Thursday, September 22, 2005
The First GMO Perennial Approved is...
a Round-Up Ready© variety. Big surprise. More info here
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Latest in Cloning...
A couple of recent articles discuss the likelihood of cloning processes. First Human “Clones” Created Without Use of Sperm Genetic modification given the green light
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Some recent studies in Canada
point to a possibility that exposure to chemical compounds known as phthalates is causing more girls to be born that boys near a plant in Ontario.
What's In A "Y"?
Apparently, there is some contention about whether or not the "Y" chromosome (the one that is found to determine sex in humans - its presence is supposed to indicate a "male" genome) will survive our evolutionary process. The article
quotes a geneticist in Australia : "The Y chromosome has already disappeared in some other animals and "there's no reason to expect it can't happen to humans," she said. If it happened in people, some other chromosome would probably take over the sex-determining role of the Y, she said." It's entirely wishful thinking (and determinist to boot), but let's hope that if it does disappear, some of the, um, less productive traits associated with masculinity go with it.
Breast Cancer and Genetic Screening
A couple of recent articles in the press have discussed the use of genetic screening (looking for mutations in the so-called BRCA 1 and 2 genes) for women to determine the risk of breast cancer, as a US task force has recommended only testing those with a noted family history of cancer. In USA Today
and the Globe & Mail
New Report on the seed industry from the ETC Group
According to the ETC Group, "the top 10 multinational seed firms control half of the world's commercial seed sales. With a total worldwide market of approximately US$21,000 million per annum, the commercial seed industry is relatively small compared to the global pesticide market ($35,400 million), and it's puny compared to pharmaceutical sales ($466,000 million). But corporate control and ownership of seeds - the first link in the food chain - has far-reaching implications for global food security. A single firm, Monsanto, now controls 41% of the global market share in commercial maize seed, and one-fourth of the world market in soybean seeds. The same company's seeds and biotech traits accounted for 88% of the total area planted in genetically modified seeds worldwide in 2004." Get the full report here
No surprise here, but the big 3 companies are Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta. And Monsanto and Dupot are also big players in the global pesticide market
Monday, September 05, 2005
subRosa and the social implications of virtual aesthetics
In "Considerations of the Corporeal
," Juliet Davis (Intellegent Agent, vol 5, no 1) discusses the work of subRosa and the tensions between an aesthetics based on a phenomonological orientation and one based on a social conception of the body. Careful not to separate bodily knowledge from the social realm, Davis looks at artists' works that reveal the limitation of the senses in VR realms, as well as the problematics of an aesthetics based on deception. She makes explicit reference to subRosa's U-Gen-A-Chix performance that was part of YOUgenics2.0 at SW Missouri State University.