Using RNA interference, scientists and biotechnology companies are "developing what could become the next powerful weapon in the war on pests," an RNA interference system that would kill insects by disabling their genes. It sounds like this should be filed under "probably not a good idea":
If you use a neuro-poison, it kills everything, said Subba Reddy Palli, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky who is researching the technology, which is called RNA interference. But this one is very target-specific.
But some specialists fear that releasing gene-silencing agents into fields could harm beneficial insects, especially among organisms that have a common genetic makeup, and possibly even human health. The controversy echoes the larger debate over genetic modification of crops that has been raging for years. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates pesticides, will hold a meeting of scientific advisers on Tuesday to discuss the potential risks of RNA interference.
To attempt to use this technology at this current stage of understanding would be more na?ve than our use of DDT in the 1950s, the National Honey Bee Advisory Board said in comments submitted to the E.P.A. before the meeting, at the agencys conference center in Arlington, Va.
RNA interference is of interest to beekeepers because one possible use, under development by Monsanto, is to kill a mite that is believed to be at least partly responsible for the mass die-offs of honeybees in recent years.
|Robots Are Guarding U.S. Nuclear Stockpiles|
|What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption|
|In the future, most people will live in a total surveillance state and some of us might even like it.|
|"The company that controls messaging will control the future of the way we interact with people."|
|Addicted Products: 'Internet of Things' Toaster That Gets Upset if Not Used Enough|
|WannaCry is Childsplay Compared to This|
|Schools Monitoring Students' Social Media Feeds|
|“We have to forget steel as a core employer.”|
|“It’s not something you would expect to see there and not something we’ve seen there before.”|
|"Is meant to produce more energy than it consumes."|
|"The first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply."|
|“Drone carrying defibrillators could begin operating in Sweden.”|
|“Making paper out of stone.”|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|"Its tilted axis makes orbit, showing the position of the sun and the time."|
|It's a Commercial About a Sweater|
|A Simple Task for CRISPR|