SIS scientific publication November 2013 The New Genetics and Natural versus Artificial Genetic Modification

SIS scientific publication November 2013 The New Genetics and Naturalversus Artificial Genetic Modification###################################################################Mae-Wan Ho, Entropy 2013, 15, 4748-81.Abstract: The original rationale and impetus for artificial geneticmodification was the “central dogma” of molecular biology that assumed DNAcarries all the instructions for making an organism, which are transmittedvia rna to protein to biological function in linear causal chains. This iscontrary to the reality of the “fluid genome” that has emerged since themid-1970s. In order to survive, the organism needs to engage in naturalgenetic modification in real time, an exquisitely precise molecular dance oflife with rna and dna responding to and participating in “downstream”biological functions. Artificial genetic modification, in contrast, iscrude, imprecise, and interferes with the natural process. It drives naturalsystems towards maximum biosemiotic entropy as the perturbations arepropagated and amplified through the complex cascades of interactionsbetween subsystems that are essential for health and longevity.1. IntroductionIt has been almost 20 years since the first genetically modified organism(GMO) entered the market [1]. A GMO is simply any organism (plant, animalfungi, bacteria or virus-not strictly an organism) ¬†with synthetic geneticmaterial inserted into its genome (“genome” in this context includesextrachromosomal plasmids and mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA); it is madein the laboratory with sterile techniques, which also means without the needfor sexual reproduction between donor and recipient species of the geneticmaterial. The basis for such genetic manipulation was the “central dogma” ofmolecular biology due to Francis Crick [2,3], who shared the Nobel Prizewith James Watson for the dna double helix structure [4]. As Oller stated atthe beginning of this special issue [5], Crick’s oversimplified dogmaproposed that biologically meaningful information could only flow from DNAthrough RNA to proteins, and so forth to cells, organs, organisms andspecies; and nothing could be added to the DNA program from the outside byany means. Gryder et al [6] in this series have developed their argumentabout cancers on the same doctrine, although both Oller [5] and Gryder et al[6] acknowledge that the central dogma is an oversimplification. Yet, thatdogma remains the basis for genetic engineering.It is supposed that individual “genetic messages” in DNA are faithfullycopied or transcribed into RNA, which are then translated into proteins viaa genetic code; each protein supposedly determining a particular trait, suchas herbicide tolerance, or insect resistance; one-gene-one-character. Henceinserting a new genetic message into an organism will give it the desiredcharacter to serve our every need. If it were really as simple as that,genetic modification would work perfectly every time. Unfortunately thingsare vastly more complicated.Samsel and Seneff have exposed the-one-gene-one-character fallacy bydocumenting the wide-spread impact of the herbicide-tolerant trait in GMcrops on the health of crops, animals and consumers [7]. In this article, Ireview further empirical evidence on how artificial genetic modificationdisrupts the natural process, ultimately resulting in the maximization ofbiosemiotic entropy [5].This important article is freely available for download herehttp://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/11/4748If you find this report useful, please support ISIS by subscribing to ourmagazine Science in Society, and encourage your friends to do so.http://www.i-sis.org.uk/subscribeOr have a look at the ISIS bookstore for other publicationshttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/onlinestore/books.php========================================================These articles can be found on the I-SIS website athttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/Scientists_Declare_No_Consensus_on_GMO_Safety.phphttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/November_2013_new_publications.phpAll new articles are also announced on our RSS feedhttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/feed.xmlISIS website is now archived by the British Library as part of UK nationaldocumentary heritageIf you like this original article from the Institute of Science in Society,and would like to continue receiving articles of this calibre, pleaseconsider making a donation or purchase on our websitehttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/ISISappeal.phpISIS is an independent, not-for-profitorganisation dedicated to providing critical public information on cuttingedge science, and to promoting social accountability and ecologicalsustainability in science.