Or even a scientist, much less an 'expert' one.
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft
Are scientist, even "expert" scientist always correct? NO There are scientist on both sides of many issues. Think global warming!
As another aside, janitors also work in labs.
As hesitant as I am to get involved in an ongoing shouting match, there does seem to be one point that needs to be clarified here, since PLB and WLC seem to be arguing two tangental points to each other. There is a difference between the "RNAi-laced syrup" which PLB is claiming has no lasting effect (by which, I assume he means no lasting GENETIC effect, and should be true), and transposable elements - which by definition transpose themselves into DNA and make lasting genetic changes.
The confusion might come because nowadays we can use a transposable element to insert, basically, an in-situ RNAi factory - so now you DO have a permanent change in that the bee has aquired the genetic ability to produce it's own RNAi.
And there certainly are already targets that we would "want" to insert into honeybees, provided it isn't according to the traditional Monsanto business model - RNAi targeted against the genomes of varroa destructor instantly jumps to mind (as it did for beelogics). You could have a honey bee line that would have virtual immunity to the pest, and without the hygenic behavior of dragging young brood out of their cells. Something that would be hard to resist for beekeepers, and a cash cow for Monsanto.
Why would monsanto want to genetically modify honey bees most of their seed product are self pollinating. unless they are aware that they had a big hand in the CCD issue and rather than changing there seed and owning up to causing issues to avoid lawsuits . Lets alter the bees to be compatible with our genetically modified products and then patent them and Sue anybody for painting right infringement if your honey contained their GMOs. just my uneducated Theory
Last edited by njlynch1925; 05-20-2014 at 12:35 PM.
The scale of such lawsuits has been overhyped to mythic proportions, a recent class action lawsuit tried to get the 'millions' of farmers together and all of 8 plaintiffs were found. As far as the transposable element in question, never heard of this yet, and how persistent was it.
By the way, I stated that RNAi has no long lasting effect, period. Not on the genes, not on the viruses, not on the bees. That is the biggest problem with it as a therapeutic tool -- it degrades very quickly. RNA is everywhere and it is very degradable, unlike DNA. DNA is also everywhere, but it does not degrade so easily.
But DNA cannot easily be injected into genomes, there are very technical aspects to the methods. And a lot of very expensive equipment is involved (microinjector) which places it quite out of reach of the ordinary beekeeping concern. When the authors said it could be used by beekeeping facilities, they meant extremely well funded ones, such as at Universities or BioTech companies.
Once again, I am not saying this has any practical use whatsoever, yet. First, important genes have to be identified. Then, it would be far safer to use RNAi technology to switch or downregulate the important genes, since this would not likely affect the genetic makeup of the organisms, either virus, varroa, or bee. In any case, everybody with an IQ over 90 realizes that safeguards have to be in place to prevent any significant changes from affecting the gene pool of native bees, bees that deserve to be conserved. Of course, we have no native honey bees in the Americas, nor does Australia and NZ.
So, all you Monsanto haters, will you please start a different thread? This isn't about that. This is about how a new technique may help us to understand the connection between genes and behavior, if there is one. Yes, I assume there is, but which genes do what we don't know, and how much of behavior is caused by the regulatory systems that control gene expression we don't know.
By the way, the whol scientist vs beekeeper argument is really silly. There is no bar to entry in this conversation, nobody is checking your ID at the door. Anyone who has interesting observations should contribute them without fear of being ridiculed. I thought it might be worthwhile to talk about, I have a little free time, we can do it. I have watched other threads get hijacked by shouters, after a while you step aside and let them shout. Life is too short to worry about it.
Well, saying that RNAi has no long lasting effect, period, is not technically accurate, which is why I made the distinction. RNAi targeted against the right genes can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), and death is what I would consider a long lasting effect.
There are also more subtle manipulations you could use it for to influence, say, the epigenetic silencing of certain genes - and thus get long lasting (and even genetically stable) outcomes, though I don't offhand know of anybody who has attempted to do this.
Last edited by peterloringborst; 05-21-2014 at 06:26 AM.
There have been some crop varieties around for years which were found to have their desired characteristics due to RNAi effects after the fact.
Monsanto is even developing its own BioDirect RNAi platform.
As for 'piggyBac', CRISPR/Cas9 is the latest/greatest system for silencing/knockdown/replacement, etc. . No one wants to use a transposon anymore.
Peter just hasn't kept up to date with the latest developments.
He must be sleeping during the weekly lab meetings.
Gmo food is bad for people . Now why would we want to make our bees gmo bees? If they become gmo bees monsanto will patent them like they do the gmo corn and other crops.
Here is a decent overview of epigenetic heritability:
Of particular relevance in this case is what they present as "transgenerational memory, meiotically heritable changes in the gene expression and physiology of organisms in response to experiences in the previous generations"
There have been some popular science articles lately too about the intergenerational genetic effects of poverty - basically that those suffering from extreme poverty cause genetic changes in their children that last for at least several generations. The most recent I've seen suggest it has to do with constantly elevated levels of stress hormones, something which could certainly be influenced by RNAi.
Your overall point is still pretty much correct in that syrup laced with just RNAi would be unlikely to have any lingering effects, especially if that RNAi was one targeting the genome of another external organism. Also, from what little I've read about the delivery of RNAi to insects it is particularly easy as there is no need for a transfection agent to incorporate the RNAi, something which would make it a far easier therapeutic agent for bees than it is for humans (though without any easy means to sequester it to particular tissues).
Much attention has been given to the idea of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, but fundamental questions remain regarding how much takes place and the impact that this might have on organisms. We asked five leading researchers in this area for their views on these topics.
Ueli Grossniklaus: To give a short answer first: I do not think we know how widespread transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is in any organism. Given this uncertainty, it is surprising how much attention this question has attracted in recent years ... In summary, there are not yet any clear-cut studies that would unambiguously demonstrate the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of environmentally induced effects
NATURE REVIEWS | GENETICS VOLUME 14 | MARCH 2013 | 229
Did you actually read the article you asked me to find for you, or were you just waiting for your chance to speak again?
Congratulations on cherry-picking a quote which seems, on the surface, to be discrediting the whole field - but if you carefully read even the viewpoint of this skeptic, his only problem is that he says it is yet to be determined HOW MANY traits are controlled by epigenetic inheritance. I don't really have time to get into this with somebody who's idea of counterpoint is screaming with earmuffs on, though.
The day monsanto acquired Beelogic we know this was coming.
If they continue we will lose our ferial survivors to bees that can't survive without chemical treatments produced by monsanto.
In any other industry if their product got out of their control and contaminate others property they would be held responsible.
Hopefully EU will band this.
And we can always hope it is a financial dead end for monsanto and abandon it.
Regarding the article, it is behind a $40 pay wall. But the intro says
This is not about changes to the genetic background but heritable changes in the expression of the genetic background. Now, granted, if the expression persisted long enough, those populations which had the modified gene expression could undergo natural selection, while the other less fit could decline. But this is an indirect effect and does not involve direct changes to the genome. So far as I know, changes in DNA methylation, etc. can be erased, possibly in order to prevent lasting impact.epigenetic mechanisms have an essential role in modulating these properties by regulating gene expression. During development, epigenetic mechanisms establish stable gene expression patterns to ensure proper differentiation. Such mechanisms also allow organisms to adapt to environmental changes and previous experiences can impact the future responsiveness of an organism to a stimulus over long timescales and even over generations.
Last edited by peterloringborst; 05-21-2014 at 12:31 PM. Reason: typo