Navigation Links
RNA-interference pesticides will need special safety testing
Date:7/15/2013

Standard toxicity testing is inadequate to assess the safety of a new technology with potential for creating pesticides and genetically modifying crops, according to a Forum article published in the August issue of BioScience. The authors of the article, Jonathan G. Lundgren and Jian J. Duan of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, argue that pesticides and insect-resistant crops based on RNA interference, now in exploratory development, may have to be tested under elaborate procedures that assess effects on animals' whole life cycles, rather than by methods that look for short-term toxicity.

RNA interference is a natural process that affects the level of activity of genes in animals and plants. Agricultural scientists have, however, successfully devised artificial "interfering RNAs" that target genes in insect pests, slowing their growth or killing them. The hope is that interfering RNAs might be applied to crops, or that crops might be genetically engineered to make interfering RNAs harmful to their pests, thus increasing crop yields.

The safety concern, as with other types of genetic modification and with pesticides generally, is that the artificial interfering RNAs will also harm desirable insects or other animals. And the way interfering RNA works means that simply testing for lethality might not detect important damaging effects. For example, an interfering RNA might have the unintended effect of suppressing the action of a gene needed for reproduction in a beneficial species. Standard laboratory testing would detect no harm, but there could be ecological disruption in fields because of the effects on reproduction.

Lundgren and Duan suggest that researchers investigating the potential of interference RNA pesticides create types that are designed to be unlikely to affect non-target species. They also suggest a research program to evaluate how the chemicals move in real-life situations. If such steps are taken, Lundgren and Duan are optimistic that the "flexibility, adaptability, and demonstrated effectiveness" of RNA interference technology mean it will have "an important place in the future of pest management."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Beardsley
tbeardsley@aibs.org
703-674-2500 x326
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Agencies should use common approach to evaluate risks pesticides pose to endangered species
2. Scientists take objective look at terms least toxic pesticides applied as last resort
3. Air in expectant moms homes contains pesticides, border study finds
4. Effect of chronic exposure to chemicals used as weapons, pesticides under study
5. CARE Pharmacies Joins National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) as a Founding Corporate Member
6. AegisCare Offers Specialized Home Health Care for Dementia and Alzheimers Patients
7. NASP and ASCP Discuss Future of Specialty Pharmacy in Aging Market at Upcoming ASCP Conference
8. More food and greener farming with specialised transporters for plants
9. Geosphere adds 2 new special issue themes
10. Beckers Spine Review Releases List of 50 Spine Surgeons & Specialists Researching Biologics for Spine Treatments
11. Biological wires carry electricity thanks to special amino acids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in ... on medical screening and diagnostic applications, such ... devices that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring ... are being bolstered through new opportunities offered ... acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and low ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016   Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced ... Research Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics ... the company,s Snapshot Kinship Inference software ... generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although Snapshot is best ... and ancestry from DNA evidence), it also has ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces the ... Joey Fatone . Las Vegas , where ... --> Las Vegas , where Joey appeared at ... The new video ad was filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) ... Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... 2016 NX Prenatal Inc., a US ... technology for early warning of adverse pregnancy outcomes, ... study by Dr. Thomas McElrath of ... Fetal Medicine,s (SMFM) annual meeting held in ... 2016.  The presentation reported initial positive top-line results ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Wash., Feb. 10, 2016  IsoRay, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications for the treatment of ... today announced its financial results for the second quarter ... 31, 2015. --> ... quarter of fiscal 2016, which ended December 31, 2015, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, ... the promotion of two long-standing principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief ... and Development. , Dr. Laurence Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalinkā„¢ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch ... performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: