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Dick Levins misunderstood me:
>
>Why don't we just stipulate that Robert Mann disapproves of Castro, 
>Chavez, Evo, Correa, Lugo, Dilma, Mujica and others and join in in 
>combating the dangers of the biotech industry?
>
	My meaning was merely that far too many posts on this list 
are purely  political, with no science content. I was not implying 
that Dick mentions Castro too often.
	 I have never heard of most of that list which Dick assembles 
for me, so I certainly don't disapprove of them.

RM


>  >>> Robert Mann <[log in to unmask]> 7/13/2011 4:09 PM >>>
>
>Dick Levins wrote (pleasingly not mentioning Castro, Chavez, or other poli):
>
>>Put not your trust in miracle genomes.  The potato (in hundreds of 
>>local varieties) has survived partly because of its heterogeneity. 
>>Phytophthora is even now licking its chops waiting for new miracle 
>>genomes to be released.  Nor will conventional PR suffice to get 
>>them adopted.  Specific genes can be helpful, but we will still 
>>need to manage the potato community of beneficial and harmful 
>>species.
>
>	And how!
>	UC Davis plant gene-jockey Patrick Brown wrote a very good 
>brief critique of the "technology" a decade ago, early in the 
>'modern' period: http://www.psrast.org/promplantbiot.htm .  Prof 
>Brown makes an excellent point, widely ignored:
>		Many plant species have the capacity to produce toxic 
>compounds which under natural conditions serve to protect against 
>animal and insect predation as well as contributing to disease 
>resistance mechanisms.  In certain species, such as those in the 
>Solanum family, there are many well characterized and highly 
>unpalatable or toxic compounds.  It is very likely that the majority 
>of the genes involved in the formation of these toxic and 
>unpalatable compounds are still present (though not expressed) in 
>modern tomato and potato.  Given the random nature of rDNA gene 
>insertion, and the use of a promiscuous viral promoter sequence, the 
>potential clearly exists that tomato could be induced to produce a 
>toxin as a result of a rDNA gene transfer.
>
>RM
>
>>
>>
>>=========================
>>Richard Levins
>>
>>>>>  Robert Mann <[log in to unmask]> 7/12/2011 11:23 PM >>>
>>
>>http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110710/full/news.2011.407.html?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20110712
>>
>>Published online 10 July 2011 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2011.407
>>News
>>		All eyes on the potato genome
>>Cracking of tricky genetic code may offer clues to fighting blight.
>>
>>Chloe McIvor