Todos los estudiantes de Biotecnología Alimentaria han participado en crear esta actividad en la que también he participado y contribuido, esperamos que sirva para difundir conocimiento y reflexionar sobre lo que aporta la Ingeniería Genética a nuestra sociedad.
sonia ramos's insight:
Hoy os planteamos un reto, un juego. A través de unas imágenes podréis intentar adivinar si un producto ha sido modificado genéticamente o no, tras cada imagen obtendréis la respuesta.
GM crops have become a symbol: either you're for agribusiness or you're against science. But for all the heat, GM crops are something much simpler: one of many tools we need to explore to meet the farming challenges of tomorrow.
sonia ramos's insight:
Parece la historia interminable, sin embargo la revista Time se hace eco del especial publicado este mes de Mayo de 2013 en la revista Nature para plantear un cambio de perspectiva.
Take a swab of saliva from your mouth and within minutes your DNA could be ready for analysis and genome sequencing with the help of a new device.
University of Washington engineers and NanoFacture, a Bellevue, Wash., company, have created a device that can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods.
The device will give hospitals and research labs a much easier way to separate DNA from human fluid samples, which will help with genome sequencing, disease diagnosis and forensic investigations.
“It’s very complex to extract DNA,” said Jae-Hyun Chung, a UW associate professor of mechanical engineering who led the research. “When you think of the current procedure, the equivalent is like collecting human hairs using a construction crane.”
This technology aims to clear those hurdles. The small, box-shaped kit now is ready for manufacturing, then eventual distribution to hospitals and clinics. NanoFacture, a UW spinout company, signed a contract with Korean manufacturer KNR Systems last month at aceremony in Olympia, Wash.
The UW, led by Chung, spearheaded the research and invention of the technology, and still manages the intellectual property. Separating DNA from bodily fluids is a cumbersome process that’s become a bottleneck as scientists make advances in genome sequencing, particularly for disease prevention and treatment. The market for DNA preparation alone is about $3 billion each year.
Conventional methods use a centrifuge to spin and separate DNA molecules or strain them from a fluid sample with a micro-filter, but these processes take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and can require excessive toxic chemicals.
UW engineers designed microscopic probes that dip into a fluid sample – saliva, sputum or blood – and apply an electric field within the liquid. That draws particles to concentrate around the surface of the tiny probe. Larger particles hit the tip and swerve away, but DNA-sized molecules stick to the probe and are trapped on the surface. It takes two or three minutes to separate and purify DNA using this technology.
From deadly nightshade to eye surgery and truth drugs; from poison gas to pesticides and cancer therapy; from explosives to treatments for heart disease; from natural toxins to new starting points for drug discovery. The unexpected relationship between chemical weapons and medicines will be explored, interspersed with curious parallels drawn from the speaker's 20 years of being a chemist.
El profesor Dr. Robert Stockman, desde la Sociedad Científica de la Universidad de Oxford y, a través de su canal de youtube OU SciSoc (http://bit.ly/10laYAS) divulga la enorme potencialidad de la química para aplicarse en campos tan radicalmente distintos.
El esfuerzo por parte de científicos de todo el mundo y por Universidades y Centros de Investigación en hacer llegar la ciencia a todos, en divulgación y difusión es admirable y un ejemplo a seguir. En la actualidad quien no sabe es quien no quiere aprender...
Applying a maxim from computer science to biology raises the intriguing possibility that life existed before Earth did. An extrapolation of the genetic complexity of organisms to earlier times suggests that life began before the Earth was formed. Life may have started from systems with single heritable elements that are functionally equivalent to a nucleotide. The genetic complexity, roughly measured by the number of non-redundant functional nucleotides, is expected to have grown exponentially due to several positive feedback factors: gene cooperation, duplication of genes with their subsequent specialization, and emergence of novel functional niches associated with existing genes. Linear regression of genetic complexity on a log scale extrapolated back to just one base pair suggests the time of the origin of life 9.7 billion years ago. This cosmic time scale for the evolution of life has important consequences: (i) Life took ca. 5 billion years to reach the complexity of bacteria; (ii) the environments in which life originated and evolved to the prokaryote stage may have been quite different from those envisaged on Earth; (iii) there was no intelligent life in our universe prior to the origin of Earth, thus Earth could not have been deliberately seeded with life by intelligent aliens; (iv) Earth was seeded by panspermia; (v) experimental replication of the origin of life from scratch may have to emulate many cumulative rare events; and (vi) the Drake equation for guesstimating the number of civilizations in the universe is likely wrong, as intelligent life has just begun appearing in our universe.
Evolution of advanced organisms has accelerated via development of additional information-processing systems: epigenetic memory, primitive mind, multicellular brain, language, books, computers, and Internet. As a result the doubling time of complexity has reached ca. 20 years. Finally, the research team discusses the issue of the predicted technological singularity and give a biosemiotics perspective on the increase of complexity.
El Consejo de la Agenda Global sobre Tecnologías Emergentes del Foro Económico Mundial ha identificado las 10 tecnologías que, en 2013, prometen dar pasos decisivos para lograr avances inconcebibles hace apenas una década en campos como la medicina, la producción energética, la industria manufacturera, la seguridad vial, la lucha contra el cambio climático.... Por VICTOR BARREIRA
Descubierta la función biológica de las proteínas que causan el mal de las vacas locas. Un estudio muestra que tienen un papel en el mantenimiento de la mielina
Un trabajo que publicaJournal of Neuroscience, y que reseñaNature, explica al menos una de las funciones que desempeñan estas proteínas en nuestro sistema nervioso: son parte de la plasticidad del cerebro, en concreto, porque ayudan a mantener la mielina, una capa protectora de las neuronas.
Methodology designed to circumnavigate the classical Abbe diffraction barrier in optical microscopy is rapidly advancing using both ensemble and single-molecule techniques.
Over the past several decades, fluorescence microscopy has become an essential tool for examining a wide variety of biological molecules, pathways, and dynamics in living cells, tissues, and whole animals. In contrast to other techniques (such as electron microscopy), fluorescence imaging is compatible with cells that are being maintained in culture, which enables minimally invasive optical-based observation of events occurring on a large span of timescales. In terms of spatial resolution, several techniques including positron-emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and optical coherence tomography can generate images of animal and human subjects at resolutions between 10 centimeters and 10 micrometers, whereas electron microscopy and scanning probe techniques feature the highest spatial resolution, often approaching the molecular and atomic levels (see Figure ). Between these two extremes in resolving power lies optical microscopy. Aside from the benefits derived from being able to image living cells, the most significant drawback to all forms of fluorescence microscopy (including widefield, laser scanning, spinning disk, multiphoton, and total internal reflection) are the limits to spatial resolution that were first elucidated and described by Ernst Abbe in the late 1800s.
The Abbe diffraction limit (or at least the recognition of this limit) stood for almost a century before inventive microscopists began to examine how their instruments could be improved to circumvent the physical barriers in order to achieve higher resolution. Due to the fact that axial resolution is far lower than lateral resolution (by at least a factor of two), much of the work conducted in the latter part of the twentieth century addressed improvements to performance in the axial dimension. Researchers discovered that laser scanning confocal instruments produced very modest increases in resolution at the cost of signal-to-noise, and that other associated technologies (including multiphoton, structured illumination, and spinning disk) could be used for optical sectioning, but without significant improvement in axial resolution. An important concept to note, and one of the most underappreciated facts associated with optical imaging in biology, is that the achieved microscope resolution often does not reach the physical limit imposed by diffraction. This is due to the fact that optical inhomogeneities in the specimen can distort the phase of the excitation beam, leading to a focal volume that is significantly larger than the diffraction-limited ideal. Furthermore, resolution can also be compromised by improper alignment of the microscope, the use of incompatible immersion oil, coverslips having a thickness outside the optimum range, and improperly adjusted correction collars.
The most significant advances in superresolution imaging have been achieved in what is termed far-field microscopy and involve either spatially or temporally modulating the transition between two molecular states of a fluorophore (such as switching between a dark and bright state) or by physically reducing the size of the point-spread function used in the excitation illumination. Among the methods that improve resolution by PSF modification, the most important techniques are referred to by the acronyms STED (stimulated emission depletion; from the Stefan Hell laboratory) and SSIM (saturated structured illumination microscopy; pioneered by Mats Gustafsson). Techniques that rely on the detection and precise localization of single molecules include PALM (photoactivated localization microscopy; introduced by Eric Betzig and Harald Hess) and STORM (stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy; first reported by Xiaowei Zhang). As will be discussed, there are many variations on these techniques, as well as advanced methods that can combine or even improve the performance of existing imaging schemes. Even more importantly, new superresolution techniques are being introduced with almost breathtaking speed (relative to traditional advances in microscopy) and it is not unreasonable to suggest that at some point in the near future, resolution of a single nanometer may well be attainable in commercial instruments.
The introduction of the first transgenic plant 30 years ago heralded the start of a second green revolution, providing food to the starving, profits to farmers and environmental benefits to boot. Many GM crops fulfilled the promise. But their success has been mired in controversy with many questioning their safety, their profitability and their green credentials. A polarized debate has left little room for consensus. In this special issue, Nature explores the hopes, the fears, the reality and the future.
Image credit: Kelly Krause/Nature (photo: Nagy-Bagoly Arpad/Shutterstock)
EDITORIALFields of gold
Research on transgenic crops must be done outside industry if it is to fulfil its early promise.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
NEWSTransgenic salmon nears approval
Slow US regulatory process highlights hurdles of getting engineered food animals to dinner tables.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
NEWS FEATURESGM crops: A story in numbers
Genetically modified crops have gained ground on their conventional counterparts, but the vast majority are grown in five countries, featuring four crops and two principal traits.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
Case studies: A hard look at GM crops
Superweeds? Suicides? Stealthy genes? The true, the false and the still unknown about transgenic crops.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
Transgenic crops: A new breed
The next wave of genetically modified crops is making its way to market — and might just ease concerns over 'Frankenfoods'.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
COMMENTARIESAfrica and Asia need a rational debate on GM crops
Policy-makers in developing countries should not be swayed by the politicized arguments dominant in Europe, say Christopher J.M. Whitty and colleagues.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
An experiment for the world
China’s scientists are using a variety of approaches to boost crop yields and limit environmental damage, say Fusuo Zhang, Xinping Chen and Peter Vitousek.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
CORRESPONDENCEBiotechnology: Thirty years of transgenic plants
To overcome today’s huge agricultural hurdles we should move to a model that combines the best features of transgenic technology with those of organic and conventional farming.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
PERSPECTIVEUsing membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production
This Perspective discusses the emerging advances in plant membrane transporters, which can be used to improve crop yields, nutritional value, and environmental stress resistance.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
NATURE PODCASTNature Podcast: GM crops
Case studies reveal if genes really escape from the fields where GM crops are grown, and if their use really leads to a drop in pesticide use.
Nature ( 02 May 2013 )
ARCHIVESeed-patent case in Supreme Court
Loss of patent control could rekindle ‘terminator’ technology.
Nature ( 19 February 2013 )
Food: Inside the hothouses of industry
Feeding the world is going to require the scientific and financial muscle of agricultural biotechnology companies. Natasha Gilbert asks whether they're up to the task.
Nature ( 28 July 2010 )
A new dawn for transgenic crops in Europe?
Approval of the Amflora potato could signal a fresh approach to genetically modified organisms.
Nature ( 09 March 2010 )
GM crops: Battlefield
Papers suggesting that biotech crops might harm the environment attract a hail of abuse from other scientists. Emily Waltz asks if the critics fight fair.
Nature ( 02 September 2009 )
sonia ramos's insight:
La revista Nature dedica un especial a los cultivos modificados genéticamente, digno de leer!
Innovative educational service website designed to recreate the live learning experience on the web.
AP: Advanced Placement Biology with: Dr. Carleen Eaton
Dr. Carleen Eaton utilizes her M.D. from the UCLA School of Medicine to bring in real world applications and examples for her AP Biology class. Carleen covers all the AP tested topics from cell structure to evolution to the laboratory review. Dr. Eaton has been teaching math and science for over 10 years and has won numerous "Teacher of the Year" awards and is consistently ranked as one of the top instructors in California. This course is indispensable for the student looking to ace the AP Biology test as Carleen covers the important concepts with fully illustrated diagrams before going in-depth into problems encountered in the multiple choice and free response sections. Topics also include Cell Structure, Genetics, Plants, Physiology, Behavior, and Ecology.
Esta profesora de la UCLA es un ejemplo a seguir, muestra en Open Access un curso sobre Biología muy completo en temario, NO ESCRITO sino con sus explicaciones y apoyándose en figuras e incluso incluye prácticas de laboratorio.
Impresionante este trabajo de la Dra Carleen Eaton.
Científicos del organismo solicitan permiso para cultivar un trigo transgénico apto para celíacos en una parcela de Córdoba. La cosecha, media tonelada de grano, servirá para elaborar galletas y llevar a cabo un ensayo clínico con pacientes. Los investigadores creen que el cereal podría llegar al mercado en cinco años.
Scientists of the agency are seeking permission to cultivate a GM wheat suitable for coeliacs on a plot of Córdoba. The harvest, half a ton of grain serve to develop and carry out a clinical trial with patients. Researchers believe that the cereal could reach the market within five years...
CSIC scientists have requested permission to plant there, on a plot of 1,000 square meters, wheat whose genes have been modified so that it can be consumed by people with celiac disease, a currently incurable disease of unknown origin that affects about 1% of the world population.
When people with celiac disease consume gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley and rye - their body's defenses react and damage the intestine. As a result, there are diarrhea, vomiting and unexplained weight loss until it is given to the cause. Their only option now is to eat gluten-free foods that are more expensive. Celiacs spent each year 1,600 euros more on food than the other people. In the U.S. alone, the market for gluten-free foods moved 4,200 billion in 2012.
To remedy this, a team from the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture Cordoba, led by biologist Francisco Barro, has since 2004 investigating transgenic wheat varieties without gluten. In 2011, researchers announced that they had obtained varieties capable of producing in celiacs "a reaction up to 95% less toxic than natural wheat", according to laboratory results.
Now, Barro has asked the National Biosafety Commission for a permit to grow wheat for the first time outdoors. His goal is to harvest half a ton of grain to make crackers that will be used to conduct a clinical trial with celiacs. The test, if all goes as planned, will be held for three months with between 30 and 60 patients, who will be able to taste wheat again, until now forbidden to them, in a trial coordinated by medical Queen Sofía Hospital. The biologist believes his cereal could reach the market within five years.
Barro is aware that its GM wheat "has no chance in Europe", the continent most reluctant to genetically modified organisms. Five countries - USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and India - grabbing global GM production, with 152 million hectares.
Europe only allows the cultivation of two GM crops: modified corn by the U.S. company Monsanto to be resistant to insect infestation and a starch potato from German chemicals company BASF for paper and textile industries. However, following a hypocritical policy, Brussels does support importing about 40 GM products from other countries.
The CSIC has sold the license to exploit the patent for its GM wheat, to a British company, Plant Bioscience Limited, based in Norwich. "Possibly, their strategy will be to cultivate our wheat in the U.S., Argentina and China, and they will sell the flour to Spain for the price of gold", speculates Barro.
According to preliminary studies, "in the worst case, a celiac can [at least] eat every day three slices of bread made from the modified wheat". Barro team has organized a blind tasting with 11 tasters, who were unable to distinguish the normal wheat bread from the one baked with transgenic cereals.
To prevent the escape of genetically modified wheat from the plot... CSIC scientists impose a safety distance of 200 meters to any other plot with cereal. Barro considered very unlikely that there is a leak, because "wheat pollen is heavy" and cannot travel long distances on the wind.
Wheat suitable for coeliacs has its genes modified to suppress the proteins responsible for the allergic response of celiacs, gliadins. "It would be surprising that this feature gave the GM wheat a competitive advantage over the normal wheat [if it escapes]," says Barro... "There are anti-GMO environmentalists, who are celiacs, who called me to try our wheat," says Barro...
Hay mucho trabajo que hacer sobre los trangénicos, unos debemos acercarlos más a la población explicando los controles y la legislación, las pruebas y el tiempo de experimientación sobre su efectos y, otros, abriendo perspectivas e informándose.
Este tema lleva mucha desinformación detrás y se están perdidendo oportunidades de mejora de calidad de vida y salud en el mundo por quedarse sólo en la superficie de este campo de investigación.
Science remains institutionally sexist. Despite some progress, women scientists are still paid less, promoted less, win fewer grants and are more likely to leave research than similarly qualified men. In this special issue, Nature takes a hard look at this gender gap and at what is being done to close it. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Maxine Clarke. In the 28 years Maxine spent championing the highest scientific standards as an editor at Nature, she was all too often the only one to ask, "Where are the women?" Cover: Viktor Koen
sonia ramos's insight:
La portada de la revista Nature dedicada a las mujeres científicas, aunque remarca que la ciencia parece seguir siendo "institucionalmente" sexista.
Scientists say amending an EU directive on GMOs could help stimulate innovation in making cheaper vaccines, pharmaceuticals and organic plastics using plants. In a paper to be published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, six scientists from the US and Europe, including Dr Penny Sparrow from the John Innes Centre, compare risk assessment and regulation between the two continents...
In the EU, plant-made pharmaceuticals have to be authorised in the same way as GM agricultural crops. In theory, agricultural crops can be grown by any farmer in the EU once approved. But for crops producing pharmaceuticals this would never actually happen. Drug companies would likely license farmers to grow these crops under controlled, defined and confined conditions...
"Plant-made pharmaceuticals challenge two sets of existing EU regulations and to make progress in this area we need to make sure they are applied sensibly to allow pharmaceuticals to be produced in plants." Advantages of using plants to produce therapeutic proteins include the ability to produce large quantities quickly and cheaply, the absence of human pathogens, the stability of the proteins and the ease with which raw material can be stored as seed. This could be of huge benefit in developing countries where problems with storage can render vaccines useless...
Just one farm growing 16,000 acres of safflower could meet the world's total demand for insulin. But potential cost savings are eliminated under current regulations, set up for GM agricultural crops not pharmaceuticals. The average cost for having GMOs approved in Europe is estimated at €7-10 million per event, compared to $1-2 million in the US. This helps keep Europe behind in exploiting the potential of these technologies...
Publicado por Alfredo L. Zamora en Destacado, Noticias el 20 Feb, 2013
Cuando se cumplen 17 años desde que se empezaran a sembrar semillas biotecnológicas en el mundo, estos cultivos han vuelto a registrar en 2012 un nuevo récord de adopción mundial.
Según se desprende del ‘Informe Anual sobre la situación mundial de la comercialización de cultivos modificados genéticamente en 2012’ elaborado por el International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech (ISAAA), la superficie mundial de cultivos modificados genéticamente (MG) alcanzó las 170,3 millones de hectáreas en 2012, lo que supone un incremento del 6% respecto al año anterior con 10,3 millones de hectáreas más sembradas.
OMGs EN LA UNIÓN EUROPEA
La Unión Europea (UE), pese a continuar en el vagón de cola, ha vuelto a registrar récord de siembra un año más con 129.071 hectáreas sembradas con semillas MG en 2012, 14.464 hectáreas más que en 2011 (España, Portugal, República Checa, Eslovaquia y Rumanía).
Alemania y Suecia dejaron de cultivar en 2012 la patata modificada genéticamente Amflora tras su salida del mercado europeo. Por su parte, Polonia dejó de cultivar maíz Bt movida por decisiones políticas sin base científica.
Los políticos europeos se enfrentan al reto de garantizar que los productores europeos no dependan de la importación de productos biotecnológicos y puedan apostar por ellos libremente y competir en igualdad. A día de hoy la Unión Europea acumula retrasos de hasta 44 años en aprobación de cultivos transgénicos. Todos ellos han sido declarados seguros por los órganos científicos competentes .
OMGs EN ESPAÑA
Según los datos del Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente, España sigue estando un año más como la vanguardia europea con 116.306 hectáreas de cultivo de maíz modificado genéticamente, el 30% del total sembrado en el país. Estos datos suponen un incremento de casi el 20% respecto a 2011.
Richard J. Roberts (Derby, Reino Unido, 1943) es un químico británico que actualmente reside en Estados Unidos, donde es director de investigación de New England Biolabs (Beverly, Massachusets). En 1993 Roberts fue galardonado, junto aPhillip Sharp, con el Premio Nobel de Fisiología o Medicina por sus descubrimientos sobre la estructura de los genes en 1977.
Estamos fallando en la educación de nuestros jóvenes y dejamos que nuestros políticos se comporten como si la ciencia no existiera.
También hay una fuerte tendencia por parte de los gobiernos a menospreciar el valor de la ciencia básica, que es de donde provienen los principales avances futuros y,cuando optan por invertir lo hacen centrándose en el potencial a corto plazo o en investigación muy aplicada a un fin específico.
Siempre les digo a los jóvenes que su misión consiste en rebelarse contra los dogmas y las viejas ideas y darse cuenta de que es posible que ellos mismos tengan las mejores ideas para el futuro. Después de todo, el mundo que están construyendo será su mundo.
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