It's obvious isn't it?
"Emphasis should be placed on infrastructure requirements and design, as well as equipment needed for the growth, processing, purification and validation of products ..."
They need to consult with some weed farmers...
Crazed US military boffins, their plans for the eradication of humanity in a machine-rebellion bloodbath at a stand, have adopted an alternative strategy. They plan now to develop a "plant-based production system", ostensibly for the harvest of valuable products beneficial to humanity - but which seems certain to unleash a …
Chairman: So now we have triffids, and man eating robots, and spiders the size of football stadiums. What else can we use to destroy the world?
Member1: Tesla's Earth Shattering Deathray?
Member2: Mutant Cyborg Ninja Army?
Member3: Sharks with frikkin' lasers!
Everyone: We already have that...
Member3: Ok ... ehm ... Zombie Pirate Space Monkey?
Everyone: Yes, that's it!
Chairman: Ok, it's decided. Next project: Zombie Pirate Space Monkey! [cue lightning and thunder] [cue: evil laughter] Whoehahahaha
It makes you wonder, do the people at DARPA have a huge pipe organ in their meeting room? I think they should.
So, the actual underlying point of the article is that DARPA is working on a way to synthesize vaccines for influenza using a plant based cultivator, rather than using the millions of chicken eggs that are currently used to make the vaccine. The possible advantage would be the ability to rapidly synthesize large quantities of vaccine, and keep up with viral mutations.
e.g. - A possible way to save millions of people from pandemic influenza.
For this, you pillory them with bad science fiction analogies? Please put your journalism degree back into the Cracker Jack © box where you found it...
Unfortunately, eco-hippie organic-food nuts have been using this against genetically engineered foods. Their fears have not and never will occur. Crops that have some subset of: grow in poor soil or harsher climates; require less water, fertilizer, or pesticide; are disease-resistant; and/or have a higher yield can be a huge benefit for developing countries.
I must point out that science fiction has given us lasers, satellite communication, and space elevators, among other things, none of which have spectacularly backfired yet. Admittedly, a falling space elevator would be a catastrophic failure, but that hasn't happened so far.
This news is actually kind of scary and not in a funny way. I have no problem with them re-engineering plants to make them manufacturer useful compounds etc.. but I have very big problems with them ever allowing them outside of an airtight rooms.
Unfortunately allowing them outside of an airtight rooms is exactly what so called Pharmaceuticals aims to do and has done in the past so any news of massive growth of larger scale vaccine manufacturing capabilities, in this exploitation of plants is getting very scary. We are seriously messing with the balance of nature to let these things outside to intermix with other lifeforms and not in a funny sci-fi way. The (literally) growing amount of toxic mess they are creating is seriously scary and getting progressively worse.
(Creatures feeding on the plants will be affected by Pharmaceuticals, which disrupts food chains, causing illness and death in food chains, adding serious pressure of risking even extinction of some species. Then we also have the very serious issue of cross pollinating, which has already been proven to occur, even when separated over large distances. That spreads the new genes far and wide and they keep growing. (Thereby also bypassing termination genes that also don't always work as advertised). If all that isn't bad enough, worst still is how microorganisms are affected. The new compounds change the evolutionary pressures on microorganisms plus we have the additional problem of microorganisms adapting by randomly incorporating these Farmaceutical genes. This in turn also affects food chains.
The health implications for animals (including humans) caught up in this growing and spreading toxic waste is very serious and unlike a chemical spill, biomass literally grows and spreads. Plus after these plants have been grown in an area then normal crops cannot be grown (safely) in that same ground and even new Pharmaceuticals grown in the same ground risk mixing in with the waste from previous crops.
I have no problem with airtight rooms being used, but they are not using airtight rooms of cost reasons. It would need huge airtight rooms. So without airtight rooms its cheap to grow just like any crop. This whole area of Pharmaceuticals is a nightmare in the making, ignorantly allowing new combinations of genes no one can comprehend all possibilities, hence it really is ignorance no matter how much they think they know, no one can know every combination created by allowing these inherently toxic crops to be freely grown and allowing it to spread in open air.
But then big corporations like Monsanto's shareholders wouldn't like increases costs from airtight rooms.
(Pirate Icon used in this case, as its near enough to toxic icon).
"It makes you wonder, do the people at DARPA have a huge pipe organ in their meeting room? I think they should." .... By /dev/me Posted Sunday 12th July 2009 11:49 GMT
Seconded, /dev/me, and one expects that they have and are mighty proud of IT. The Peace Pipe Organ is AIMighty Tool in Meeting Rooms for those Servering XXXXTra Curricular Terrestrial Space Duties aka ESPecial Missions.
* The Removal of Sin from Vice for the Gift of Pure XSSXXXX and ITs Live Love Train Rides and InterNetional Journeys. .... and a Labour of Lust in Love when a Private Zombie Pirate Space Monkey Production.
Not much is known about Blighty Boffin ReSearch other than it is consistently denied a Public Existence, which has Served it Well. It is remarkable what Swift Progress can be made, whenever there are no Obstacles Available, to Put in ITs Way.
"Their fears have not and never will occur. Crops that have some subset of: grow in poor soil or harsher climates; require less water, fertilizer, or pesticide; are disease-resistant; and/or have a higher yield can be a huge benefit for developing countries."
Would you like some more Kool Aid? It's lovely isn't it.
Don't forget to renew your seed licence this year, doesn't matter if the the GM pollen flew over from the farm next door, you're paying the licence fee now and that's the end of it.
"I seem to recall that the triffids appeared after a meteor shower?"
Sorry to be pedantic, but no! In the book (and the film, TV series), the triffids were being farmed before the meteor shower (from memory for bio oil). The meterors caused all of those people that saw it to go blind - never quite found that believable.
I was also a bit sceptical of walking plants until I encountered a Russian Vine - bloody thing grew up the wall and in through the bathroom window in about 3 days.
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