Author Topic: Barley Genome  (Read 5245 times)


Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 08:01:12 PM »
NO Thanks!!!
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 08:31:11 PM »
I think this will become a sore spot will brewers within 5 years, genetically modified barley to grow good, this is what the big guys want, I think most brewers want clean barley grown locally and free of garbage and the genetically modified plant. Barley grows like grass ;) why mess with it?
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 05:20:44 AM »
I grew up on a farm so I have a some what pro-ag perspective on this.  Take it as you will.

The big (and small) producers are looking for improvements in their crops using genetics.  This has never changed since the days when monks were cross pollonating peas at the monestary.  The methods are different but the goals are the same.  Farmers want a plant that grows well in different conditions.  They also want to use fewer chemicals to control pests and would like higher yields.  Each of these goals also just happen to increase their odds of profitablility.

The most important goal, in my families opinion, is the reduction of chemicals that are applied to the fields.  My father and his brother were the only full time farmers in his group of 8 siblings.  They are also the only two (2) to have died with severe Parkinson's Desease.  I don't think it is a coincidence that two (2) generations of farmers are dying with or from degenerative brain disorders when no one in their families ever had conditions before.  I support plant genetic research if only to save my kids generation from what my parents, grand parents and likely me have/will die from.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, you should have seen the first version.  8^)
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 08:18:43 AM »
Slow,

I absolutely hear what you are saying about ag chem. however I don't agree that genetic modification, particularly clumsy, haphazard genetic manipulation like we are currently using on crops, is the only or even the best answer. It's true that a small scale family farmer cannot hope to compete with the big corporate ag groups but just as micro breweries can't hope to compete head to head with BMC but manage to do quite well, 'alternative' (I put that term in quotes because the methods used are far more traditional than 'conventional' ag) farmers can do the same using bio-dynamic and organic methods. so that's my pro-ag perspective.

I am sorry to hear that both your father and uncle. That's a hard way to go. and I hope you are wrong about yourself.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 08:44:24 AM »
Slowbrew is correct.  We have been genetically modifying plant life for hundreds of years.  Whether through selective breeding or genome manipulation.  It shouldn't (although it probably does) make a difference.  Manipulating life irresponsibly is an ethical issue, but we still do it.
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Offline hubie

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 09:09:37 AM »
but just as micro breweries can't hope to compete head to head with BMC but manage to do quite well, 'alternative' (I put that term in quotes because the methods used are far more traditional than 'conventional' ag) farmers can do the same using bio-dynamic and organic methods. so that's my pro-ag perspective.


For me, this is the most compelling argument in support of organic products.  There was much ballyhoo recently when a report came out that said that organic produce wasn't any healthier for you, but to me that was never the argument.  For me, at least, it is more about the process, less chemicals getting into the groundwater/rivers, spraying less pesticides, etc.

Online Kaiser

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 09:24:21 AM »
Gene manipulation of yeast has been researched but has not taken hold in brewing. Mostly b/c consumers don’t want it. The same thing may happen with GM barley.

I’m all for proper labeling. That goes for GM and pesticide/herbicide use. Let the consumer make the choice.

Personally I don’t think there is much wrong with GM. I support Slow’s argument that it may actually be better due to the reduced need for chemicals. And yes, we have been doing this for a long time. We just have much better means now.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 09:29:22 AM »
Slowbrew is correct.  We have been genetically modifying plant life for hundreds of years.  Whether through selective breeding or genome manipulation.  It shouldn't (although it probably does) make a difference.  Manipulating life irresponsibly is an ethical issue, but we still do it.

there is a fairly major difference between breeding two specimens of the same species and using a gold .22 caliber slug to shoot DNA from an entirely unrelated species, or even an entirely unrelated kingdom, into the genetic code of a plant.

Selective breeding is the slight manipulation of an existing mechanism that has been effectively safety tested for millions of years. Modern genetic manipulation is a whole new technology that has hardly been safety tested at all.

Already we have seen mass die offs of important pollinating species directly caused by genetically modified plants. The worst thing to come out of traditional genetic manipulation is the 'killer bee' which was a case of sheer stupidity.

The big advantage of modern genetic manipulation is that the results can be patented and there is some hope of actually prosecuting farmers that are illegaly (or, more commonly, unintentionally) using the patented genetic material. other than that, it's not cheaper, faster, or better than traditional breeding in terms of creating new and more useful varieties of plants and animals.

I guess the argument could be made that so called 'pharma' plants would probably not be practical with traditional methods but given that trans-genomic tendencies seem to jump between populations and even related species with much greater ease than non-trans tendencies the danger of ALL rice eventually being chock full of various pharmacological substances raises some major questions for me.

I am trying to keep this totally un-political. If the mods feed it is edgeing that way please do let me know!
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 09:56:23 AM »

Selective breeding is the slight manipulation of an existing mechanism that has been effectively safety tested for millions of years. Modern genetic manipulation is a whole new technology that has hardly been safety tested at all.


I agree, except for the millions of years part. ;)  Testing for safety would be the ethical and responsible thing to do.  Mules are bred from two different speicies, BTW.  Just sayin' ;)
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 10:22:46 AM »

Selective breeding is the slight manipulation of an existing mechanism that has been effectively safety tested for millions of years. Modern genetic manipulation is a whole new technology that has hardly been safety tested at all.


I agree, except for the millions of years part. ;)  Testing for safety would be the ethical and responsible thing to do.  Mules are bred from two different speicies, BTW.  Just sayin' ;)

What exception do you take with the millions of years part?

Mules: the exception that proves the rule? also two VERY CLOSELY RELATED species and it doesn't work very well (almost always sterile offspring).

I would also go so far as to say that testing for safety is the only RATIONAL thing to do. I don't think ethics come into it. If you found a pill on the ground would you just take it? I know some folks would but it is still not a rational thing to do.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2012, 12:46:02 AM »
I hate to break it to you, but "species" is a poorly defined word and is not really a useful description.  Google "species problem".  Species designations are somewhat arbitrary.

I have no problems with GMO foods depending on how it is modified.  I am not at all a fan of genetically engineered pesticides in plants.  I don't want them on my foods, let alone in my foods where I can't wash them off.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2012, 04:39:57 AM »
Sorry guys, I didn't mean to start batlle on this.

What it comes down to is we cannot continue to feed the current population, much less the future population, using organic farming techniques. 

I thinks Mort has some very good points and would love to be able to support everyone without all the strange science stuff but that will only be sustainable with a much smaller world population.

For now, my jury is still out.  I guess we'll see where it all goes.

More importantly, we are having a late Oktoberfest party tonight.  Have a great weekend!!!

Paul
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 06:15:23 AM »
Mort,  my take on selective breeding is that an outsider is manipulating the gene.  Natural selection (that has been going on as long as there has been life on this planet) is not what I define as selective breeding.  Tomato, tomato! ;)
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Barley Genome
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 07:43:15 AM »
Mort,  my take on selective breeding is that an outsider is manipulating the gene.  Natural selection (that has been going on as long as there has been life on this planet) is not what I define as selective breeding.  Tomato, tomato! ;)

gotcha. I'll give you that. selective breeding has only been going on with humans for a couple hundred thousand years. But in a very real way all evolution is selective breeding. Either selection by the females for attractivness or fitness, selection by predator for speed or allusiveness, selection by co-species for sugar production, color, aroma... Michael Pollen's book 'The Botony of Desire' goes into the idea of evolution as selective breeding in a really interesting way.

All that being said, and I don't think I touched on this in my original post in this thread, I don't have any particular problem with sequencing genomes. It can't hurt to have more knowledge about our important crops I just worry about what is done with that knowledge in partial ignorance of the system in which it exists.
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