Reposted from GENEWATCH March 29, 2013″ “Agriculture as we know it needs to disappear. …We can design better and healthier proteins than we get from nature.” – J. Craig Venter1 A (very) short history of agriculture For ten thousand years humans have been manipulating plants for food production. This began at a very basic level, saving slips or seeds from the fastest growing, highest yielding, best tasting and most nutritious plants for the following season. [More]
Watch an archived broadcast of East Bay Conversations: When Green Tech Isn’t Clean Tech (3/21/2013) Synthetic biology includes creating novel life forms using DNA not found in nature, promising “green” fuel, cosmetics, cures, and more. Geoengineering promises techno fixes for climate change, including limiting sunlight and removing CO2 from the air. ETC Group’s technology watchdog Jim Thomas and Fibershed Founder Rebecca Burgess tell us what we’re not hearing from promoters about these “false solutions” — their land grabs, environmental and safety risks, and threats to “real green” technology solutions.
by Jeff Conant, for synbiowatch Last week, the Supreme Court heard testimonies in the Bowman vs. Monsanto case, wherein the agribusiness giant is fighting an appeal by farmer Vernon Bowman, who the company claims infringed its patent rights by replanting seeds he purchased beyond the bounds of the company’s licensing agreement. The farmer’s claim is that seeds are seeds, designed by nature to reproduce, and that therefore farmers have the right to plant them as [More]
A Risky Development: The University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and the US Department of Energy have unveiled plans to build a high profile biotech laboratory in the East Bay. The lab and associated commercial activity will focus on developing biofuels and other products using synthetic biology: an extreme form of genetic engineering that creates artificial life. Ground Zero for Syn Bio: Already a multi-billion dollar field, synthetic biology is fast becoming the next [More]