2010-02-28

genetic engineering done right, wrong, and ugly

2.20: web.health/gmo/seeds of deception:

. a local radio station just interviewed the author of
[seeds of deception].book;
he recommended a site responsibletechnology.org .

. googling for more info, I found a video of the author
detailing how his book needed to be written
because (at least at the time)
random genetic insertions were being carelessly used;
ie, done without being tested by anyone with
the consumer's interest genuinely in mind .

. the video champions The Campaign To Label Genetically Engineered Foods,
but,
"(the principal organizer passed away July 3, 2009
after a long bout against cancer .
. The fight for a sane genetically engineered foods policy
continues at such excellent organizations as the
Institute for Responsible Technology.)
. the youtube entry has this intro:
This lecture was created by combining the 6 pieces
posted on YouTube by The Kick Them All Out Project.
This project shows you how we can take back control of Congress
from the special interests that control it now
and put an end to things like GMO foods.
This lecture by Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception,
summarizes the contents of his book .

. according to that video,
the reason of being cautious about gmo's
is that gov't is assuming gmo's are safe until proven guilty;
but, the nature of gmo`tech had been
(if it isn't still currently the case)
involving unpredictable changes in a plant's biochemistry
that warrant treating it like a complete alien
in need of quaranteen until multi-generational studies have been done .

. gmo's and biotech do offer the world a lot of potential
(like engineering high-intelligence organisms
that won't poison the planet with over-population);
but, we need labeling that assures testing:
(eg, what strains a food is coming from,
and links to proof of 3rd-party testing for that strain .)
--(. again, that's assuming genetic engineering is still done by
random gene insertions .)

. the problem with the monsanto method
of genetic modification
-- the method (at least at the time?)
that touches the majority of our foods
through the inclusion of the these crops:
soy, corn, sugar beets, and certain veg'oils (cottonseed, canola) --
is that it results in gene shifting,
which can potentially change the meaning or scheduling
of all the genes that got shifted by the insertion .
. it is this random widespread changing
that can result in creation or increased dosages of
allergens, anti-nutrients, carcinogens, and toxins .
. another side-affect of the commercial gmo process
is antibiotic resistant organisms;
because, the economical way to tell
when a gene insertion has taken place,
is to include with the insertion
an antibiotic resistance gene,
so then after applying the gene and then antibiotics,
only the gmo's are left .

fda knew genetic modified bacteria poisoned tryptophan:
. the most shocking assertion by the video
is that fda claimed the tryptophan poisoning
couldn't be due to gmo's
because the responsible manufacturer
was not using gmo's at that point,
but some leaked documents showed that
fda did have a receipt of legal documents
showing earlier use of gmo's by that manufacturer .
. the fda tried to blame it on
the manufacturer using cheaper toxin-catching filters;
but if the fda had admitted to
knowing about gmo's being in use,
the question they would have then been held to is
how are gmo's creating these toxins in need of filtering?
. see the video . see some brief text .

. while fda knew the gmo process had poisoned tryptophan,
they insisted it was due to "(health fraud schemes)
and relegated all tryptophan to prescription only .

. if the tryptophan poisoning hadn't created such bizarre symptoms,
they never would have been attributed to food,
and thereby fallen into the labeling wastebasket
of "(succumbing to the modern high-stress lifestyle) .
. between 1994 and 2001,
when many new gmo products were introduced,
the number of food-relatable illness doubled .

seedsofdeception @ amazon
. one critic of the book suggests a more "(even-handed) alt':
as it
"(deftly swats aside several of the well-known studies
that purport to show risks associated with genetically modified crops
(such as Dr. Pusztai's rat
and John Losey's Monarch butterfly studies)) .
. my response to his critics
is that the authors case is not based
primarily on Dr. Pusztai's rat study
but on simple facts about the effects of
random gene insertions causing unpredictable changes
by shifting nearby genes:
shifting a gene can change its function .
. none of his critics address that concern .

seedsofdeception.com
responsibletechnology.org @ facebook

Center-for-Food-Safety
cfs @ facebook
cfs @ twitter
. signed up for newsletters from Center for Food Safety
Cool Foods
NanoAction
Together we will make our voices heard and stand up for True Food!

first gm crop europe liked: Calgene Flavr Savr tomato
United States, Canada, and Argentina together grow 80 percent of all biotech crops

. why did tech nation radio (2010-02-02)
recently razz a solar energy advocate, Rifkin,
about the Flavr Savr tomato? minute 33:
. the context was that "vintage Rifkin" was known for dark predictions,
so it was curious that his newest book is The Empathic civilization .
. and it's not just a matter of empathy,
but the fear of economic failure moving toward green too fast .
. Rifkin said the problem is the older generation
keeping alive the classic American Dream of cowboys
not empathizing globally (eg, natives)
the European Dream envisioned by esp'ly some West Coast Americans
is biosphere conscious
rather, they resist investing in a move from oil to solar .
. she laughed that someone referred to Rifkin as
"(isn't he that guy with the gmo tomato?)
. he gives context to that:
he took on monsanto for using gmo's based on gene splicing
[@] recombinant DNA tech
-- at the time he thought a much better approach to gmo
was marker-assisted selection,
which is just now replacing gene splicing .
. it's not engineering across species lines,
but cross-breeding within a family
. that's a good example for what he's talking about
when cheering on solar over oil:
just because it's the first tech doesn't mean it's the best .

. then he started getting into something that seem confused:
. the 3rd industrial revolution has a good chance
but conservatives will say empathy is collectivism,
liberals will say, individualism is selfishness .
[
but wouldn't that be a confusion with definitions?
I think he's stretching to not frame it as
a conservative vs liberal thing,
but the "(individualism) that empathy requires
refers to breaking out of the
group identification that is typically fueling religious wars;
eg, when Americans can see their self as
an individual rather than a christian,
that's a prerequisite to seeing the {arab, semite}
as an individual rather than a {muslim, jew} .
. I'm quite sure that real liberals
are all for moving to the solar economy
because, even without global warming being a real danger,
pollution with coal and oil is selfishly living
high at the expense of future generations .
. furthermore, the sooner we invest in it,
the sooner it becomes self-generating:
by using some of today's solar energy
to convert ever more land to solar energy collection,
we can soon have the energy to completely
wipe out water shortages,
and cover the globe with free internet
that empowers the 3rd world countries to
rethink their population growth policies .
. upon the convergence of free energy and robust robotics,
the world will soon have worldwide free robotics
with robots producing robots with free solar energy
-- it's all free .
. but it all depends on free solar energy
-- energy controlled by every home owner,
not aloof oil cartels .

. on the other hand, if global warming is indeed a real threat,
not acting soon will make it more difficult
to use the globe for solar:
tornadoes and hurricanes will often blow away expensive equipment .

. the current green tech is based on cereals fertilized by oil;
whereas, the world would be much more health eating legumes,
and using legumes as fertilizer .
. with huge amounts of free energy to de-salt water,
and to properly cook legumes,
there will be good health, strong teeth, and free food .
. furthermore, cows fed all legumes are healthier source of meat
than those finished with grains .
. they would have less saturated fat
and more omega-3 oils, like fish .
. it's too expensive now only because
cooking beans for livestock
is too energy-intensive until energy is free .]

. he wrote a book condemning gmo's in 1999:
The Biotech Century by Jeremy Rifkin (Paperback - April 5, 1999)

. that book is related to that tomato by
Featured History of FOET Biotech Initiatives: Pure Food Campaign
In 1992, the Pure Food Campaign (PFC) was established,
a coalition of organic farmers and restaurateurs,
consumer and environmental groups, and animal welfare organizations
opposed to the use of genetic engineering in food.
The PFC organized protests and litigation under the banner of
“An International Boycott of Genetically Engineered Foods”,
opposing the use of an engineered form of a bovine growth hormone (rBST) in dairy cows,
and the market entry of the genetically engineered “Flavr-Savr” tomato.
As well, the group demanded mandatory labeling of all genetically modified food products.

types of genetic engineering
. a history of biotech .
http://www.gmo-safety.eu/en/gene_transfer

gmo's transferring genes to bacteria

2.8: news,web,co.health/gmo/transferring genes to bacteria:

from Health and Wellness Product Information Group
date Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM
I invite you to join our group: Contra Agro-Biotech.
Further reading and references:
http://www.thiele-und-thiele-consult.de/science-review-letters/science-review_us/309_us.html

my reply:
. a member of group "(Contra Agro-Biotech)
offered this link to read:
http://www.thiele-und-thiele-consult.de/science-review-letters/science-review_us/309_us.html
. after reading the link, and related,
http://www.thiele-und-thiele-consult.de/api-review-letters/351_us.html
I was alarmed to hear that
genes can transfer from rot
to the intestinal bacteria
on which our health so heavily depends .
. here are quotes I found from the given reference
and its reference .
"(
[pieces of] the gene inserted into GM soy
transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines
/and continues to function/. [*]
*: Netherwood et al,
“Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract,”
/Nature Biotechnology/ 22 (2004): 2.
) [@] www.botanischergarten.ch/Food/Netherwood-Assessing-Human-2004.pdf
"(
. there was no indication that the complete transgene
had been transferred to the prokaryones
... nevertheless,
the observed survival of transgenic DNA
from a GM plant during passage through the small intestine
should be considered in future safety assessments
of GM foods .
) .

wma conversion for voice recorder

2.3: proj.addn/wma conversion for voice recorder:

. on the mac I have vista running in a vmware;
I don't like to give it much access,
so there's a single folder esp'ly for vista jobs .
. I'm noticing I have wma's waiting for conversion;
these are [win'media audio].files from the voice recorder .
. there's also a converter program
but I'm assuming that's the one that turned out to be nagware;
I need to find some openware;
and the first thing I find is the WMA-Into-MP3 page:
"(
You can convert WMA files (at least, those without DRM protection)
into the more universally-portable MP3 format using the free,
open-source MPlayer and lame packages.
These are available for many platforms,
particularly the "big 3": Windows, Mac OS/X, and GNU/Linux.

1. http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/news.html
Install the above-mentioned software onto your computer,
using either the source or precompiled binaries for your platform.
2
Convert the WMA files into an intermediate format,
the space-wasting but lossless WAV (wave) standard:
mplayer -vo null -vc dummy -af resample=44100 -ao pcm "Song 1.wma"
3
Now convert the result of the previous command
(stored as audiodump.wav by default) into MP3:
lame audiodump.wav "Song 1.mp3"
4
That's it! Continue the process for each file you wish to convert.
See Tips for some ways to streamline and/or improve this method.
5
When complete, each directory you visited
will have the last file converted still stored as audiodump.wav.
You will probably want to delete these obsolete files
to conserve space using the rm (Unix) or del (Windows) command.
6
You may also want to delete the original wma files,
after verifying that the quality of the resulting mp3 songs is acceptable.
edit Tips
You can write a script to enable searching your entire hard drive for wma files
and converting them automatically.
See the source article for examples.
This one was written (on Windows/Cygwin) for the best space savings,
using the lowest possible quality setting for the MP3 output:

#!/bin/bash
for file in "$@"; do mplayer \
-vo null \
-vc dummy \
-af resample=44100 \
-ao pcm:file="${file%%.[Ww][Mm][Aa]}.wav" \
"$file"
lame -V9 "${file%%.[Ww][Mm][Aa]}.wav" "${file%%.[Ww][Mm][Aa]}.mp3"
rm -f "${file%%.[Ww][Mm][Aa]}.wav"
done
)
. I was concerned that the mplayer doc's
didn't seem to agree with wikihow's suggested param's:
"( -vo null -vc dummy -af resample=44100 -ao pcm ) .

. the mac download has the player wrapped in a gui
and not only doesn't the gui map to every function,
but the location of the program is not obvious .
. it has this advice:
"(
Using the command line MPlayer
. to use the command line version of mplayer
without any hussle,
we suggest you create a link to the binary file
contained in the MPlayer OSX.app bundle.
. just type the following into your terminal:
ln -s /Applications/MPlayer OSX.app/Contents/Resources/External_Binaries/mplayer.app/Contents/MacOS/mplayer
/usr/local/bin/mplayer
This will create a symlink to the mplayer command line binary,
and place it into /usr/local/bin.
)
. however this didn't seem to work;
-- at least it's open
http://mplayerosx.sttz.ch/
To get a copy, issue following command in the terminal:
svn co svn://mplayerosx.sttz.ch/mplayerosx/trunk/ mplayerosx

. so then I'm looking for more openware:

Dave's Answer:
http://www.askdavetaylor.com/convert_mac_wma_audio_files_to_mp3.html
"( under Mac OS X, there is Music Man and Sound Grinder,
but my favorite tool is the Australian-produced Switch,
http://www.nch.com.au/switch/
which also has a Windows version available.)
. I tried that (wma to ogg(qual'level=1) )
and it quit unexpectedly .

. finally, I double-checked the converter I had waiting for vista:
and found it's not that old nagware
but the openware" winFF:
http://code.google.com/p/winff/

. this is doing well on vista:
letting you graphically select batches
and then converting them to mp3 or ogg .
. its prefered output.folder is vista`user`doc's
rather than source folder .

. I'm going back to the wikihow.com page,
and update it with my better solution .
[@] co.net/wikihow.com/Convert-Unprotected-WMA-Files-Into-MP3-Files

. help is in the [forums] and a pdf .
http://www.biggmatt.com/forums/

. booking for how to halve size of output:
http://ffmpeg.org/ffmpeg-doc.html#SEC11

# To have a constant quality (but a variable bitrate),
use the option '-qscale n'
when 'n' is between 1 (excellent quality) and 31 (worst quality)
-qscale 16

no I need to
lower 160 kb/s, or 44,100 hz
mp3 does work
try audio bitrate 64

todo:
. something about -qscale 16 didn't change anything .
I started trying the next param but had to quit .

dead earbud was just oil-clogged

2.27: proj.gear/ear bud/left side is dead:
. the left side is dead ?
no, you can barely hear it though;
so, check inside the sound canal:
it's packed with foam that had gotten
totally saturated with oil
(the anti-bacterial ointment oil)
-- I thought that stuff was just drying up!
. the foam tips I got have a screen that will not keep oil out,
but that screen will hold in a piece of foam;
and, the more of that there is
the safer things are from oil penetration .

computerized with sticky brakes

2.26: sci.gear/cars/computerized with sticky brakes:
. crosstalk sept 2009 quoting pc today 2005
predicted that accidents like brake malfunctions
could be caused by net-based malware
through rfid - programmable embedded computers in cars .

Does the New Generation of Computerized Cars Pose a Security Threat?
PC Today 10. Oct. 2005
"([Some] automotive communication networks have access to
crucial components of the vehicle, like brakes, ... ) .

overhead book holder for recliner

proj.gear/overhead book holder for recliner:
2.25:
. hey! just what I was looking for,
just hanging around:
. an acrylic sheet sized to shelve an open book
so I could lay down with a hanging laptop
typing in notes and ideas from book .
. I'd been using the sheet as a roof finish for the sanctum
it was also heavy and would weigh down curtain rods
-- phone books will do that now .
. after cleaning it's still a bit fogged from scratches,
I think I found it in the yard, has some cracks too .
. the rest is easy:
having grilled shelves for an earthquake sanctum
is making it easy to position rope
for hanging gear around me as I lay in my cot
with the keyboard warm inside my sleepingbag .
2.26:
try shifting it closer to laptop screen,
rearrange it to minimize in-view scratches,

security door

2.18: tech.gear/security door:
. when a door opens toward an attacker,
one method of attack is to crowbar near the hinge .
. have the door built thick,
and then over lapping on the hinge side
so then can't have hinges popped by crow bar .

tree.saw repair

proj.gear/tree.saw/repair:
2.14:
. see if saw fits bolts,
saw does fit new nadle,
bolt will fit saw but not handle it came with .
2.15: breaks again:
. the inside of the handle has a plastic support
that fits a slot in the blades meant for that handle,
and it does seem to be supporting the new tree.saw blade
... but later I would find that the support would break off .
2.15: reinforced:
. what the tree.saw was designed to have for stability
was a duel screw system rather than a tab&slot .
. so I drilled a hole in the adopted handle
and found a screw to fit from a bike light kit .

cusion for trice Q seat

proj.gear/trike`seat/foam:


2.5: trike`seat/pipe`foam idea:
. looking through the mesh you can see the frame;
mark the inner edges of frame on mesh with cheap thread,
and then hand sew foam scraps to seat mesh
starting from thread guides
outward for as long as it takes foam to
do a 180 around frame .

2.19: proj.gear/trike`seat/foam:
. modified the co.trice idea of foaming seat frame
by sewing the foam to the fabric
instead of taping the foam to the frame .
. got the foam from trimming what's being used on the cot:
a backpack roll for under sleeping bag,
it's open-cell with a wavy pattern on one side,
I used 2 pieces together, so the both sides of product are smooth .
added 4 sets of stitches on either side
with carpet thread .
mis:
. see picts for how foam mis.migrated;
need to compensate the location to avoid that .

2.26: gear/trike/seat`foam/sheathing system:
. sewing the foam in place must be done by hand
and it must be done repeatedly if the foam gets flat;
hence, the need for a sheathing system:
. the sheath can be machine sewed, is reusable,
and old foam is quickly replaced .
. the sewing will also reinforce the binding of the straps
to the existing fabric .

shopping for velo' security chains locks

gear/trike/security

2.23 ... 2.24:

genetically modified alfalfa looms over grassfed animal products

2.24: news.pol/gmo/USDA must not approve GE alfalfa:

from Center for Food Safety
date Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 11:05 AM
subject Tell Congress to Hold USDA Accountable!

Call your Senators and Representative today and say
USDA must not approve GE alfalfa!

Monsanto wants to sell its genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa
and wants the USDA to approve its permit application,
but consumers, farmers, dairies, and food companies
dont want GE alfalfa plants and seeds released into the environment.

USDA's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) admits
that if GE alfalfa is approved:
* GE Contamination of non-GE and organic alfalfa crops will occur
* GE contamination will economically impact small and family farmers
* Foreign export markets will be at risk due to rejection of GE contaminated products
* Farmers will be forced to use more toxic herbicides to remove old stands of alfalfa

Yet, unbelievably, USDA has decided that these impacts are insignificant!
And, USDA intends to approve Monsanto's Roundup Ready GE alfalfa anyway.

Call your Congressional Representatives today
and ask them to hold USDA accountable
by contacting Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack
and urging him to deny approval of Monsanto's GE alfalfa!

Tell them that you DO NOT support the deregulation of GE alfalfa,
for the following reasons:
* GE contamination of non-GE and organic crops would be inevitable
* You won't buy products that are GE-contaminated
* Alfalfa is a major food source for livestock
and GE alfalfa would destroy the integrity of organic dairy products
* You support the rights of farmers to grow the crops of their choice,
and GE contamination makes that impossible
* Ask your Representative and Senators to contact Secretary Vilsack
and urge him to deny USDA approval of Monsanto's GE alfalfa

Then email us at info@truefoodnow.org
and tell us who you called
and let us know what kind of response you got!

Background
In 2006, the Center for Food Safety (CFS)
sued the Department of Agriculture (USDA)
for its illegal approval of Monsanto's
genetically engineered (GE) Roundup Ready alfalfa.
USDA failed to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS)
before deregulating the crop, as required by law.
An EIS is a rigorous analysis of the potential significant
environmental, health, and economic impacts of a federal decision,
mandated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The federal courts sided with CFS
and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA fully analyzed
the impacts of the GE plant on the environment, farmers, and the public
in an EIS.

USDA released its draft EIS on December 14, 2009.
A 75-day comment period is now open until 3 March, 2010.
CFS has begun analyzing the EIS
and it is clear that the USDA,
in its recommendation to approve GE alfalfa,
has not taken into consideration the concerns of
non-GE alfalfa farmers, dairies, exporters, retailers or consumers ...
In fact, their [current] EIS states that consumers
don't care if their organic food is GE contaminated
and neither do organic farmers,
as long as farmers employ the organic practices required
under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA).
Obviously, this is not true
and we need to push our Congressional representatives
to call upon USDA to deny the approval of GE alfalfa.
. review the EIS and other documents .

USDA must not approve GE alfalfa Tell-a-friend!

2.24: web.health/alfalfa/toxins that could get worse under gmo?:
. one of the hazards when gmo's involve gene shifting
is that the toxins and allergens already in the plant
can become more potent or effectively administered .
. natural toxins from alfalfa include medicarpin and Canavanine .
. medicarpin is useful for reducing plant population densities;
it's found in soils of the mature plant .
. Canavanine, an arginine analog,
is practically found only in the seed currently .


2.25: pol/gmo/gm-alfalfa invading organics:
. instead of beating the dead horse of anti-gmo,
we should push organics toward adopting
greenhouse technology,
both as a way of controling insects physically,
and for protecting crop genetics by
filtering out pollen vectors .

2.26: co.pol/gmo/linkedin.com/gm-alfalfa invading organics:
"(
If you want to avoid GMO's in Canada and USA
you need to buy organic since we don't label them here.
There are lobby groups trying to get the government to
label food products as GMO
but the companies against it have stronger lobby boards
that argue it will cause unnecessary fear among citizens.
)
my reply:
. If you want to avoid GMO's you need to buy organic ?
that won't work in the usa soon:
they are now approving GE alfalfa
(see Center for Food Safety)
. this is sure [to] end organic meats
unless organic turns to air-filtered greenhousing
[2.28: or gmo can be considered organic].

2.28: pol/gmo/organic meat is not grassfed:
. organic meat is not worth fighting gmo's about
because really healthy meat should be
completely grass fed,
whereas organics can be grain-feed .
. grassfed will not be an economic reality until
the entire world downsizes population -- faght chance --
so, instead of worrying about gmo silage,
the health-conscious among us
should instead be resigned to a meatless future;
(see legumes offering complete protein
-- black beans and kidney beans);
however, as with solar energy,
the production of eggs is within the grasp of homeowners,
and we should structure locals law so as to
encourage the production of homegrown grassfed eggs .
. most homes are far away from the industrial farmers
where most of the gmo silage usage will be contracted,
therefore, they are the best place to raise healthy eggs .