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Foreshadowing an organic end to a green revolution?
May 5, 2010 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Genetically engineered crops lead to genetically adapted weeds.

An estimated ten percent of American GMO cropland is infested with new round-up resistant weeds. For comparison, 87% of soybean fields in the US contain GMO soy. According to Monsanto, such weeds can be controlled by hand-weeding them, but then, one might wonder, what is the point of having genetically engineered round-up resistant crops if the round up doesn't actually kill weeds and the genetic engineering reduces crop yields?
posted by kaibutsu (73 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Raise your hand if you know anything about natural selection and saw this coming.
posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on May 5, 2010 [82 favorites]


In other science news, hand washing leads to resistant germs.
posted by acro at 7:48 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hadn't thought about this wrt to agriculture, but probably mostly because I'm not a farmer...

I have thought about it with the antiseptic handgel used for instant handwashing that 'kills 99% of germs.' I always see that and think, 'Ah, so by using this I am directly encouraging supergerms. Great.'
posted by kaibutsu at 7:49 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

Like a roomba for weeds. Call it a weemba.
posted by delmoi at 7:49 AM on May 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


What if a Monsanto competitor -- I'm hoping for a bald guy in a Nehru jacket stroking a white fluffy cat -- is genetically engineering Roundup-resistant weeds?
posted by pracowity at 7:50 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


In other science news, hand washing leads to resistant germs.

I have thought about it with the antiseptic handgel used for instant handwashing that 'kills 99% of germs.'
It would only cause problems if you rubbed on every surface on earth. Bacteria live in more places then your hand.
posted by delmoi at 7:51 AM on May 5, 2010


What if a Monsanto competitor -- I'm hoping for a bald guy in a Nehru jacket stroking a white fluffy cat -- is genetically engineering Roundup-resistant weeds?

I think the patent on roundup has expired.
posted by delmoi at 7:51 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


That weemba is not a bad idea at all.
posted by molecicco at 7:52 AM on May 5, 2010


"Monsanto and other agricultural biotech companies are also developing genetically engineered crops resistant to other herbicides."

The genius knows no bounds.
posted by rusty at 7:53 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


And Dow Chemical is developing corn and soybeans resistant to 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange, the defoliant used in the Vietnam War.
I don't see how this could possibly go wrong.
posted by delmoi at 7:56 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


It would only cause problems if you rubbed on every surface on earth.

I'm trying man, I'm trying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:56 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I, for one, welcome our new weed overlords.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 7:58 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm trying man, I'm trying.

I think I'll go wash my hands with Agent Orange.
posted by pracowity at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2010


such weeds can be controlled by hand-weeding them,

"Monsanto - leading the way in job creation!"
posted by yeloson at 7:59 AM on May 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I always see that and think, 'Ah, so by using this I am directly encouraging supergerms.

I had hardly ever used antibacterial gel before my kids were born. Pretty much only if I was visiting someone who was immunocompromised, or in the hospital. But my wife and I had to use it constantly after my kids were born, because we were concerned about their fragile preemie immune systems. We did that until they were about 7 months old.

I hated the stuff. For one thing, it dried out my skin terribly. But also, ironically, they give you a false sense of security. They gels are more convenient than washing one's hands with plain soap, but no more effective. And some studies have suggested that they might even increase the number of bacteria present on your hands because they remove the protective layer of sebum, opening the surface of your skin to more potential contaminants.
posted by zarq at 8:00 AM on May 5, 2010


Take THAT you creationist numbskulls! Evolution wins again!

Oh...
posted by briank at 8:02 AM on May 5, 2010


And Dow Chemical is developing corn and soybeans resistant to 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange, the defoliant used in the Vietnam War.

Water was also a component of Agent Orange, 2,4-D is the world's second or first most commonly used pesticide.
posted by atrazine at 8:03 AM on May 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


*raises hand*
posted by sciurus at 8:03 AM on May 5, 2010


"Monsanto and other agricultural biotech companies are also developing genetically engineered crops resistant to other herbicides."

The genius knows no bounds.


One could imagine a kind of 'herbicide resistance crop rotation.' If you changed the kind of resistant crop planted (and thus the herbicide used) every few years, maybe no one strain of weeds resistant to all of the herbicides could emerge.
posted by jedicus at 8:04 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


As usual, this is my shocked face: :-|
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:04 AM on May 5, 2010


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

Not just weeding, but also planting and harvesting. And some kind of pest monitoring.

Think about it. What's the biggest reason you can't just quit work? You gotta eat and to eat you gotta have money because the guy that grows the food has gotta have money (for things besides eating). But if that guy is a ROBOT, then food is free1 and blammo, paradise.

1And by "free" I mean "cheaper, but not free, because robots gotta have maintenance costs".
posted by DU at 8:05 AM on May 5, 2010


In other science news, hand washing leads to resistant germs.

I have thought about it with the antiseptic handgel used for instant handwashing that 'kills 99% of germs.'

It would only cause problems if you rubbed on every surface on earth. Bacteria live in more places then your hand.


What? You don't have to kill nearly every bacteria on earth to create resistant strains. You only have to kill the non-resistant bacteria in a population to let the resistant ones remain to reproduce.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:05 AM on May 5, 2010


No problem in Kansas I'm sure, where there is no such thing as evolution.
posted by Lost at 8:06 AM on May 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


jedicus: Maybe, assuming there's no such thing as multi-herbicide-resistant weeds...

And I think we can make a pretty good guess how safe that assumption would be.
posted by rusty at 8:08 AM on May 5, 2010


What? You don't have to kill nearly every bacteria on earth to create resistant strains. You only have to kill the non-resistant bacteria in a population to let the resistant ones remain to reproduce.

Well, there's a lot in between "ever surface on earth" and "your hands" I suppose if we used massive, massive amounts of that stuff it might lead to 'resistant' bacteria. But, just wiping your hands with alchohol is not going to lead to alchohol resistant strains. A few bacteria might survive, but your hands are going to end up with lots of other non-resistant bacteria pretty soon. And there will be plenty of opportunity for those particular bacteria to get wiped off.

Keep in mind that resistant bacteria are actually slightly less fit then non-resistant bacteria in absence of whatever kills them. Since the hand sanitizer resistant bacteria would only be a tiny % of all bacteria, and most bacteria would never come in contact with it, hand sanitizer resistant bacteria will never become all that common.

Also, washing your hands doesn't kill bacteria, it just removes it from your skin.
posted by delmoi at 8:17 AM on May 5, 2010


Life finds a way.
posted by spirit72 at 8:17 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Basically (I think) what has happened is the non-resistant weeds have been winnowed out and the already resistant mutant strains (that probably already existed but had to compete) are filling the space formerly occupied by the non-resistant strains. This is less evolution and more inevitable.... the plants didn't change in reaction, the plants that already existed that were resistant flourished.

Not that I'm arguing against natural evolution, not at all, but in this case Monsanto may have patented some seeds, but if they could come up with something, one must accept that it is possible that it already existed naturally. Like people who appear to be immune to HIV... it's not like their grandparents were exposed and then passed on an immunity or adaption, they are mutants. Right?

I'm not a biologist or even a scientist
posted by NiteMayr at 8:19 AM on May 5, 2010


One of David Brin's near-future books (most likely Earth,) mentions that Japanese fisheries once pointed bright lights into the oceans to attract fish by the thousands to their nets. This worked for a number of (fish) generations, until they had harvested most of the population of nearby fish who were instinctively attracted to light.

I always thought this was a nice pithy example of natural selection on a small scale. The light-attracted fish get captured and removed from the oceans until they become far less numerous. The others survive.

But I've never thought to look up whether or not Japanese fisheries actually attract fish with light. Turns out, they do (pdf -- Japanese/English), and according to the link, the Japanese use the technique more extensively than anyone else in the world.
posted by zarq at 8:20 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Water was also a component of Agent Orange

Have you seen how many people die because of water each year?!?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:25 AM on May 5, 2010


Maybe, assuming there's no such thing as multi-herbicide-resistant weeds...

Sure, if you spray the same weeds with a bunch of different herbicides then a multi-herbicide-resistant strain is likely to evolve, but the idea is to avoid ever exposing the same strain of weeds to all of the herbicides.

In the case of multi-drug resistant bacteria this is very difficult to achieve because the bacteria are spread in hospitals and different patients are given different antibiotics concurrently (that and patients demand--and doctors prescribe--too many unnecessary antibiotics). Thus, in a hospital the same strain of bacteria will get exposed to multiple antibiotics.

But in the relatively controlled environment of a farmer's field it should be possible to use an herbicide for a couple of years, then another, then another, then another. That coupled with regular crop rotation and even letting the fields lie fallow for a year somewhere in the rotation should make it very difficult for a single strain of weeds to survive through every herbicide application while still remaining competitive against other weeds and the rotated crops, especially if the herbicides have very different mechanisms of action.
posted by jedicus at 8:26 AM on May 5, 2010


One of David Brin's near-future books (most likely Earth,) mentions that Japanese fisheries once pointed bright lights into the oceans to attract fish by the thousands to their nets. This worked for a number of (fish) generations, until they had harvested most of the population of nearby fish who were instinctively attracted to light.

Interesting. The Thais seem to harvest endless squid in this way.

*prepares for super-evolved squid capable of thwarting humanity's trickster ways*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:30 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Interesting. The Thais seem to harvest endless squid in this way.

Interestingly enough, with regard to squid it seems that attraction to light is species dependent. (pdf)

*prepares for super-evolved squid capable of thwarting humanity's trickster ways*

The Beast Riseth Again
posted by zarq at 8:39 AM on May 5, 2010


And Dow Chemical is developing corn and soybeans resistant to 2,4-D, a component of Agent Orange, the defoliant used in the Vietnam War.

No, no thank you. No really. Please don't. Please? This is not a good idea. No, please don't do that.
posted by Malice at 8:41 AM on May 5, 2010


Monsanto has been conspiracy theory fodder for years, and not undeservingly. I heard a new story making the rounds that they've been anticipating this, and are prepping a successor to RoundUp (patented, of course) so they can sweep in and play the hero once more. The real point being that they can maintain their dominance in the market now that the original product is available in generic form. I don't put much stock in tin-foil tales but this one is interesting to think about regardless.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:43 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Look at the long game, here. The good news is that all this will eventually lead to a herbicide-resistant strain of Homo Sapiens.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:49 AM on May 5, 2010


Monsanto is also still suing farmers for patent infringement if they can find some of their GMO crops in the farmer's field without a receipt. And they're suing the people who run seed cleaning businesses because that business 'encourages patent infringement.'
posted by garlic at 8:52 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm betting that Monsanto's ultimate response to this will be (1) more genetic modification, and (2) more chemicals. In fact, I bet they have about 25 years worth of (1) more genetic modification, and (2) more chemicals in their secret books and in the process of being developed right now.

I think that super-weeds are part of Monsanto's business plan.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:04 AM on May 5, 2010


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

Like a roomba for weeds. Call it a weemba.


You really ought to think more carefully. The last thing we need 40 years from now are robot-fighting flora.
posted by Anything at 9:08 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

Oh, they have those. They're called children.

Not farmer-ist, I did it for years and I turned out fine. *twitch*
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:14 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


What if a Monsanto competitor -- I'm hoping for a bald guy in a Nehru jacket stroking a white fluffy cat -- is genetically engineering Roundup-resistant weeds?

This is where I suggest you read The Windup Girl, or at least try The Calorie Man (a free short story from the publisher - hat tip to penguinliz). No fluffy white cats, but there are cheshires, an escalating war between genetically modified plants and genetically modified pests, and plenty more.

But in the relatively controlled environment of a farmer's field ...

I know you said "relatively" controlled, but some farmers aren't so lucky when it comes to controlling what grows on their land. Maybe one farmer uses one weed-killer, while their neighbor is using another, resulting in cross-pollination of two strains of pesticide-resistant weeds.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


delmoi: "But, just wiping your hands with alchohol is not going to lead to alchohol resistant strains. A few bacteria might survive, but your hands are going to end up with lots of other non-resistant bacteria pretty soon."

Alcohol has a pretty extreme effect on living things. I have heard breeding alcohol resistant germs by washing regularly with alcohol compared to to breeding gun resistant humans by randomly shooting people.
posted by idiopath at 9:18 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


NiteMayr: Basically (I think) what has happened is the non-resistant weeds have been winnowed out and the already resistant mutant strains (that probably already existed but had to compete) are filling the space formerly occupied by the non-resistant strains. This is less evolution and more inevitable.... the plants didn't change in reaction, the plants that already existed that were resistant flourished.

Nope, that's how evolution works. Plants and bacteria aren't conscious, and therefore don't consciously react to changes in their environment.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:24 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

Like a roomba for weeds. Call it a weemba.


Various devices to do just this have been under pretty intense development at UC Davis, among other places. It's a part of precision agriculture and in this clip you can see precision tillage. The next development is very near us which is knowledge of individual plants' locations in a field. Anything -not- in those locations is a weed, which is destined for removal.

(Not affiliated with any entity shown.)
posted by jet_silver at 9:25 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


It would only cause problems if you rubbed on every surface on earth. Bacteria live in more places then your hand.

One word - Plasmids
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:30 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Part of the problem is simple overuse. If glyphosate had been used minimally -- e.g. right after your crop had sprouted to kill competitors (and only then) along with hand-weeding to remove stragglers -- then it would have been (and likely would have continued to be) very effective, even long-term. It's actually still possible that this trend can be reversed; glyphosate is too good a herbicide to lose entirely (as noted in the article, it actually breaks down fairly readily and thus isn't as bad for the environment.) Even better would be if we could combine herbicide resistant crops in a non-monoculture environment because in that case "weeds" (weeds are just plants you don't want in a particular place) would have to compete not only with the herbicide, the major cash crop but also any other crops grown alongside.

In any case, this isn't anything special about GM crops; it's just about either misdesigned to encourage misuse or just plain misuse (I don't know what application cycle Monsanto recomended to growers of Roundup Ready crops). Even some of the pesticides used by "organic" farmers start to cause resistance when overused. Mainstream agriculture in the modern world (even some "organic") continues to think that we can simplify the ecology of our fields down to a few variables and make it work -- single crops, simple rotations, never have to change the fertilizers or pesticides we use -- but in reality every organism nearby is adapting all the time. No matter whether we're growing GM or organic, we will have to regularly adapt our practices to local conditions in every field.
posted by R343L at 9:32 AM on May 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Monsanto is also still suing farmers for patent infringement if they can find some of their GMO crops in the farmer's field without a receipt.

The hell of it is that, although the GMO strains are supposedly sterile, they apparently DO spread into neighboring non-GMO fields. So, despite a farmer's best-efforts, they can easily get caught with GMO crops in their fields.

This is also causing headaches for farmers raising organic crops, who suddenly find GMO plants in with their organic crops.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:34 AM on May 5, 2010


The last thing we need 40 years from now are robot-fighting flora.

Speak for yourself, goodlife.
posted by roystgnr at 9:38 AM on May 5, 2010


Man... when the patent lawyers come a-knockin, those weeds won't know what hit 'em!
posted by davemee at 9:39 AM on May 5, 2010


Having just watched a youtube SWAT team raid over a microscopic amount of cannabis, I read this post as "Genetically engineered cops lead to genetically adapted weed".
posted by christopherious at 9:42 AM on May 5, 2010


posted by atrazine

Herbicide nerd alert!!
posted by zsazsa at 9:42 AM on May 5, 2010


Nope, that's how evolution works. Plants and bacteria aren't conscious, and therefore don't consciously react to changes in their environment.

What does being conscious have to do with reacting to changes? If you die in your sleep it is pretty unlikely that you're going to wake up the next day, go out and contribute to the gene pool.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:43 AM on May 5, 2010


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

Yeah, nothing could go wrong there!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:45 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


A persistent weed choking out competitors, increasingly resistant to countermeasures and forcing more expensive long term farming practices you say?

Nope, I'm not seeing any metaphor for Monsanto at all.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:47 AM on May 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Jedicus: ...it should be possible to use an herbicide for a couple of years, then another, then another, then another.

Yes, that might work. But I've been saving my best point for last, which is: the whole argument in favor of roundup-ready crops is that first, Roundup is an unusually benign herbicide, as these things go (which it is). And second, that roundup-ready crops enable you to use less of this relatively benign herbicide. If we're going to now start a round-robin application of all known herbicides, that sort of goes out the window. And what justification is really left for them then?
posted by rusty at 9:47 AM on May 5, 2010


In India the mosquitos are resistant to DTT, which is part of why the Montreal protocol forbades it's agricultural use and why in India there is a government enforced rotation of pesticides.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:49 AM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh sure, we invent robot weed pullers and pretty soon Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons are having a no holds barred fight at an ammusement park. Is that what you people want?!?!?!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:53 AM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thorzdad -- If you're speaking of "terminator" genes than you are entirely wrong. No terminator gene crop has ever been commercially sold. Most of Monsanto's products are hybrids, though, which tend not to breed true to type (a very large number of commercial crops are hybrids, GM or not). Hybrids still generally have fertile seed though and can cross with close relatives.
posted by R343L at 10:13 AM on May 5, 2010


(Also, as an aside, the idea of a "sterile" soybean crop is pretty hilarious -- the crop you want from soy is the *bean* which is the reproductive fruit of the crop. You can't have a sterile fruit crop as it has to fertilize to make a fruit, though there are some crops with "false fruits" that can occur without fertilization.)
posted by R343L at 10:15 AM on May 5, 2010


This is where I suggest you read The Windup Girl...

Ha! I just got a notice at the library that this was being held for me, and it had been so long since I placed the hold that I couldn't remember what on earth it was supposed to be about!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 10:53 AM on May 5, 2010


The problem clearly is that Monsanto isn't going far enough. Think outside the box people! Start engineering crops resistant to radiation that can also grow on glassy surfaces. Then we'll just nuke all farmland until it's completely sterile. Put on a radiation suit, plant the seeds and voila: problem solved!

As a bonus the massive glass plains will reflect sunlight and counteract global warming.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:56 AM on May 5, 2010


Somewhat related: I sat next to an engineer who worked for a big farm-tractor manufacturer. We chatted for a while and he was pretty comfortable talking about work so I hit him with "Tell me a couple things that I wouldn't know about your business." He paused and said "We cannot make tractors any bigger. Our customers want bigger. If they got any bigger, they'd just sink into the mud. We are at an engineering standstill for tractor size." I asked if he had anything else. "Oh yeah, genetically engineered crops are totally wearing out the equipment. Farmers need to replace blades and other stuff that comes in contact with the crops. It is just too fibrous."
posted by zerobyproxy at 11:04 AM on May 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


I recently represented a guy who owns a patent that is a non-chemical method of controlling soybean cyst nematodes. SCNs are a huge problem in soybean production in the U.S. Midwest. He's trying to sell/license his patent to all the usual suspects in agribusiness, but no one is interested. Why? Because of what his patent is not: it's not a chemical. Instead, the companies have almost uniformly responded that they're working on developing their own SCN solution - which is code for "chemical" solution - and prefer that route. Follow the $$$$.
posted by webhund at 11:06 AM on May 5, 2010


Nope, that's how evolution works. Plants and bacteria aren't conscious, and therefore don't consciously react to changes in their environment.

What does being conscious have to do with reacting to changes? If you die in your sleep it is pretty unlikely that you're going to wake up the next day, go out and contribute to the gene pool.


correct.

I got the impression that NyteMayr thought that "evolution" meant that the traits being passed on were new and came about as a response to exposure to something. That's not how it happens.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:18 AM on May 5, 2010


Alcohol has a pretty extreme effect on living things. I have heard breeding alcohol resistant germs by washing regularly with alcohol compared to to breeding gun resistant humans by randomly shooting people.

I like that analogy, but I'm way more concerned about triclosan than I am about alcohol hand wipes.
posted by peeedro at 12:44 PM on May 5, 2010


peeedro: yeah, targeted antibiotics are another thing altogether and resistance is a very real concern - but I brought that up since other people were mentioning alcohol and resistance in the same breath.
posted by idiopath at 12:57 PM on May 5, 2010


Again and again we grab short term gain at the price of long term pain.
posted by chance at 8:45 PM on May 5, 2010


roundup-ready crops enable you to use less of this relatively benign herbicide.

That story's the biggest load of crap. Roundup-ready means you can use as much of it as you want, since it won't hurt the crops, and "as much as you want" of anything means "too much."
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:11 AM on May 6, 2010


Jimmy Havok: Well yeah. Obviously. I'm just arguing from the bullshit perspective of the chemical industry because I can do that and still win. :-)
posted by rusty at 6:54 AM on May 6, 2010


Plants are stupid.
posted by Chuffy at 5:41 PM on May 6, 2010


"I have thought about it with the antiseptic handgel used for instant handwashing that 'kills 99% of germs.' I always see that and think, 'Ah, so by using this I am directly encouraging supergerms. Great.'"

Also, they don't tell you that if you have 10,000,000 bacterial colony forming units per square centimeter of surface and you kill 99% of them... you still have 100,000 colony forming units per square centimeter of surface.

Microbiologists use soap, iodide or bleach, depending on the application.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:27 PM on May 6, 2010


Someone should come up with a weeding robot that would drive around and pull out plants that aren't supposed to be there.

A while ago I remember reading about a prototype robot that could recognise snails, pick them off, and eat them. It had some kind of digestion chamber that converted the snails into electricity, which was used to power the robot.

Robots sound like a better solution than chemicals and GE for at least some agricultural applications.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 10:33 AM on May 8, 2010


Soupisgoodfood: "a prototype robot that could recognise snails, pick them off, and eat them. It had some kind of digestion chamber that converted the snails into electricity, which was used to power the robot"

autonomous machines that are powered by digesting living flesh - I can't see what could go wrong with that!
posted by idiopath at 11:32 AM on May 8, 2010


Goddammit, @ArgentCorvid
"I got the impression that NyteMayr thought that "evolution" "

1) Copy and paste if you can't do someone the service of spelling their nomme de plume correctly.

2) Evolution is the means by which we describe the process by which separate species come about. Thus one finch is different from another finch (so much so that they can form differing species)

In this case (in my opinion), we aren't talking about accelerated evolution as the DAMN supposes, but as I said likely, the differing (existing) species asserting themselves.

Now that I think about it, perhaps this reply would sail over your head too.

Here's a simple version: The article doesn't actually appear to describe an evolutionary change, only the proliferation of an already resistant species.

Hmm 1,2,3,4,5 syllables.. Maybe not.


Cheers.
posted by NiteMayr at 12:33 PM on May 11, 2010


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