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Coyotes-Wolves-Cougars.blogspot.com

Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The human animal seems not to be able to resist the temptations of tampering with nature........In addition to genetically altering and introducing into agriculture and our woodlands, Genetically Modified plants and trees, there are scientists hellbent on creating Genetically Modified insects that supposedly would be used by farmers and foresters to kill or supplant native and non-native insects that our society deems harmful to some aspect of our lives............Thankfully U. of Minn. Researchers are experimenting with Protocols that would identify harmful ecological consequences of such releases into nature...............I am so concerned that no matter how stringent the protocols might be, we are on the verge of forever altering our planet in a way that will create potential "Frankenstein" nightmares that will bring dire consequences for all natural living creatures, including ourselves

New approach to identify possible ecological effects of releasing genetically engineered insects

New Approach to Identify Possible Ecological Effects of Releasing Genetically Engineered Insects

sciencedaily.comUniversity of Minnesota researchers have developed a new approach for identifying potential environmental effects of deliberate releases of genetically engineered (GE) insects.

The researchers outline their approach in a paper in the journal Ecology and Evolution. The authors include professor of entomology David Andow and Aaron David, Joe Kaser, Amy Morey and Alex Roth -- four graduate students who received NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeships (IGERT) -- the National Science Foundation's flagship interdisciplinary training program educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers.



GE insects hold great promise for significantly changing pest management and fighting insect borne human diseases throughout the world. Before releasing GE insects, scientists, governments and industry must examine the possible ecological effects GE insects could have by doing ecological risk assessments (ERA). University researchers' new approach provides improved guidance for such assessments.
"When new technology is developed, you want to make sure it's safe," says Morey, who is a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology. "You want to know what could happen when you release these novel organisms into the environment."
Because GE insects are such a new technology, there really isn't a standard way of evaluating that yet, she says.
"Our project is trying to get it a little bit further into a standardization -- a framework for how do you go about systematically evaluating a new technology so you're looking at all the sorts of different interactions that could possibly happen," Morey says.
In the paper, the researchers focus on all potential ecological effects whether an effect is adverse or beneficial, says Kaser, who is a doctoral student in the Department of Entomology. They apply their own approach to the Anopheles gambiae mosquito -- a malaria vector being engineered to suppress the wild mosquito population, says David, who is a doctoral student in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. They explore possible ecological effects during the transitory phase in the short term and steady state phases of the GE mosquito in the long term, David says.
"The population isn't the same the whole time. You do have these transitory phases where the potential effects could be quite different than the effects during the steady state phase," Kaser says.


Many risk assessments only look at the end result. "Our framework really tries to evaluate the entire range of potential effects," he says.
That more comprehensive look is what sets their approach apart from others.
"We think this is a novel and important contribution because many past risk assessments that were just looking at the final population state were missing a lot of really important effects," says Roth, a doctoral student in the Department of Forest Resources. "And that's where we think our framework can really add to identifying effects that could be important throughout this whole process."
As they worked, the researchers not only developed an approach for identifying potential ecological effects of GE insects, and they also found significant knowledge gaps in mosquito ecology.
"While there's an amazing and impressive amount of research that's been done on mosquitoes, there wasn't a whole lot of information about how they might be important ecologically," Kaser says.
In the paper, they had to broaden their scope of ecological research to infer what could happen.
"The idea is that there isn't much info on what happens when you release a GE organism so we drew upon other literature to get at the answer of what happens when you peturb populations," David says.
As GE insects become more common, the researchers say they hope their framework provides guidance that will improve future risk assessments and ensure the safety of these technologies
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2 comments:

Jenny Oak said...

Genetically engineered insects promise better future prospects in significantly altering pest management as well as fighting insect-borne human diseases globally. It is important for governments, scientists and industry to examine the possible ecological effects GE insects could have once released and performing ecological risk assessments (ERA).

Rick Meril said...

Jenny.............I just wonder about the frankenstein life forms that we are releasing...........once you go down this road,more and more and more will be the charge,,,,,,,,without any containment protocols in place to protect life as was put here at the dawn of time