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Genetically Engineered Mad-Cow Resistance

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posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 01:00 PM
Protein engineering is not really a new field, nor does any of this support the notion that industrial practices are releasing new strains of prions all the time.

I've assumed you're aware of the following, but I'm starting to wonder: Prions are misfolded proteins, but not all misfolded proteins are prions.

NASA Scientists Create Amino Acids in Deep-Space-Like Environment

A team of scientists at the NASA Astrochemistry Laboratory today announced that they had created amino acids in conditions mimicking deep space. Amino acids are the basic components of proteins, from which all life is made. According to researcher Max Bernstein, "We found that amino acids can be made in the dense interstellar clouds where planetary systems and stars are made. Our experiments suggest that amino acids should be everywhere, wherever there are stars and planets."

The three amino acids produced in the Astrochemistry Lab are similar to those found previously in certain meteorites. Meteorites are pieces of asteroids or comets. The chemical similarities may indicate that amino acids were made in deep space, before the solar system formed, then eventually fell to Earth in meteorites. "This finding suggests that Earth may have been seeded with amino acids from space in its earliest days," said team member Jason Dworkin, adding, "[T]his increases the odds that life also evolved in places other than Earth."

In their deep-space simulator, the Astrochemistry Lab team has previously produced cell-membrane-like structures and other organic compounds basic to life. Next, they plan to investigate why left- and right-handed amino acids exist in space, but only the left-handed forms are used by life on Earth. Other scientists on the team include Lou Allamandola, George Cooper and Scott Sandford.

Amino acids aren't polypeptides. There is nothing suggesting that free amino acids generated via natural processes outside of cells, can come together into anything resembling a biologically produced protein. Please keep in mind my earlier post, mentioning no evidence for nature producing anything >20mers, and the evidence for this is dubious at best.

Chemical synthesis of proteins

Chemical synthesis is the most powerful approach for constructing proteins of novel design and structure, allowing for variation of covalent structure without limitations. Here we describe the various chemical methods that are currently used for creating proteins of unique architecture and function.

Well... at least this ref. appears to be a little more up to date than the other one you posted re: chemical synthesis of polypeptides. In any case, as I mentioned I am quite aware of the existence of industrial, abiotic polypeptide synthesis, it just does nothing to support your hypothesis that 'standard industrial practices create new prions all the time.'

All the rest of the links in this External section appear to be equally irrelevant, so I won't address them on an individual basis.

You acknowledge that there are numerous prion strains, and recommend a one-off approach to attack each one, individually and separately.

I recommend nothing of the sort. I've merely pointed out that this is one of the ways scientists are using to combat the prion-problem. Nowhere in my posts did I say GMO's are the panacea that will eliminate TSE's, nor did I say the only way to solve to problem is via GenEng.

Indeed, I think the problem needs to be approached at all levels... the most important of which is modifying the deplorable modern industrial agriculture practices. But at the same time I can recognize other methods that can make valuable contributions.

posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 01:17 PM

So you ARE saying that humans can create proteins without DNA, and change DNA-coded proteins, but nature (or God) cannot.

FYI - the current "attack" paradigm does NOT work. It only creates new incurable, untreatable diseases.

Time to change the paradigm. Obviously.

Bye now.

posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 01:26 PM

I say the attack approach is doomed to failure - not least because each 'attack' will result in new strains being created.

Well... I can't say I agree that each attack will result in a new strain being created. Please explain to me how removal - not change, but flat out removal of a protein that causes BSE or nvCJD will result in a creation of a new prion strain. But I can agree that the attack approach by itself won't eliminate prions or prion diseases. As I mentioned previously... the problem requires a multi-pronged approach, of which GMO's have the potential to make a valuable contribution.

You ask what I think should be done instead.

I say:

Change the paradigm.

Start looking at proteins as biological systems that are part of larger biological systems, which in turn are intrinsic components of an even larger biosphere.

Well... believe it or not, I couldn't agree more with this. Indeed modern agricultural practices are a large part of the reason I originally became and are part of the reason I have been a vegetarian for like 17 years.

Is such a paradigm shift even possible though? I mean I'm all for it. When my wife does buy meat (she's not veg), we generally buy the grass-fed beef farmed on the other side of the mountains from us. Three Sex-linked Red Hens keep us in about 18 eggs a week, and a good sized vegetable garden keeps us in fresh/canned veggies all year. Hell, I've even got an organic herb (legal herbs) garden growing under lights in my basement... fresh organic basil, thyme, oregano, and others all year long. I've even been known to do tomatoes down there, but they fruits aren't so hot... not enough light I believe.

But in any case... I wonder... given the prevelance of fast, convenience food is even possible. Most people aren't willing to pay 50-60% more for their meat and veggies to buy organic.

Given that the US slaughters something like 10 billion land animals alone every single year... is there realistically anyway to induce such a paradigm shift without interrupting the comfort and convenience of people who, more-or-less appear to not want their comfort and convenience interrupted?

FYI - I think you are coming from a very angry place, and unwilling to update your personal database. It's difficult to get through - so I may not post here again.

Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, but it's distinctly not the case. I'm certainly never going to get angry about something posted on an anonymous internet discussion site, and quite frankly, don't understand how someone could.

My 'personal database' is actually on continuous update, but it also has a relatively sophisticated BS meter that doesn't just let any old idea get past without a fair degree of scrutiny.

By "difficult to get through" do you mean that I don't just readily cave to your postings loaded with unsubstantiated claims about the motives of scientists and indeed science in general, and that I feel many of the refs. you've posted not only don't prove your point but in fact are somewhat irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Is that what you mean? Because that's the way it seems. I looked back through the thread... and I've not offered any personal insults, any overly rude statements, just an occasional
, or
, which is of course nothing you've not offered yourself.

FYI, I feel like your "you seem like an close-minded, angry sort, and I may not post here again" statement is your reaction to having your bluff called. I could be wrong, but I get the impression that you're not used to dissenting opinions, and that when you do come across a dissenting opinion, you can usually easily crush it with long posts, heavy on the references, that may or may not be entirely relevant. I think most people you discuss stuff on here with are likely to see all of your 'refs.' and be intimidated by them... ultimately backing down or capitulating.

I could be wrong though.

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