Henry Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. He was the founding director of the U.S. FDA's Office of Biotechnology. Please follow him @henryimiller.

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The 'Guardian' of Honest Journalism? Hardly. - American Council on Science and Health

New CRISPR method edits crops without technically making them GMOs – New Atlas

CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing is one of the most powerful tools available to modern science, but genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in food are subject to some tight regulations. Now, researchers at North Carolina State University have created a new version of CRISPR that lets scientists edit crops without introducing new DNA, meaning they technically arent GMOs.

CRISPR-Cas9 allows for precise cut-n-paste edits to DNA in living cells. An RNA guide sequence directs the system to the target section of the genome. Once there, an enzyme, usually Cas9, snips out the sequence then deletes it or replaces it with something else. In this way, scientists can cut out problem genes, such as those that cause disease, or add new beneficial ones, such as giving crops better pest resistance.

For the new study, the researchers tweaked the process to make a cleaner edit in plants. It uses a process known as lipofection, where positively-charged lipids are used to build a kind of bubble around the Cas9 and RNA mechanisms. When injected into the organism, this bubble binds to and fuses with the cellular membrane, which pushes the CRISPR system into the cell itself. The method also uses a Cas9 protein itself, rather than the Cas9 DNA sequence.

The team tested the method by introducing fluorescent proteins into tobacco plants. And sure enough, after 48 hours the edited plants were glowing, indicating it had worked.

Wusheng Liu/NC State University

The new method has a few advantages over existing ones, the team says. Its easier to target the desired genetic sequence, and opens up new crops that couldnt be edited with existing methods. Plus, the protein only lasts for a few days before degrading, which reduces off-target edits.

But the most important advantage is that the resulting crops arent considered GMOs. Since the new method doesnt use Cas9 DNA, it doesnt introduce foreign DNA into the plant, which is an important distinction.

This was the first time anyone has come up with a method to deliver the Cas9 protein through lipofection into plant cells, says Wusheng Liu, lead author of the study. Our major achievement was to make that happen. Also, since many consumers prefer non-GMO specialty crops, this method delivers the Cas9 protein in a non-GMO manner.

As useful as genetic engineering can be, the term GMO has negative connotations for many people, who believe there are health concerns with eating these crops or meats. Other problems include the chance of modified plants or animals escaping into the wild, where they can spread their new genes to the native population, affecting ecosystems.

As such, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have regulations on which edited crops and animals are allowed in food. And theyve decided that the line is drawn at introducing foreign genes into an organism.

It makes sense. Humans have been genetically-engineering plants and animals for millennia, through selective breeding. Many of our most widely-eaten crops are bigger, tastier, and easier to eat or grow, to the point that they hardly resemble their wild counterparts anymore.

CRISPR and other gene-editing tools can be the next generation of this process. By removing problematic genes or ensuring that specific ones are turned on or off, scientists arent really creating anything new. Some individuals naturally have mutations that do the same thing all the scientists are really doing is removing the element of chance, genetically.

In 2015, a new type of salmon became the first genetically engineered animal approved by the FDA for human consumption. In 2016, a Swedish scientist grew, harvested and served up CRISPR cabbage after approval by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. In both cases, the products were allowed because they were functionally identical to wild-type organisms the scientists had just chosen beneficial genes from an existing natural pool, without introducing foreign DNA.

That said, the rules aren't the same everywhere. In 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union somewhat controversially ruled that tough GMO laws applied to crops that had been edited even if new DNA hadn't been inserted. The issue will likely remain fragmented, but for the NC State team at least, their crops aren't GMOs according to their own country's regulations.

However, there are still some hurdles to overcome before the new method becomes viable. The team says that lipofection can only be done if the outer wall of the plant cell is removed first. This kind of plant cell, known as a protoplast, allows scientists to more easily tweak the genes, but it isnt possible in all types of crops, and even when it does work, its a complex process.

Instead, the researchers are exploring other options that dont require removing the cell wall at all. One such alternative is to use CRISPR to introduce the Cas9 protein into pollen grains, which can then go on to fertilize another plant. Some of the offspring will have the required genetic edits from day one.

The researchers plan to investigate this latter method in tomatoes and hemp first, before moving onto others.

The new study was published in the journal Plant Cell Reports.

Source: NC State University

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New CRISPR method edits crops without technically making them GMOs - New Atlas

A Deep Look Into the Guts Hormones – Technology Networks

Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute and Utrecht University generated an in-depth description of the human hormone-producing cells of the gut, in a large collaborative effort with other research teams. These cells are hard to study, as they are very rare and unique to different species of animals. The researchers developed an extensive toolbox to study human hormone-producing cells in tiny versions of the gut grown in the lab, called organoids. These tools allowed them to uncover secrets of the human gut, for example which potential hormones can be made by the gut and how the secretion of these hormones is triggered. These findings offer potential new avenues for the treatment of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.Did you ever wonder where that sudden feeling of hunger comes from when your empty stomach rumbles? Thousands of hormone-producing cells, or enteroendocrine cells, scattered throughout your stomach and intestine just released millions of tiny vesicles filled with the hunger hormone ghrelin into your bloodstream.

Another effect to these hormones can be to increase the release of insulin from the pancreas, which is especially interesting in patients with type II diabetes. These patients are unable to produce sufficient insulin to stabilize their glucose levels on their own. One of the most successful treatments for type 2 diabetes is actually based on a gut hormone, called GLP1. With this treatment some patients are able to control their blood glucose without the need of insulin injections.

Most of our knowledge on enteroendocrine cells is derived from studies in mice. However, mice have a different diet and are therefore likely to sense other signals from their food. The differences are so striking that the counterparts of some human gut hormones do not even exist in mice.

To be able to study all the specific types of enteroendocrine cells, the researchers used another trick that was recently developed in the group of Hans Clevers. Clevers: "In our lab, we have optimized genetic engineering of organoids. We were therefore able to label the hormones that are made by the enteroendocrine cells in different colors and create a biobank of mini-intestines, called the EEC-Tag biobank, in which different hormones are tagged with different colors." When an enteroendocrine cell starts producing a labeled hormone, that cell will appear in the corresponding color. The researchers can use the EEC-Tag biobank to study ten major hormones and different combinations of these hormones within the same organoid.

Joep Beumer (Hubrecht Institute): "Marking all major gut hormones with colors allows us to selectively collect any subset of enteroendocrine cells and study even the rarest enteroendocrine cell types. Combining the EEC-Tag biobank with other cutting-edge techniques allowed us to gain deep insights into the biology of hormone production in the human intestine."

"With the EEC-Tag biobank we can measure hundreds of cells for each enteroendocrine cell subtype. The resulting atlas is a gold mine full of fascinating relationships between hormones, receptors and other genes used by well-defined subsets of enteroendocrine cells, which opens many new directions for future studies," says Jens Puschhof (Hubrecht Institute).

The key characteristic of enteroendocrine cells are the active hormones they secrete. To directly measure these hormones, the researchers collaborated with the group of Wei Wu at Utrecht University. The researchers in this group are specialists at mass spectrometry, a very sensitive method to identify different molecules. In the collection of molecules produced by the mini-intestines, they found many new molecules for which it was unknown that they are secreted in the intestine. These new molecules may have functions in our bodies' response to food that are so far unknown. This discovery underlines our limited knowledge of the hormones produced in our gut and will inspire more detailed studies into the functions of these molecules.

Wei Wu (Utrecht University): "Gut secretions contain a mix of hormones that can be either active or inactive. For the first time, we characterize this diversity in human mini-intestines, to reveal also if these hormones are processed into active functional pieces. Hormone activation is not determined by genes, but rather by the processing of the hormones afterwards. Therefore, this may also hint at an exciting route of intervention for broad-spectrum applications, such as controlling hunger or treating diabetes."

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

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A Deep Look Into the Guts Hormones - Technology Networks

Could Colorado Hop Terpenes Be the Latest in Brewing Innovation? – porchdrinking.com

While it may sound more like genetic engineering than advancements in beer, what if you could isolate and amplify only the flavor and aroma compounds in hops and distill it down to liquid form? Whats being described is what is already being applied through hop terpene extraction, and it may be the next major leap in how hops are used in beer.

When you think of new hop varietals, hopping techniques, and innovation in hop usage, its easy to assume that the work being done is coming from the Pacific Northwest. But with the resinous plant being so closely related genetically to cannabis and sharing a class of organic compounds called terpenes, it should come as no surprise that research from the cannabis industry here in Colorado has inspired innovation in hop usage as well.

Last Fall, when Telluride Brewing teamed up with Station 26 Brewing, and local craft beer bar, Freshcraft, to brew a collaboration for the Great American Beer Festival, they werent exactly intending to brew anything out of the ordinary besides a juicy Mosaic Pale Ale. However, when a member of the Station 26 team showed up to the brew day with a vial of hop terpenes from nearby Oast House Oils, it may have been the first step in a revolutionary new advancement that joins the ranks of lupulin powder, and cryo hops in terms of application.

As Telluride Brewing co-founder Chris Fish explains, what came out of that Mosiac Pale Ale was astonishing. From the moment we smelled the oil, everyone just lit up, said Fish. We couldnt believe the clearness and crispness of the hop flavor and aroma.

While hop oils have seen extensive experimentation in the past, The use of hop terpene extraction allows brewers to target specific compounds within hop plants including alpha acids, which bring out the bitterness in hops, or in the case of the ones used by Telluride, those associated with flavor and aroma. Those terpenes are procured from hop pellets through supercritical carbon dioxide which converts those compounds into liquid form. The process was adapted by Rob Kevwitch, who launched Oast House Oils as a subsidiary of Isolate Extraction Systems, which builds and sells extraction machinery for the cannabis industry.

Previously Kevwitch helped found and launch Grist Brewing in Highlands Ranch, and his passion for beer led him down a path to examine how the extraction process could be applied toward the brewing industry. Oast House Oils has now grown its operation to work with six breweries, a contract brewery, and has begun partnering with hop farms to source hops for extraction.

Since that initial Mosaic Pale Ale collaboration, Telluride Brewing has gone on to launch The Galloping Juice series, which has seen three iterations, the first with Cashmere hops, the second with Mosaic, the most recent with Azacca, with a fourth releasing in the next 2-4 weeks with a blend of Azzaca, Citra, and Mosaic. Additionally this June, theyll release Move Me Brightly, which employs exclusively hop terpenes in the dry-hop.

For brewers, the use of hop terpenes could help to amplify flavor and aroma in beer, but also serve as a significant cost saver as well. Adding hop terpenes after centrifuge is basically like dry-hopping so youre seeing bright hop flavors, while using a lot less hops, said Fish.

By reducing the use of vegetal matter from hop pellets or whole cone hops, brewers are also able to significantly increase yield as that vegetal matter soaks up beer and is eventually discarded. With their Galloping Juice series, Fish noted that theyve been able to reduce the use of hops by 30-40% with an increased yield of 2.5 barrels and expects that yield to increase to 3.5 barrels with Move Me Brightly.

Additionally, while it hasnt been fully tested, another added benefit from utilizing hop terpenes could result in extended shelf life for hop-forward beers. Because theres no degradation of alpha acids, we do see hop flavors remaining intact longer with pure terpenes, said Kevwitch.

And while Telluride Brewing has also begun experimenting with the partial use of hop terpenes in updated versions of some of their core brands like Russell Kelly Mosaic IPA, they dont foresee full adoption across all of their brands.

Weve seen nothing but benefits from using hop terpenes, sure theres a change in flavor, but its been for the better, said Fish. Its a matter of if we wanna tweak our best sellers or not, but havent felt a need to do so yet.

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Could Colorado Hop Terpenes Be the Latest in Brewing Innovation? - porchdrinking.com

Animal Genetics Market Latest Trends and Future Growth of Industry Analysis Report to 2028 – BioSpace

The global animal genetics market is likely to rise at a healthy growth rate over the assessment timeframe. Augmented consumption of protein extracted from animals is prophesized to favor the growth of the global animal genetics market in the forthcoming years. In addition, increasing populations generates massive demand for animal-based protein, which further benefits the market.

The global animal genetics market has been segmented on the basis of region and product and services. The sole objective of providing such an all-inclusive report is to offer a deep insight into the market.

Global Animal Genetics Market: Notable Developments

The global animal genetics market has gone through a few developments in the last few years. These market developments make a manifestation of how and what is influencing the growth of the global animal genetics market. One such development is mentioned below:

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Some of the key market players of the global animal genetics market are

Global Animal Genetics Market: Growth Drivers

High Demand for Animal Protein Places the Market on a High Growth Trajectory

The global animal genetics market is estimated to experience considerable growth over the review period. Such stellar growth of the market is attributed to the augmented adoption of genetic technologies and strict implementation of animal welfare regulations.

Likewise, livestock population has witnessed a substantial rise together with awareness related to the existence of animal genetic disorders. Besides, the need to cater to the unmet demands of animal protein is likely to add fillip to the global animal genetics market over the forecast timeframe.

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With an objective to produce better milk and food products, there has been an escalation in the research and development activities by several scientists. Genetic modifications are likely to emerge as another factor supporting the expansion of the global animal genetics market in forthcoming years.

The market is also prophesized to be fuelled by rapid expansion of urbanization and rise in population, which place massive demand for animal protein. Increased adoption of various advanced genetic practices like embryo transfer, artificial insemination (AI) for production of modified breed on a large scale is estimated to favor the market in the years to come.

On the other hand, the dearth of properly skilled technicians and professional with expertise in genetic services is estimate to impede the growth of the global animal genetics market in years to come. Furthermore, strict regulations related to genetic engineering of animals together with high cost of animal testing is likely to obstruct the growth of the market.

Global Animal Genetics Market: Regional Outlook

Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, South America, Europe, and North America comprise the major regions of the global animal genetics market.

Considering geographies, North America is likely to play a dominant role in the global animal genetics market over the assessment timeframe. Such regional supremacy is ascribed to the presence of a large number of well-known companies of the global animal genetics market. In addition, the presence of a well-established livestock industry is likely to propel the North America animal genetics market to prominence in the near future.

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The global animal genetics market is segmented as:

Products and Services

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Animal Genetics Market Latest Trends and Future Growth of Industry Analysis Report to 2028 - BioSpace

The Cell Therapy Industry to 2028: Global Market & Technology Analysis, Company Profiles of 309 Players (170 Involved in Stem Cells) -…

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The "Cell Therapy - Technologies, Markets and Companies" report from Jain PharmaBiotech has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The cell-based markets was analyzed for 2018, and projected to 2028. The markets are analyzed according to therapeutic categories, technologies and geographical areas. The largest expansion will be in diseases of the central nervous system, cancer and cardiovascular disorders. Skin and soft tissue repair as well as diabetes mellitus will be other major markets.

The number of companies involved in cell therapy has increased remarkably during the past few years. More than 500 companies have been identified to be involved in cell therapy and 309 of these are profiled in part II of the report along with tabulation of 302 alliances. Of these companies, 170 are involved in stem cells.

Profiles of 72 academic institutions in the US involved in cell therapy are also included in part II along with their commercial collaborations. The text is supplemented with 67 Tables and 25 Figures. The bibliography contains 1,200 selected references, which are cited in the text.

This report contains information on the following:

The report describes and evaluates cell therapy technologies and methods, which have already started to play an important role in the practice of medicine. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is replacing the old fashioned bone marrow transplants. Role of cells in drug discovery is also described. Cell therapy is bound to become a part of medical practice.

Stem cells are discussed in detail in one chapter. Some light is thrown on the current controversy of embryonic sources of stem cells and comparison with adult sources. Other sources of stem cells such as the placenta, cord blood and fat removed by liposuction are also discussed. Stem cells can also be genetically modified prior to transplantation.

Cell therapy technologies overlap with those of gene therapy, cancer vaccines, drug delivery, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Pharmaceutical applications of stem cells including those in drug discovery are also described. Various types of cells used, methods of preparation and culture, encapsulation and genetic engineering of cells are discussed. Sources of cells, both human and animal (xenotransplantation) are discussed. Methods of delivery of cell therapy range from injections to surgical implantation using special devices.

Cell therapy has applications in a large number of disorders. The most important are diseases of the nervous system and cancer which are the topics for separate chapters. Other applications include cardiac disorders (myocardial infarction and heart failure), diabetes mellitus, diseases of bones and joints, genetic disorders, and wounds of the skin and soft tissues.

Regulatory and ethical issues involving cell therapy are important and are discussed. Current political debate on the use of stem cells from embryonic sources (hESCs) is also presented. Safety is an essential consideration of any new therapy and regulations for cell therapy are those for biological preparations.

Key Topics Covered

Part I: Technologies, Ethics & Regulations

Executive Summary

1. Introduction to Cell Therapy

2. Cell Therapy Technologies

3. Stem Cells

4. Clinical Applications of Cell Therapy

5. Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disorders

6. Cell Therapy for Cancer

7. Cell Therapy for Neurological Disorders

8. Ethical, Legal and Political Aspects of Cell therapy

9. Safety and Regulatory Aspects of Cell Therapy

Part II: Markets, Companies & Academic Institutions

10. Markets and Future Prospects for Cell Therapy

11. Companies Involved in Cell Therapy

12. Academic Institutions

13. References

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/7h12ne

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The Cell Therapy Industry to 2028: Global Market & Technology Analysis, Company Profiles of 309 Players (170 Involved in Stem Cells) -...

European Patent Office gives green light to prohibit patents on plants and animals – EUbusiness

14 May 2020by eub2-- last modified 14 May 2020

Patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding can be fully prohibited in Europe. This is the result of a verdict published today by the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the highest legal body of the European Patent Office (EPO).

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The Board concluded that plants and animals obtained by 'essentially biological processes' are not patentable, with the exception of patent applications filed before July 2017. This verdict is in line with the interpretation of European patent law as decided by the 38 member states of the EPO in 2017. No Patents on Seeds! welcomes the verdict but is also demanding further political decisions to close still existing loopholes. Access to biological diversity needed for further breeding must not be controlled, hampered or blocked by any patents.

"For more than ten years we have been fighting against patents such as those on broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, melons and cereals. Therefore, we welcome this verdict in the name of the European public, gardeners, farmers and consumers. Knowledge of methods of breeding plants and animals continues to evolve as a common good from the activities of farmers and breeders over centuries, it is not invented by industry. In future, conventionally bred plants and animals have to be kept available for further breeding," Martha Mertens says for Friends of the Earth Germany.

"We hope the new verdict will help to put an end to a decade of complete legal absurdity and chaotic decision-making at the EPO. However, there is still a huge risk that big corporations, such as Bayer (previously Monsanto) will try to abuse patent law to take control of our daily food," says Katherine Dolan for ARCHE NOAH. "The problem is not yet solved. Further political decisions still have to be taken to close the existing loopholes."

Indeed, there are still reasons for concern. As a recent report from No Patents on Seeds! shows, clear definitions are needed to distinguish patentable technical inventions from the random processes used in conventional breeding in order for existing prohibitions to be effective. Unless there are adequate definitions, 'technical toppings' such as those describing random mutations, can still be used to claim plants and animals as 'inventions'. There are several examples showing how companies easily escape the current prohibitions, e.g. European patents on barley and beer, melons or lettuce.

"Processes of genetic engineering are fundamentally different from those used in conventional breeding," explains Christoph Then for No Patents on Seeds! "The differences need to be spelled out in clear rules and decision making at the EPO."

As patent research shows, hundreds of patents on conventional breeding are pending. Just recently around 100 new patent applications were identified, claiming basil, pepper, manioc and barley as well as cattle, sheep and pigs. If conventionally bred plants and animals are patented as 'inventions', they cannot be used for further breeding without the permission of the patent holder. However, access to biological diversity is crucial for breeding, as also shown in statements made by breeding companies and quoted in the No Patents on Seeds! report.

No Patents on Seeds! will now extend its European network to encourage politicians to take further decisions before end of the year. The European coalition, comprising around a dozen civil society organisations, demands that, as long as final decisions are not taken, all respective pending patent applications are halted as decided by the President of the EPO in 2019.

The member organisations of NO PATENTS ON SEEDS! are concerned about the increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity.

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European Patent Office gives green light to prohibit patents on plants and animals - EUbusiness

How CRISPR can help us win the fight against the pandemic – MedCity News

Covid-19 has changed life as we know it. It has also accelerated already rapid trends in innovation and collaboration across the scientific community.

As the pandemic spreads across the globe, researchers are racing to develop diagnostics, vaccines and treatments. In the pursuit of new solutions to tackle SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, researchers have been turning to machine learning, AI and high-throughput experimental automation that aid in development. Another powerful tool they are using to accelerate the process is CRISPR. This gene-targeting and gene-editing technology, based on the mechanism that bacteria naturally use to fight viruses, is already proving useful in our joint fight against this new virus.

CRISPR Advances Covid-19 TestingWe know early detection of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to isolating infected patients and managing appropriate healthcare responses. Recently, researchers at MIT published a rapid CRISPR-Cas13-based COVID-19 detection assay protocol.Since CRISPR can be modified to target nearly any genetic sequence, it can be used to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in a patient sample. This assay utilizes an RNA-targeting CRISPR nuclease to help scientists detect the SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient samples within 60 minutes. More recently, an improved assay was developed by researchers at MIT that was shown to provide faster and more robust results.

Utilizing another CRISPR nuclease that is thermostable, they developed a test that in one step copies the viral RNA in a patient sample, such as saliva, into the more stable DNA and then specifically identifies a SARS-CoV-2 gene sequence. Performing this point-of-care assay requires minimal lab equipment and resources, as it only needs a few reagents and a heat source, delivering results in as little as 40 minutes. Supplementing existing tests with new CRISPR-based approaches can broaden accessibility to Covid-19 testing, a key strategy for stopping the spread through track and trace efforts, as outlined by the World Health Organization.

CRISPR Helps Engineer Future TreatmentsPreviously, the genome-engineering power of CRISPR has been directed at fighting genetic diseases. But more recently, its also being harnessed to fight infectious diseases, now including the new coronavirus.

Understanding how a pathogenic disease operates at the host-pathogen interface is critical to developing new treatments. CRISPR-based genome engineering enables researchers to study how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with human cells and generate the appropriate cell models that could lead to faster discovery of a potential new treatment or an existing drug combination that may provide a treatment solution. Once a potential treatment is identified, CRISPR makes the next step drug target screening more efficient, advancing us more quickly to a viable treatment option.

As an example of this approach in action, researchers are exploring if CRISPR can be used to verify the functional relevance of human genes recently identified to interact with SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The investigation of the molecular mechanisms of the novel virus can ultimately help identify drug combinations that have the best potential to treat those infected.

Current Fight for the Future of Human HealthGenome engineering has been rapidly harnessed by academic and non-profit institutions, the biopharma industry, and scientific pioneers to develop Covid-19 testing and treatment solutions. CRISPR-based genome engineering enables researchers to study how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with human cells and generate the appropriate cell models that could lead to faster discovery of a potential new treatment or an existing drug combination that may provide a treatment solution.

Beyond this, the unprecedented innovation taking place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic will provide a foundation for improving human health in the future. Additionally, as technologies and understanding mature, new approaches, such as engineered cell therapies, will become part of the toolkit in future responses to global health challenges.

The current scientific response is representative of the future of life sciences a future where we integrate multiple technologies and disciplines including high throughput experimental automation, machine learning and agile, programmable tools such as CRISPR to fundamentally change our approach to research and development. We are seeing a new bar being set on the speed of science as the research community comes together, leveraging these technologies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic at unprecedented velocity. Once the public health crisis subsides and the research halted by the pandemic resumes, the need for these transformative tools, technologies and approaches to life science research and development will be greater than ever.

Photo: wildpixel, Getty Images

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How CRISPR can help us win the fight against the pandemic - MedCity News

GAO report Highlights Barriers in Getting Cell Based Meat to Market – vegconomist – the vegan business magazine

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A new report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has given insight into how the cell based meat industry is stuck in its R&D phase. The report demonstrates that there is still plenty of mystery in the fledgling industry, as food tech competes to premier and dominate the market from the onset.

The GAO states: Specific information about the technology being used, eventual commercial production methods, and composition of the final products are not yet known. It has found that the technology and methods are still in development and said FDA and USDA do not have clarity about whats going on with the secretive R&D projects.

The report cites the following issues, which we have summarized, as needing further clarity:

Many questions of course remain to be answered at this stage and vegconomist will keep you informed of developments. Although it is still debatable as to how vegan cultured meat really is, it clearly has the potential to drastically reduce the devastating impact of traditional animal farming, and remove animals from the food system.

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GAO report Highlights Barriers in Getting Cell Based Meat to Market - vegconomist - the vegan business magazine

Here`s what China`s scientists have to say about the origin of COVID-19 – WION

During a March 15, 2020 interview, beginning at the 27:40 time point, Dr Ralph Baric, noted coronavirus scientist at the University of North Carolina, said the following when asked about the animal origin of the human COVID-19 pandemic:

As far as I know they [the Chinese] have not identified the actual reservoir species. There were reports about pangolins [scaly anteaters] as being potentially being the intermediate host, but pangolins viruses are 88-90% identical to SARS-2 [COVID-19] in comparison civet and racoon dog strains of SARS coronavirus were 99.8 identical to SARS coronavirus from 2003. In other words, you are talking about a handful of mutations between civet strains, racoon dog strains and human strains in 2003. Pangolins have over 3,000 nucleotide changes - no way they are the reservoir species [for COVID-19], absolutely no chance.

Here is what Dr Baric was saying.

It was logical to conclude that the coronavirus from the human 2003 SARS outbreak could have originated in animals because the coronavirus circulating in the civet and racoon dog populations was 99.8 per cent the same as the coronavirus eventually found in humans. That would, therefore, require only a relative handful of naturally-occurring mutations to jump to humans.

In contrast, pangolin coronaviruses are only 88-90 per cent the same as COVID-19. The huge number of naturally-occurring mutations required for pangolins to act as a reservoir species and intermediate host for COVID-19 would make it practically impossible.

Despite that, an article published by scientists from Guangzhou, China on May 7, 2020 in the prestigious journal Nature directly contradicts the comments made by Dr Baric, concluding:

The isolation of a coronavirus that is highly related to SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] in pangolins suggests that they have the potential to act as the intermediate hosts for SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19].

The Guangzhou scientists concede that the bat coronavirus RaTG13, which is actually BtCoV/4991, has about a 96 per centsequence identity to SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] at the whole-genome level and it is reasonable to assume that bats are the native host of SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19].

Agreeing with Dr Baric, the authors admit that, although genetically similar, it is unlikely that coronaviruses usually found in pangolins are directly linked to the outbreak because of their overall substantial sequence differences from COVID-19.

The Guangzhou group states, however, that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of a pangolin coronavirus is nearly identical to the same structure in COVID-19, having only a single amino acid difference.

The Chinese scientists claim that a pangolin coronavirus appears to have donated the RBD to COVID-19, presumably through some type of recombinant event occurring between a bat coronavirus and a pangolin coronavirus inside a pangolin host.

The close identity of COVID-19s RBD to that of pangolins has been widely reported, but the recombinant scenario suggested by the Guangzhou research team is purely speculatively for which they provide no supporting data.

Chinas own scientists may have inadvertently stumbled upon the truth. A far more likely explanation is that the pangolin RBD was inserted into a bat coronavirus by genetic engineering.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)

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Here`s what China`s scientists have to say about the origin of COVID-19 - WION

Why Ethiopia needs to embrace gene-modification technology – ethiopiaobserver.com

The recent exchanges on Ethiopias acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops and the resulting report of USDA praising the steps our country has taken continue to be informative. My understanding of the debates surrounding GM foods suggests that neat explanations about their usefulness grossly disregard the muddy footprints and messy stories of the technology while the voices of vilification and blanket rejection tend to thrive more on emotional appeal than rigorous science. Lets start with the basics.The 21st century is said to be the century of biology and ecology. Thus, for Ethiopia, as one of the globes top 50 centers of biodiversity, where better to capitalize on than in understanding and developing its crop and animal varieties and fulfill its long-held potential of being Africas breadbasket. Ethiopia is one of the few centers where domestication of crops was practiced at the dawn of agriculture and the country has contributed to the worlds collection of cultivable species such crops as Teff, coffee, enset, sorghum, millet, etc. It means that our farmers are not new to the genetic modification of organisms since every domestication effort involves selective breeding and recombination of desired characteristics. We also have adopted several foreign plant species (maize, wheat, barley, tomatoes, potatoes, pepper, etc.) some of them only a few centuries ago, without much consideration for their effects on our indigenous species.Despite these impressive records, our agricultural system stayed firmly rooted in its ancient practices which suffer from abysmal efficiency and very poor productivity. As a result, Ethiopia remains a net importer of crops both for human consumption and for its expanding industries, and there seems to be no natural end to this depressing trend. The consequence is not only a shrinking of profit base for many of the industries but also the misplaced use of the meager hard currency obtained from the export of some raw materials with all the negative impacts on our capacity in importing more useful technologies.

Ironically, Ethiopia has no shortage of cultivable/irrigable land or population able or willing to participate in modern agricultural practices. In fact, Ethiopias farming community is estimated to be above 80% of the population but is unable to feed itself properly let alone supply raw materials for the manufacturing sector. The production by small scale farmers in Ethiopia is demonstrably incapable of keeping pace with the population growth as tens of millions of our people still depend on food handouts every single year and many more live in precarious situations. Therefore, it is pertinent that the country becomes self-sufficient at least for feeding the population with all possible means. And, this is not a very hard task given the scale of its cultivable land and the disproportionately large population whose livelihood is dependent on farming.The most relevant question is thus how to end this absurdity and persistent tragedy without drastically affecting the livelihood of our farmers and disrupting the biodiversity balance. For a very long period of time, Ethiopia lacked the capacity to introduce mechanized farming and other relevant agricultural technologies. Further, it lagged far behind many (African) countries in developing its policies and relevant practices with regard to the application of plant genetic engineering technology. Arguably the most unhelpful effort on part of the Ethiopian government in the last decade has been the introduction of the Biosafety Proclamation No. 655/2009. It is possible that this proclamation was enacted as a genuine effort to protect the local farmers and the countrys agriculture sector from control by a few foreign biotech industries and create a formidable safeguard against potential fallouts from untended consequences of releasing GM crops. However, it is clear from the outset that the proclamation lacked proper scrutiny by all the relevant stakeholders, not least farmers representatives or experts from agricultural research centers in the country. In addition, it failed to recognize the potential of local agro-biotechnology research and innovation and was oblivious to the rapidly changing focus of the debate and policy shifts surrounding this emerging technology from around the world. Thus, our Biosafety Proclamation No. 655/2009 was, by international standards, relatively outdated as soon as it was hastily passed by the parliament (hence the justification for a later amendment as Proclamation No. 896/2015).It is unclear why modern GM organisms are so divisive and treated as highly toxic materials that should be feared and avoided at all costs. Rigorous analysis done by scientific institutions such as the UK Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has demonstrated that such organisms are at least as safe as their counterparts produced by conventional breeding techniques. For example, the GM cotton that Ethiopia is said to have started cultivating is the widely known Bt variety. In short, Bt is abbreviated from Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium species that naturally occurs in soil and produces highly specific insecticidal proteins. This bacterium has been in use, in one form or another, as the most effective, naturally occurring, and environmentally friendly bioinsecticide for more than half-century. Bt spray is currently the dominant bioinsecticide in the world and is authorized for use even by organic farmers worldwide. Therefore, we are talking about a well-characterized gene of a bacterium (which might as well be dwelling in our soils all along). Plants expressing this gene have been tested for more than two decades in several countries and in a wide range of ecological settings for the properties they have been designed for, with no confirmed case of ill effect as food or feed.I suspect that Ethiopia has been misled or pressured into adopting an overly cautious interpretation of the precautionary principle as was the case in the past in some EU countries. In my opinion, the EU and its policies on GM products (even as progressive as they currently are) cannot be a good lead for Ethiopia. For one, farming practices in the EU are already highly productive even without the need for the introduction of GM. In addition, the sheer proportion of the population involved in the agricultural sector in Ethiopia means that unreasonable restrictions on agricultural biotechnology can have far-reaching consequences. For Ethiopia, the better place to look for inspiration is other developing countries around the world in Latin America, Asia, and in the continent of Africa itself for our capacities and needs are likely to be similar.

India, for example, started commercial farming of Bt-cotton in 2002 and at the moment, about 25% of its agricultural land is covered with this variety, the highest proportion in the world. In our continent, South Africa is the pioneer in providing permits for the commercial cultivation of GM crops for GM cotton and maize starting in 1997. Egypt has been commercially farming Bt-maize hybrid since 2008, using seeds procured from South Africa (it has since suspended the cultivation due to the lack of proper biosafety laws and other local issues). Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, and, our neighboring countries, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique have all tested and/or adopted the cultivation of GM crops. Furthermore, Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda are pursuing various genetic modifications to the cassava plant, a staple crop for over half a billion people around the world. It is disingenuous, to say the least, to assert that all of these countries are either threatened or duped into accepting this technology to the detriment of the wellbeing of their population and ecosystems.Ethiopia, on the other hand, despite having several, experienced agricultural research institutions, is missing out for far too long on the development of its genetic research capacity and utilization of available biotechnologies, especially as compared to many of these African countries. As a commentary on this site made it clear, the Ethiopian team negotiating the Cartagena Protocol, led by Dr. Tewolde-Birhan Gebre-Egziabher, played a key role in formulating a strong African position and had become the continents de-facto representative. This had been appreciated and acknowledged by several African countries at that time. Whether this fact can make Ethiopia assume a Pan-Africanist leadership position in the environmental issues is completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. What is important is the fact that the Cartagena Protocol aims mainly to provide an adequate level of protection to worldwide biodiversity by placing a stringent control on the transboundary movement, transit, handling and use of all living modified organisms that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. What it is not is an outright ban on the development, test or use of GM organisms for food or feed. In addition, several of the major African countries have since moved on and have come to realize that application GM crops, transgenic technology, and genetic engineering know-how could have a transformative effect on parts their economies provided that these are supported by a strong monitoring regimen. As a result, and contrary to its supposed pan-African leadership, Ethiopia is currently an outlier in the continent when it comes to the exploration of this powerful technology that can potentially transform the living standards of millions of people. Many of the countries that are said to be hesitant in accepting this agricultural biotechnology lack either the capacity to adapt and manage it or the actual need for a rapid transformation of their agricultural practices (they are either food self-sufficient or have no industrial base to supply to or both). In other words, we may as well have once been the continents leading voice against GM organisms but it has become apparent that we are leading the wrong league and it is not where we belong it is unbecoming to our great nation.What Ethiopia urgently needs is a dynamic regulatory system and strong scientific capacity for the evaluation, authorization, and monitoring of imported GM crops. It also needs to rebuild and expand its capability for fundamental research with the aim of developing local GM species using state-of-the-art methodology. Public-private biotechnology partnerships should be encouraged to work on genetic identification and improvements even in our own indigenous species of plants and animals. Furthermore, since we are negotiating for accession to the World Trade Organization, it is the most relevant time to substantially revise or repeal the Biosafety Proclamation No. 655/2009 (including its latest incarnation, Proclamation No. 896/2015) and streamline other relevant laws in accordance with international standards.

To this writer, the question is not to be why Ethiopia allowed the commercial cultivation of Bt-cotton and has authorized a confined field trial of Bt-maize. It is whether it had conducted a thorough analysis of the existing problems in the sector and identified the effectiveness of these particular strains of GM crops as cost-effective and sustainable solutions. It is not a case of re-inventing the wheel but of identifying our desirable targets and requirements, learning from the front-runners, and applying an appropriate level of precautionary principles. The temporary setbacks in Burkina Faso, Africas largest producer of cotton at one point, and some regions in India demonstrate that the process of introducing GM crops is far from being a turn-key situation. It requires the collaboration of laboratory scientists, policymakers, market leaders, and farmers (end-users) in identifying the required crop characteristic and quality that is suitable for the specific condition of the locality.In conclusion, agricultural gene-modification technology has sufficiently demonstrated its worth after more than two decades of commercial application and this is reflected in its widespread global adoption.Therefore, the excessive hesitance of its acceptance by Ethiopia and campaigners that support this stance is unjustifiable either socially, economically, or more importantly, scientifically.

Main Image: Children at a farm in Hawzen, Tigray region. Ethiopia Observer file.

This article is published under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. Please cite Ethiopia Observer prominently and link clearly to the original article if you republish. If you have any queries, please contact us at ethiopiaobserver@protonmail.com. Check individual images for licensing details.

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Why Ethiopia needs to embrace gene-modification technology - ethiopiaobserver.com

Science is dead, long live ‘Frankenstein science’ – stopthefud

Todays recognized facts in science are incomplete because they ignore spirit, will, and emotions. But more and more scientists have the courage to transfer knowledge from quantum physics and philosophy to everyday life. Dr. Ulrich Warnke explains how consciousness and subconscious mind control reality formation and shows how we activate these abilities in ourselves as it is written in many mystical texts. The key to a new world creation are certain states of consciousness that we can learn. This gives us effective tools to change our living conditions for the better. Source.

Ulrich Warnke (* 1945), photo, is a German biologist. He studied biology, physics, geography and pedagogy and received his doctorate in 1973. He taught as a senior academic at the Saarland University and has been retired since March 2010. One of his focal points is the effect of electromagnetic vibrations and fields, including light, on organisms. [Playlist with videos]

Wikipedia [which is a by a clan-like group of higher educated students, people, scientists, run, maintained and constantly updated website, where all info that does not fit within the mainstream [=wrong] concept of science is named pseudo-science or worse, and frequently even removed]: His statements on questions of the importance of quantum physics experiments are controversial. In his books he tries to correlate quantum physical experiments and results with spiritual experiences.

My comment: this sentence unveils that the author(s) of the Wikipedia article does/do not know by experience which spiritual experience is meant, or worse: that spiritual experiences are imaginations. Spirituality is real and not a belief or a religion, but a state of being as a part of the total existence, to be experienced in every day life, during work, in meditation and/or contemplation. An authentic spiritual experience cannot be acted.

Also Carl Gustav Jung had kundalini experiences and in his Red Book he is explaining the process of it, via texts and drawings, paintings. I prefer to name kundalini an evolutionary experience, instead of spiritual experience, though it is both, but I chose this to avoid silly remarks of those who do/did NOT experience it. One of the results of this process is a deeper sense for reality, wholeness, and oneself. Scientists are not, generally, aware of a wholeness, because they did NOT experience this, are evolutionary (far) back in the, in the meantime normal, human process of evolution especially in younger people and sometimes even children. That means that these scientists, who are still in the majority, show a lack of ethics, and absence of awareness, where also quantum physics work with. This has created the madness, the absolute chaos we live in, today. Science, as one could expect, does not exist any more, and IF, it is rejected as pseudo-science and ridiculed. They, who make themselves guilty of that, expose themselves as silly, ignorant, but are, logically, not even aware of that, because they belong somewhere in the lower degrees of the human evolution:

Spiritual Evolution

Reason for creating this blog article, is the tweet that I found coincidentally today, on May 14, 2020, and in which the subtitle of the website The World Foundation of Natural Science is ridiculed, because of the terms divine and the name of what we learned to categorize as saint: Francis of Assisi. One cannot find anything on the Wikipedia page, on not any page or website, that could categorize publications of a website that mentions the name of Francis of Assisi, to be based on conspiracy theories, as if the term spiritual, or divine, belongs to those who believe in something that does not exist: God. God does indeed not exist as a human-like being on a cloud and no I do not believe in a church, but I do believe in the church of nature, earth, Life, Universe, All Existence. That church is not a building where you can go in or out, but where one is constantly in, even if one does not realize it, or even denies it. Francis of Assisi is mentioned on the website of the World Foundation of Natural Sciences because of his view on nature and the environment. Very honourable. One cannot say that the one who tweets and writes about people in the way he is used to, is honourable. On the contrary. He is even creating conspiracy theories himself around a website that is not hiding its convictions and views on life and nature, and that is undeniable related with an unsolved problem in the persons own unconsciousness.

The only reason that this person was able to find the link to the newsletter of the World Foundation is this (my) blog, and I suspect him for being in this blog more often, as the stats of my blog show from which countries there have been searchings. I know where he lives. Why I suspect him of visiting my blog? Because of the facts that follow after. One of these is his tweet of today, about a newsletter that nobody else has shared, than me.

In the following excerpts, by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho , one can learn to understand more about science, real science. What has become out of what once was science and what has lost the most essential facets of what once was science. Mainstream science is not science, but a deformed clone of what once was science: Frankenstein science.

I found the name of Dr. Mae-Wan Ho in the newsletter of The World Foundation of Natural Science, the newsletter that has been ridiculed by the one who tweeted about it and who has marked it as based on conspiracy theories. He wants, he writes in the tweet, real science. Well. The newsletter contains 31 evidence based facts in the references. With other words: the so-called twitter professor, dressed in an oversized white blouse on his Twitter profile picture, is lying. To underline that: here is Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, with her view on real science.

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The End of Bad Science and Beginning Again with Life (Excerpts)By: Dr. Mae-Wan Ho (1941-2016) Paragraph: The two-way connection between science and society

Genetic engineering biotechnology is not just about food production. It is about any and every way of exploiting life and our life-support system for profit. It is the ultimate in the dominant way of life that knows the monetary cost of everything and the value of nothing.17

There is a two-way connection between science and society. Science is both shaped by the politics and the mores of society and it can reinforce them. And nowhere is it more clearly seen in the mechanistic, instrumental worldview that pervades the scientific mainstream and the dominant culture at large.

The mechanistic paradigm of western science is really a direct legacy of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The tradition inspired the search for eternal laws, ordained by God, which could make the universe move in predictable, mechanical ways. Through Copernicus, Galileo and Descartes, this strand of thought culminated in Newtons mathematical laws of mechanics. Mechanical explanations seem so compelling that every event in nature came to be seen in a mechanical perspective.

Another strand in the legacy of the Judaeo-Christian tradition is that human beings are supposed to be created in the image of God and to have immortal souls, while animals and the rest of nature are to be used by human beings. Descartes established the dualistic separation of human beings from nature, of mind from body and matter from spirit. He maintained that only human beings can reason, that animals are unfeeling machines; and condoned cruel experiments on dogs and cats. Francis Bacon, similarly, urged that it was our right to extend our power and dominion over the universe.18

Thomas Hobbes went further. For him, nothing exists except matter and motion, the universe including human being are to be explained mechanically. He argued that human beings are ruled purely by their appetites and aversions, and without a powerful king to restrain and channel those impulses, our lives would be poor, nasty, brutish and short. In other words, absolute government is necessary to prevent the war of each against all to which natural selfishness inevitably leads19. Hobbes was writing when mercantilism reached its high point in Europe, and brought great power to those princes and merchants who successfully accumulated vast quantities of gold and other precious metals.

Hobbes influence has passed down to us via Charles Darwin in an age that saw the birth of capitalism and the expansion of the free market under the military might of the British Empire. Nature became ultimately reduced to isolated atoms jostling and competing in the struggle for survival of the fittest. In its present-day form, neo-Darwinian sociobiology has changed very little from social Darwinism. Neo-liberal economic theory is in many ways much more pernicious than Adam Smiths laissez-faire economics, which is based on competition tempered by moral restraint20. And so, through the self-fulfilling prophecy, mechanistic science has created a dysfunctional social milieu and a globalized economy which is destroying our planet and failing to serve the physical and spiritual needs of the vast majority of humanity21. That was why fifty thousand people from all walks of life and of all ages took to the streets at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle at the end of November, 1999.

It is clear that the mechanistic paradigm has failed the reality test in life as in science. But the discredited paradigm is still perpetrated by mainstream academic institutions as though no alternatives exist.

Paragraph: Frankenstein science

Mechanistic biology has reached its logical conclusion when organisms including human beings are to be genetically manipulated and cloned. The first human clone has been created, by injecting the genetic material of a human being into a cows egg22, a scene reminiscent of Mary Shelleys prophetic parable of Frankenstein.

Dr. Frankenstein, in a role not unlike the contemporary genetic engineer, is a scientist obsessed with mastery over nature; so much so that he attempts to create the perfect human being. Instead, he created a monster. Mary Shelleys classic is as much a parable of the mechanistic science that inspires the deed as it is of the scientist playing God.

All species are being genetically manipulated. Millions of transgenic mice are being created to serve as dubious models of human diseases, and an increasing number have to be sacrificed to make room for more. Livestock are humanized to provide spare organs for transplanting into human beings, or engineered and cloned as bioreactors to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals in their milk, blood, urine and semen, and with tens of thousands of failures and abnormalities.23

Apart from the potential hazards of creating new viruses that cross species barriers, the excessive suffering inflicted on the animals violates the most basic moral code of human society. Michael Fox strongly questions the right of human beings to interfere so profoundly with the inherent nature or telos of other species24. Indeed, each species has its own intrinsic value, its own purpose in the scheme of nature, which we violate at our own peril. This is also the most abiding ecological wisdom which western science has lost touch with, and is only now rediscovering.

The organic revolution and the new ethic of science

Genetic determinism offers a simplistic, reductionist description which is a travesty of the interdependence and complexity of organic reality. It has no concept of the organism as a whole, nor of societies or ecosystems. That is one reason why genetic engineering, at least in its current form, can never work. It is based on misconceptions that organisms are machines, and on a denial of the complexity and flexibility of the organic whole.

This brings us to the kind of science appropriate to society, which can transcend the existing dominant ethos, to support the necessary transition to sustainable ways of life, and to connect with the organic uprising that is coming from the grassroots all over the world. Many remarkable individuals and local communities are indeed changing their own lives and the world around them for the better. They all do so by learning from nature and recognizing that it is the symbiotic, mutualistic relationships which sustain ecosystems and make all life prosper, including the human beings who are active, sensitive participants in the ecosystem as a whole.25

The same organic revolution has been happening in western science over the past thirty years. Jim Lovelocks Gaia theory, for example, invites us to see the earth as one super-organism26. Even more remarkable is the message from quantum theory: that we may be inseparably entangled with one another and with all nature, which we participate in co-creating. In other words, the universe is an entangled whole consisting of organisms that are themselves wholes. From my own work, I have shown that the organism is so perfectly whole that it approaches quantum coherence: a state of both maximum local freedom and global cohesion27. The organisms activities are fully coordinated from the molecular to the macroscopic, and that is why, with a special imaging technique invented in my laboratory, we can see the living, moving organism as a liquid crystalline being.

It is this holistic, organic perspective that can enable us to negotiate our path to a sustainable future. It also provides the basis of a new ethic of science that can reshape society and transform the very texture and meaning of our lives. Seattle has shown us that things can be different. Society does not have to be ruled by the dominant culture. Science can transcend the dominant status quo to reshape society for the public good, which is also the private good. We begin to appreciate how the purpose of each organism and species is entangled with that of every other. Our humanity is a function of this entangled whole, and we cannot do arbitrary violence to one another, nor to the nature of other species without violating our own nature.

.

References of the article:

17. See Ho, 1998, 1999 (note 2).18. See Fox, M. (1999). Beyond Evolution, Chapter 5, The Lyons Press, New York.19. See Korten, D.C. (1998). The Post-Corporate World, Life After Capitalism, Kumarian Press, West Hartford and Berett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.20. See Korten, 1998 (note 20).21. See Mander, J. and Goldsmith, E. (1996). The Case Against the Global Economy, And For a Turn Toward the Local, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco.22. Fears that a baby could be cloned Ian Cobain, Daily Mail, 17 June, 1999.23. See Ho, M.W. (2000). Towards a new ethic of science. In Ethical Careers Guide for Young Scientist, Scientist for Global Responsibility, London.24. Fox, 1999 (note 19).25. See Korten, 1998 (note 20); also, Hawken, P., Lovins, A. and Lovins, L.H. (1999). Natural Capitalism,26. Lovelock, J.E. (1988). The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth, Norton, New York.27. Ho, M.W. (1993, 1998). The Rainbow and The Worm, The Physics of Organisms, World Scientific, Singapore.

Complete article.

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Science is dead, long live 'Frankenstein science' - stopthefud

New Papers Explore the Utility of Active Information – Discovery Institute

William Dembski and Robert J. Marks developed the concept of active information to measure the extent to which a search function appears pre-programmed to find some target. Inspired by the theory of intelligent design, this metric has proved useful in exposing when genetic algorithms dont truly model the power of Darwinian evolution, but rather cheat due to a programmers guidance, leading to a predetermined outcome. As explainedhere, active information works as follows:

Exogenous Information (I) represents the difficulty of a search in finding its target with no prior information about its location. Active Information (I+) is the amount of information smuggled in by intelligence to aid the search algorithm in finding its target. Endogenous Information (Is) then measures the difficulty the search will have in finding its target after the addition of Active Information. Thus, I+= I Is.

Two new papers in the journalBIO-Complexityshow how active information is useful in new areas, helping us to better understand evolution and its limits.

In recent years proponents of non-Darwinian evolution have advanced ideas about natural genetic engineering, in which organisms can induce targeted, beneficial mutations in their own genomes in response to selection pressure. Last month inBIO-Complexity, computer scientist Jonathan Bartlett published an article, Measuring Active Information in Biological Systems. He addressed an important related question: How can we determine if a mutation is random and undirected, or if it was directed? In address to this question, he finds new applications for the concept of active information.

Active information tells us how much knowledge a search function has embedded in it about the location of the target. In the context of studying the effects of mutations on an organism, Bartlett explains: What active information measures is the alignment of the genome itself to the problem of finding viable genetic solutions to selection pressures. Thus, in some cases a mutation may be completely random, meaning that it occurred due to mechanisms that were not preprogrammed to help the organism solve a problem. In other cases, a mutation may not be entirely random, meaning that preprogrammed mechanisms internal to the organism directed the mutation to provide some potential benefit. Bartlett explains that non-random, directed mutations are essentially a reflection of the presence of active information in a genome to produce beneficial mutations:

This is wholly compatible with Behes First Rule of Adaptive Evolution, which states that evolution will break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain. [16] The question that is posed by active information is a separate one. Does the genome contain information about what changes are likely to yield benefit? It may be that the most likely way to yield benefit is to blunt or break some particular system. If active information is present, then the blunting and breaking will be measurably tilted towards blunting and breaking systems that are likely to yield selection benefit by doing so.

The goal of active information is not to be a universal quantification of all aspects of information in biology, but rather to assess the narrow question of the information that cells contain that assist in their own evolution.

Bartlett notes that because living organisms tend to optimize across many variables over different timescales, measuring the amount of information could be difficult. However, he explains that the well-defined system of theadaptive immune system provides an environment where active information measurements can be readily calculated. He uses this observation to produce a general model for calculating active information in genomic mutations:

The methodology described for the somatic hypermutation system can be generalized to any mutational system for which the following are reasonable parameters:

Lastly, Bartlett applies his method to an example offered by proponents of Darwinian evolution to supposedly demonstrate the power of random mutation and natural selection. The example is Richard Lenskis well-knownE. coliLong Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) and the evolution of the Cit+ phenotype (the ability ofE. colito update and metabolize citrate). As Bartlett explains, the first time Lenski and his team observed the evolution of the Cit+ phenotype, it required 31,500 generations to appear. However, in their paper,Hofwegen et al. (2016)witnessed the same trait arise in only about 12 generations and 30 days because of selection pressures. Bartlett predicts that the trait arose due to active information in the genome, responding to selection and thereby predisposingE. colito evolve such a trait. Bartlett finds:

E. colicontributes approximately 12.4 additional bits of information towards the search for the Cit+ mutation when under selection. This number is relative to the ordinary predisposition ofE. colito produce this mutation when not under selection, which has not been determined.

Bartlett shows that it is not random mutation alone that generates such complex traits inE. coli. What this indicates is that classical Darwinian evolution is not the mechanism at work here. Instead, preprogrammed mechanisms are designed to allow an organism to rapidly adapt to increase selection pressures. Were these preprogrammed mechanisms intelligently designed? Thats a separate question for another day, but what Bartlett has shown is that Darwinism didnt produce this feature; something far smarter did. Intelligent design ideas are bearing fruit in our understanding of how evolution works.

A second paper inBIO-Complexitypublished just this week, Generalized Active Information: Extensions To Unbounded Domains, by Daniel Andres Diaz-Pachon and Robert J. Marks, further explores the utility of the concept of active information. They first respond to a criticism of active information made by Olle Hggstrm. The Swedish mathematician claimed that there is absolutely no a priori reason to expect that the blind forces of nature should produce a fitness landscape distributed [uniformly]. They reply by observing, It is not that out-of-equilibrium explanations are not allowed, it is that they must be accounted for.

They then explain that active information can help us detect instances where probabilities depart from expected uniform distributions:

Active information can be viewed as a generalized instantiation of anomaly detection otherwise known as novelty filtering. The status quo of probabilistic uniformity is set and any significant deviation is flagged as novel. The degree of deviation from normalcy is measured by the active information. [A]ctive information is the difference of the information for an event under equilibrium and nonequilibrium.

As they observe, Active information can also be seen as a statistical complexity measure. That is because it meets criteria previously laid out by mathematicians for building such metrics, including the fact that Active information determines the information gap between the search of a target by pure chance and the input of an expert/dumb programmer. In light of these results, they predict that active information can be applied to build a useful model of population genetics.

Photo: From Richard Lenskis terrificLTEE, by Brian Baer and Neerja Hajela [CC BY-SA 1.0],via Wikimedia Commons.

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New Papers Explore the Utility of Active Information - Discovery Institute

Cuban interferon proven effective against COVID-19 Cuba Granma – Official voice of the PCC – Granma English

Currently more than 80 countries have expressed interest in acquiring Heberon. Photo: CIGB

Since the appearance, March 11, of the first cases of COVID-19 in Cuba, the countrys Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) has reported that the inclusion of Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2b in treatment protocols for these patients has shown positive results.

Details on the effectiveness of the product were presented by Dr. Eulogio Pimentel Vzquez, director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), affiliated with the BioCubaFarma Enterprise Group, where the medication was first produced in the late 1980s.

"The strength of the Cuban health system, and its close ties with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, in our social system that prioritizes the people's health, makes possible the medications availability for all Cubans."

According to Dr. Pimentel, in accordance with the Minsap treatment protocol, this product, in combination with other drugs, is used as soon as a case is confirmed, and not with patients in serious or critical condition.

Data released April 14 shows that 93.4% of patients testing positive for SARS-COV-2 had been treated with Heberon (the commercial name of Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha 2b). Only 5.5% reached serious condition. The mortality rate reported by Minsap on that date was 2.7%, while for patients with whom the drug was used, the rate was 0.9%. On this same date, on the international level, 15 to 20% of patients were reported in serious condition, while the mortality rate was over 6%.

"The data shows that the protocol in our country is effective, and interferon plays a key role in these results."

Referring to the medications use around the world, the doctor noted that important reports of preclinical and clinical evidence have appeared in several countries. One recent scientific article refers to a study conducted in Wuhan, China, regarding its use with medical personnel. Of the individuals included in the study, 2,944 received the drug and 3,387 did not. Fifty percent of those not treated contracted the disease, while there were no cases identified among those who benefited from Cuban interferon.

At this time, more than 80 countries have expressed interest in acquiring Heberon, reflecting confidence in its usefulness in confronting the pandemic.

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Cuban interferon proven effective against COVID-19 Cuba Granma - Official voice of the PCC - Granma English

Biologic Therapeutics Market Dynamics, Segments, Size and Demand, 2017 2025 – Cole of Duty

Global Biologic Therapeutics Market: Snapshot

The branch of science that deals with manufacturing medicines and pharmaceutical products based on biological origins is called biological therapeutics. Any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured from semi-synthesized and biological sources is included under this field. Owing to rapid advances experienced by this sector, a distinct biologic therapeutics market has formed. This market is mainly being driven by a rising demand for better healthcare treatments occurring all over the world.

Know the Growth Opportunities in Emerging Markets

The global biological therapeutics market mainly comprises of derivatives extracted from whole blood and other blood components, organs and tissue transplants, stem cell therapy, human breast milk, fecal microbiota, human reproductive cells, and antibodies. Several biological materials could are also extracted from other animals.

The global biological therapeutics market not only deals with extracted biologic materials from the market, but also involves providing treatments based on the use of these materials. Most biologic therapeutic substance include individual components such as thrombolytic agents, interferons, monoclonal antibodies, additional products, interleukin-based products, haematopoietic growth factors, hormones, and therapeutic enzymes. Materials used for producing biopharmaceuticals might also be derived from recombinant E. coli or yeast cultures, mammalian cell cultures, plant cell cultures, and mosses.

The global biologic therapeutics market is boosted through the presence of cancer, diabetes, and another coronary heart diseases. A growing geriatric population also has been responsible for making the market gain extensive revenue in the form of quality treatment processes. However, the market might be restrained due to high cost of extraction of the biologic materials. Nevertheless, extensive research and development carried out by many businesses in this market might offset the restraints substantially.

Global Biologic Therapeutics Market: Overview

The global biologic therapeutics market is predicted to benefit from the rising applications of biological products. Biological products could be made of sugars, nucleic acids, proteins, or complex combinations of these substances, or may be living components such as cells and tissues. Biological products are used to prevent diseases, diagnose diseases, or treat or cure medical conditions.

Global Biologic Therapeutics Market: Key Trends and Opportunities

First and foremost, increasing reimbursement for biologics is predicted to positively influence the biologic therapeutics market in the upcoming years. Medical insurance companies and state-run insurance schemes are increasingly accepting claims against biologic therapeutics. Biologic therapeutics are gaining popularity due the efficacy of biologic therapeutic drugs and fewer side effects than chemical-based drugs. This is because biologic drugs are obtained from natural sources such as plants, or even living components such as cells and tissues of animals, microorganisms, or humans. These fragments are further treated to make therapeutic products such as blood components, vaccines, and recombinant therapeutic proteins.

Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and coronary artery diseases and a growing geriatric population are some other factors contributing to the biologic therapeutics market. In addition, mounting clinical trials and innovative research and development practices to develop novel drugs is boosting the growth of biologic therapeutics market.

On the flip side, manufacturing difficulties due to complexities of drug molecules is challenging the growth of biologic therapeutics market. Nevertheless, increasing research and development in the pharmaceutical sector and rising applications of biologics is anticipated to provide new opportunities to this market.

Global Biologic Therapeutics Market: Market Potential

The Genetic Technology module for TechVision Opportunity Engine provides the most recent R&D advancements and developments while looking into opportunities for profit in the exploding genetic technology field via joint ventures, acquisitions, and technology transfer. The entire range of genetic technology applications covered in the module includes latest developments in omics technologies, which include genetic, cellular, and alternative therapies; genetically modified plants and animals, and sequencing technologies.

The health and wellness cluster of genetic technology techvision opportunity engine looks into developments across several areas, which include genetic engineering, drug discovery and development, regenerative medicine, cosmetic procedures, nanomedicine, drug delivery, smart healthcare, pain and disease management, and personalized medicine.

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Global Biologic Therapeutics Market: Geographical Outlook

As per the reports analysis, the worldwide biologic therapeutics market could see a classification into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. North America, among them, could secure a leading position due to a robust research infrastructure and presence of expert researchers and scientists for biotechnology research. Europe is a key market for biologic therapeutics due to high level of biotechnology research and pioneering research in the field of biotechnology. Asia Pacific is likely to emerge as a significant market for biologic therapeutics with increasing advancement in biotechnology research.

Global Biologic Therapeutics Market: Competitive Landscape

The worldwide biologic therapeutics market is predicted to witness the prominence of several key players, namely Pfizer Inc., Novartis Global, Smith Medical, Concord Biotech, H. Lundbeck A/S, AstraZeneca, Merck & Co. Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., and Retractable Technologies Inc. Market players could resort to common business strategies, viz. product innovation, cutting-edge developments, and acquisitions to push up growth in the market.

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Biologic Therapeutics Market Dynamics, Segments, Size and Demand, 2017 2025 - Cole of Duty

Biohacking Market Current Scenario with International Forecast Trends to 2025 | Apple Inc,Behavioral Tech,Fitbit, Inc.,HVMN Inc,InteraXon Inc.,Modern…

A biohacking is the desire to understand the body and mind that you have been given and using everything at an instrument that conducts high-frequency alternating current through a patients body that generates heat energy. Mostly, the devices are classified as monopolar or bipolar, which can be used for fulgurating tissue, cutting, coagulating or desiccating. It is an electrosurgical device. Due to repeated application, high cost, and displacement problems associated with conventional devices these devices are preferred. The electrosurgical device is an electrical controlled, and it also provides safety and efficiency and burn-reduction tracking.

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The biohacking market is anticipated to grow in the market by the advancement of new technologies. In addition, with rising demand for these devices is the key application for the growth of the industry. However, there is less awareness about this new device in the market. Furthermore, it has a superior ability to cut and seal and is rising demand in the forecast period. It has increased demand for minimally invasive surgeries that has the opportunity for market growth.

MARKET SEGMENTATION

The biohacking market is segmented on the basis of product, application and by end user. Based on product the market is segmented as sensors, smart drugs, strains and others. On the basis of application the market is categorized as synthetic biology, genetic engineering, forensic science, diagnosis & treatment, drug testing and others. On the basis of end user the market is categorized as pharmaceutical & biotechnological companies, forensic laboratories and others.

Some of the key players of Biohacking Market:

Apple Inc,Behavioral Tech,Fitbit, Inc.,HVMN Inc,InteraXon Inc.,Modern AlkaMe,Moodmetric,Synbiota, Inc.,The ODIN,Thync Global Inc.

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Fundamentals of Table of Content:

1 Report Overview1.1 Study Scope1.2 Key Market Segments1.3 Players Covered1.4 Market Analysis by Type1.5 Market by Application1.6 Study Objectives1.7 Years Considered

2 Global Growth Trends2.1 Biohacking Market Size2.2 Biohacking Growth Trends by Regions2.3 Industry Trends

3 Market Share by Key Players3.1 Biohacking Market Size by Manufacturers3.2 Biohacking Key Players Head office and Area Served3.3 Key Players Biohacking Product/Solution/Service3.4 Date of Enter into Biohacking Market3.5 Mergers & Acquisitions, Expansion Plans

4 Breakdown Data by Product4.1 Global Biohacking Sales by Product4.2 Global Biohacking Revenue by Product4.3 Biohacking Price by Product

5 Breakdown Data by End User5.1 Overview5.2 Global Biohacking Breakdown Data by End User

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Biohacking Market Current Scenario with International Forecast Trends to 2025 | Apple Inc,Behavioral Tech,Fitbit, Inc.,HVMN Inc,InteraXon Inc.,Modern...

Disease is the greatest threat to bee health. Can we protect them through genetically engineered probiotics? – Genetic Literacy Project

If you cannot engineer the organism, engineer its microbiome.

Since scientists began exploring how to solve problems using synthetic biology, by focusing on microbial symbionts, a whole universe of possibilities has opened up. We have seen a hangover cure, synthetic probiotics for humans, and even microbes that help plants fix their own nitrogen. Now the focus is on bees to get their engineered probiotic, an idea that may save the insects from disease and insulate consumers from food shortages.

Domesticated bees and other pollinators play a significant role in growing many foods, although how much is debated. A significant percentage of Americas crops between 7% and 35% relyto some extent on bees. Wheat, corn and rice are wind-pollinated. Lettuce, beans and tomatoes are self-pollinated. But in some crops, bees are essential. Honeybees have a tremendous financial importance, not only for their honey but as the insects that enable the reproduction of (many) flowering plants. As wild insects cannot be relied upon to pollinate thousands of acres of monocultures, crop producers employ beekeepers to bring their hives close to their plants. This gave birth to migratory beekeeping, a practice now essential for cultivation of plants such as almond trees on a commercial scale.

Honeybees have evolved into a managed livestock, with a complex role in agriculture and established production and management practices. Beekeepers need to maintain healthy colonies. All bee colonies decline significantly in size during the winter months, but overwinter losses have increased over the past 15 years, and now hover around 40%. These persistently high mortality rates have fedinaccurate speculations about the cause, often blaming one class of pesticides, neonicotioids as the primary culprit. The evidence doesnt support that claim. The driver of bee health problems is known and its not pesticides nor agricultural production models; its disease.

Honeybees are susceptible to many infections from parasites and viruses. In fact, the co-infection with mite parasites and RNA viruses is particularly destructive for bees and accounts for a large portion of colony losses. The most common external parasites are the Varroa mites (scientific name Varroa destructor), which feed on the fat bodies of the bees. The deformed wing virus is another common hazard. This RNA virus uses the Varroa mites as disease vectors and infects the bee bodies, leading to developmental deformities.

Varroa infection treatment is difficult. Common methods include pesticides to which Varroa started developing resistance mechanical screening of bees, as well as teaching the bees to recognize and kill infected pupae. A more selective and effective treatment could save bees and agricultural resources, and this treatment might be already present in the bees gut microbiome.

In animals, DNA stores the genetic material, and RNA molecules are short-lived and execute specific functions. Ribosomal RNA has structural role in ribosomes, transport RNA carry amino acids, and messenger RNA carries the information needed to synthesize proteins. In contrast, many viruses carry their genetic information in RNA molecules. To defend against RNA viruses, cells have developed a sophisticated system called RNA interference, or RNAi. This complex molecular machinery recognizes double-stranded RNA and breaks it down.

Bees possess an efficient RNAi machinery that protects them from intruders at a molecular level. And researchers can use this system to protect bees against mites and viruses. If we insert RNA complimentary to the deformed wing viruss genome, it will form a double-stranded hybrid molecule. The RNAi machinery can now shred the virus genome to pieces, ending thus the virus infection. The same principle can be used to target specific parasite genes. And this brought forth the idea of injecting bees with RNA to protect against Varroa mites.

There are several problems with administering RNA to individual bees. RNA is a notoriously unstable and difficult to administer molecule. The treatment is short-termed. There are off-target effects. And its almost impossible to treat entire hives. Ideally, the bees would maintain the ability to produce the suitable RNA for a long time (or permanently), but would express it only in case of infection is happening. In theory it should be possible to insert the RNA gene in the genome of the honeybees under very tight control. In practice, though, this would be extremely tough. But while the process of genetically engineering insects is not very practical, the technology to modify bacteria is quite mature.

Bees, as every organism, have a rich microbiome. It should be possible modify one of these microbes to deliver the RNA cure to its bee hosts. This is exactly the idea researchers from the University of Texas explored in a recent article published in Science. Sean Leonard and his collaborators genetically modified the bacterium Snodgrassella alvi wkB2, one of the most abundant microbes found in the honeybee gut, to continuously deliver double stranded RNA.

The researchers first verified that engineered bacteria can establish themselves in the bees gut. They tested whether the modified S. alvi can deliver RNA to their host, and if this RNA can stimulate an RNAi response. As these early experiments were positive, the scientists tried to use the new probiotic to treat deformed wing virus and Varroa mite infections. Their results showed that the administration of the engineered microbe improved survivability, while the microbe by itself didnt seem to harm healthy bees.

This work from Leonard and the rest of the University of Texas team is an encouraging proof of principle. Their study shows that bee probiotics can confer parasite and virus resistance for several days to individual bees, though they dont show yet if such a treatment will work well on a hive level. Such an approach has the potential to be a versatile and generalized cure: the beekeepers could store and administer specialized probiotics for any possible outbreak. Bee probiotics would be very specific to the disease they teat and they would have minimal environmental impact (contained within the hives and disappearing over time).

Would honeybee probiotics get regulatory clearance? The question is a bit complicated. In the US, they would likely be regulated in same way as engineered human probiotics, which are already on the market. But the honey produced by treated bees and the pollinated crops are in regulatory uncharted territory, so nothing is assured as this issue is more ideological than science-based. The food products are definitely not GMOs as the bee or crop DNA would not be affected but regulators might nonetheless under political pressure to require proof about environmental and food safety, even though there is no logical scientific basis for requiring such information as there would be no detectable difference in honey derived from such bees. Most probably, countries with tougher GMO restrictions (such as in the EU) will be as skeptical of probiotics from RNA-modified bees as they are of other genetic engineering technology, and are unlikely to approve them.

Insects are organisms with immense financial, ecological, and social importance. Synthetic biology may provide ways to protect or control insect populations without the use of harmful chemicals, destroying habitats, or introducing invasive species ways that we currently employ with well-documented consequences. Engineering the microbiome is a way to solve biological problems by bypassing the hurdles of transforming complex multicellular organisms, a back door to make synthetic biology easier. And the honeybee back door is now pried open.

Kostas Vavitsas, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Athens, Greece. He is also a steering committee member of EUSynBioS. Follow him on Twitter @konvavitsas

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Disease is the greatest threat to bee health. Can we protect them through genetically engineered probiotics? - Genetic Literacy Project

CSL Behring and SAB Biotherapeutics Join Forces to Deliver New Potential COVID-19 Therapeutic – P&T Community

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. and SIOUX FALLS, S.D., April 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Global biotherapeutics leader, CSL Behringand innovative human antibody development company SAB Biotherapeutics(SAB) announced today their partnership to combat the coronavirus pandemic with the rapid development of SAB-185, a COVID-19 therapeutic candidate on track for clinical evaluation by early summer. The partnership joins the forces of CSL Behring's leading protein science capabilities with SAB's novel immunotherapy platform capable of rapidly developing and producing natural, highly-targeted, high-potency, fully human polyclonal antibodies without the need for blood plasma donations from recovered patients.

The therapeutic candidate, SAB-185, is generated from SAB's proprietary DiversitAb platform producing large volumes of human polyclonal antibodies targeted specifically to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Driven by advanced genetic engineering and antibody science, SAB's novel approach, leveraging genetically engineered cattle to produce fully human antibodies, enables a scalable and reliable production of targeted, higher potency neutralizing antibody product than has been previously possible. SAB's approach has expedited the rapid development of a novel immunotherapy for COVID-19 deploying the same natural immune response to fight the disease as recovered patients, but with a much higher concentration of targeted antibodies.

"COVID-19 is a nearly unprecedented public health crisis," said CSL Behring's Executive Vice President and Head of R&D Bill Mezzanotte, M.D. "That's why we're combining our leading capabilities in plasma product development and immunology with external collaborators to help find multiple, rapid solutions. In the near-term, SAB Biotherapeutics' novel immunotherapy platform provides a new and innovative solution to rapidly respond without the need for human plasma adding a different dimension to the industry-wide plasma-derived hyperimmune alliance effort we recently launched for the COVID-19 crisis. For future pandemics, SAB's platform may allow us to even more rapidly respond to patients' needs."

"Our targeted high-potency immunotherapies leverage the native immune response thereby providing a highly-specific match against the complexity, diversity and mutation of a disease," said Eddie J. Sullivan, PhD, SAB Biotherapeutics president, CEO and co-founder. "Our partnership with CSL Behring shifts our development trajectory to more rapidly scale-up and delivery of our highly targeted and potent COVID-19 therapeutic candidate, and deploy our unique capabilities to help combat this crisis. We have a successful preclinical track record for addressing infectious disease targets including Ebola, MERS, and SARS with our proprietary platform and appreciate that this collaboration with a global biopharmaceutical powerhouse will magnify the potential impact of a COVID-19 immunotherapy and provide an important framework for establishing sustainable solutions for the future."

CSL Behring has provided seed funding to offset some initial development costs that were funded by SAB in good faith, responding to the global pandemic as quickly as possible. SAB has already secured approximately $7.2 million in funding through an interagency agreement with the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO - CBRND) and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)to support SAB to complete manufacturing and preclinical studies. CSL Behring will then commit its clinical, regulatory, manufacturing and supply chain expertise and resources to deliver the therapeutic to the market as soon as possible, on terms to be agreed with SAB.

Earlier this year, the companies announceda collaboration to investigate SAB's platform technology as a new source for human immunoglobulin G (IgG) and the potential for new therapies to treat challenging autoimmune, infectious and idiopathic diseases by leveraging SAB's DiversitAb platform.

About CSL Behring CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients' needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company's products are also used in cardiac surgery, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn. CSL Behring operates one of the world's largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL;USOTC:CSLLY), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs more than 26,000 people, and delivers its life-saving therapies to people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit http://www.cslbehring.com and for inspiring stories about the promise of biotechnology, visit Vita http://www.cslbehring.com/Vita

About SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc.SAB Biotherapeutics, Inc. (SAB), headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D. is a clinical-stage, biopharmaceutical development company advancing a new class of immunotherapies leveraging fully human polyclonal antibodies. Utilizing some of the most complex genetic engineering and antibody science in the world, SAB has developed the only platform that can rapidly produce natural, highly targeted, high-potency, immunotherapies at commercial scale. The company is advancing programs in autoimmunity, infectious diseases, inflammation and exploratory oncology. SAB is rapidly progressing on a new therapeutic for COVID-19, SAB-185, a fully human polyclonal antibodies targeted to SARS-CoV-2 without using human donors. SAB-185 is expected to be ready for evaluation as early as summer 2020. The company was also recently awarded a $27 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to leverage its unique capabilities as part of a Rapid Response Antibody Program, valued at up to $27 million. For more information visit: http://www.sabbiotherapeutics.com.

View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/csl-behring-and-sab-biotherapeutics-join-forces-to-deliver-new-potential-covid-19-therapeutic-301037503.html

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CSL Behring and SAB Biotherapeutics Join Forces to Deliver New Potential COVID-19 Therapeutic - P&T Community

CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma – Global Market Insights and Market Forecast to 2030 – ResearchAndMarkets.com – Yahoo Finance

The "CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma - Market Insights and Market Forecast - 2030" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

This report delivers an in-depth understanding of the CAR T-Cell Therapy use for Multiple Myeloma as well as the CAR T-Cell Therapy market trends for Multiple Myeloma in the 6MM i.e., United States and EU5 (Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom).

The Multiple Myeloma CAR T-Cell Therapy market report provides current treatment practices, emerging drugs, CAR T-Cell Therapy market share of the various CAR T-Cell Therapies for Multiple Myeloma, the individual therapies, current and forecasted Multiple Myeloma CAR T-Cell Therapy market Size from 2017 to 2030 segmented by seven major markets. The Report also covers current Multiple Myeloma treatment practice/algorithm, market drivers, market barriers and unmet medical needs to curate best of the opportunities and assesses underlying potential of the market.

Reasons to Buy

Report Highlights

Key Topics Covered:

1. Key Insights

2. Executive Summary

3. CAR T-Cell Therapy Market Overview at a Glance

3.1 Market Share (%) Distribution of CAR T-Cell Therapy for MM in 2030

4. CAR T-Cell Therapy Background and Overview

4.1 Introduction

4.1.1 CARs Generations

4.1.2 Genetic Engineering of T-Cells

4.1.3 How CAR T-Cell Therapy Works

4.2 The promise of CAR T-cell targeting B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) in multiple myeloma

4.3 Current challenges in CAR T

4.3.1 Therapeutic side effects

4.3.2 CAR T-cells lack of success

4.4 CAR T-cell therapy: Route to reimbursement

4.5 Unmet needs

5. CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma (MM): 6 Major Market Analysis

5.1 Key Findings

5.2 Market Size of CAR T-Cell Therapy in 6MM

5.2.1 Market Size of CAR T-Cell Therapy by Therapies

6. Market Outlook

7. Emerging Drug Profiles for Multiple Myeloma

7.1 bb2121: Celgene Corporation

7.1.1 Product Description

7.1.2 Research and Development

7.1.3 Product Development Activities

7.2 JNJ-68284528 (LCAR-B38M): Janssen Research & Development

7.2.1 Product Description

7.2.2 Research and Development

7.2.3 Product Development Activities

7.3 P-BCMA-101: Poseida Therapeutics

7.3.1 Product Description:

7.3.2 Research and Development

7.3.3 Product Development Activities

7.4 CAR-CD44v6: MolMed S.p.A.

7.4.1 Product Description

7.4.2 Research and Development

7.4.3 Product Development Activities

7.5 JCARH125 (Orvacabtagene autoleucel): Celgene Corporation

7.5.1 Product Description

7.5.2 Research and Development

7.5.3 Product Development Activities

7.6 Descartes-08: Cartesian Therapeutics

7.6.1 Product Description

7.6.2 Research and Development

7.7 CT053 : CARsgen Therapeutics)

7.7.1 Product Description

7.7.2 Research and Development

7.7.3 Product Development Activities

Companies Mentioned

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/auj3ij

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200409005373/en/

Contacts

ResearchAndMarkets.comLaura Wood, Senior Press Managerpress@researchandmarkets.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900

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CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma - Global Market Insights and Market Forecast to 2030 - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo Finance

Tension Builds Over Drug To Treat COVID-19 – caribbeannationalweekly.com

MIAMI, Florida With coronavirus (COVID-19) cases increasingdramatically in the United Statessome 435,000 cases as of Thursdaythe nation now has the most cases globally and is desperate for a drug to effectively treat the virus.

Unlike other forms of coronavirus, like the common cold and influenza, there is yet no proven medication to treat COVID-19. The possibility of a vaccine to treat the virus is at least a year away, according to most scientists best estimates.

In recent weeks, there have been claims, including from President Donald Trump and members of his administration, that a drug, hydroxychloroquine, normally used to treat malaria and lupus, is effective in treating COVID-19.

Two weeks ago, Trump at one of his coronavirus task-force press conferences, optimistically said the drug has potential as a drug to treat COVID-19. However, at the same press conference the top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, while agreeing that the drug could have a positive effect with COVID-19 patients, cautioned that it needed to be tested before it can be generally prescribed for coronavirus.

Last Sunday at another coronavirus task-force press conference, President Trump again touted the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 although testing of the drug hasnt been completed.

What do I know, Im not a doctor, Trump said Sunday. But I have common sense. In promoting the use of the drug, the president has often stated, What have you got to lose?

One of the Trump administrations strongest backersof the drug is Trade Adviser Peter Navarro, who according to reports that surfaced after Sundays press conference, clashed with Dr. Fauci over the use of the drug. Dr. Fauci continuesto be concerned about recommending the drug based only on unscientific, or as he puts it anecdotalevidence.

Navarro, on the other hand, despite not having formal medical training, claimed in a CNN interview on Monday that reports of studies on the drugs use, which he had collected, were enough to recommend the drug widely.

The American Medical Associations president, Dr. Patrice Harris, also said she wouldnt prescribe the drug for coronavirus patients, because the risks of severe side effects were great and too significant to downplay without large studies showing the drug is safe and effective for such use.

Nonetheless, some doctors are actually prescribing Hydroxychloroquine to patients with COVID-19. Research studies are now beginning to test if the drugs truly help COVID-19 patients, and the Food and Drug Administration has allowed the medication as an option for doctors to consider for patients who cannot get into one of these studies.

Dr. Harris and other doctors claim the drug has serious side effects, especially affecting the heart rhythm, and still want more testing conducted before its clear that the drug works against the virus and where the side effects are concerned.

Cubas Interferon Alpha 2B

Meanwhile, a drug developed in Cuba has been proving to have positive results in treating COVID-19 patients. The drug, Interferon Alpha 2B, is among 22 drugs developed in Cuba since 1986 by its Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and used as a treatment for HIV-AIDS, hepatitis B and C, herpes zoster or shingles, dengue and different types of cancers.

It is also highly recommended by medical specialists for its ability to fight the COVID-19 virus. During the onset of the virus in Wuhan province, the Chinese authorities found it exceptional in destroying the virus from thousands of its citizens who contracted the disease at the earliest stages.

Since the success of this antiviral drug has become public knowledge, Cuba has been flooded with requests from across the globe, including, Africa, Europe, Latin, and South America and Caribbean nations.

Evidence tuberculosis vaccine BCG prevents COVID-19 infection

Recently reports surfaced that the BCG vaccine given to counter tuberculosis (TB) may provide protection against COVID-19 and significantly reduce death rates in countries, including most Caribbean countries,with high levels of this vaccination.

A study of 178 countries conducted by an Irish medical consultant in conjunction with epidemiologists at the University of Texas indicated countries with BCG vaccination programs have far fewer coronavirus cases by a factor 10, compared to countries without such programs.

The BCG vaccine is still widely used in developing countries, where scientists have found, along with preventing TB, it alsoprevents infant deaths from a variety of causes, and sharply reduces the incidence of respiratory infections like the coronavirus.

Most Caribbean-Americans residing in South Florida bearthe scars of the BCG vaccine on their upper arms, as the vaccine was and still is mandatory for attending public schools in the Caribbean.

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Tension Builds Over Drug To Treat COVID-19 - caribbeannationalweekly.com


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