Conférence « Nature et Artifice : Une réflexion sur la domestication et les OGMs » le 23 novembre [da]

Le Professeur Antoine Danchin, Directeur de recherche CNRS du laboratoire de Génétique des Génomes Bactériens à l’Institut Pasteur, prononcera une conférence en anglais sur le thème :

« Nature et Artifice : Une réflexion sur la domestication et les OGMs »

Jeudi 23 novembre 2006 de 17H.00 À 18H.30

au Palais Thott / Kongens Nytorv 4

- Langue utilisée au cours du débat : anglais

- s’inscrire avant le mercredi 22 novembre au plus tard auprès de

Résumé (en anglais)

"The public perception of dangers associated to biology is organised around the idea that what is near to us is less dangerous that what is far from us. Recent accidents involving blood and human organs should entice us to reassess this simple, but erroneous view. Since the Neolithic age, humans tried to tame Nature, and domestication of plants and animals considerably changed our environment. The first attempts of Genetic Manipulation of living Organisms followed our understanding of the laws of genetics. It was extremely slow for millenia, resulting for pure trials and errors, until Kolreuter discovered that artificial plant fertilisation considerably accelerated selection of improved flowers and crops. Mendel and his successors endeavoured to understand better how heritable traits could pass from a generation to the next ones. This permitted agronomists to accelerate the process of selection of quantitative traits that would improve the yield or traits considered as useful in plants and animals. Initially, random mutagenesis was used to create gene variants that were submitted to appropriate crosses and selection of interesting progeny. The outcome of this acceleration process resulted in the Green Revolution with a concomitant enourmous increase of the World population. The last avatar of our understanding of the laws of genetics resulted in our capacity to modify one gene at a time, selecting genes of interest, rather than randomly produce the hopeful monsters that would father new useful organisms. As the Green Revolution considerably changed the face of our planet by feeding an unsustainable number of human beings, the perception by some quarters of our technological feats in agriculture and the agro-food industry became, understandably, negative. The last avatar of our creation of GMOs became the target of most concerns. In parallel, our primitive perception of Nature and Artifice, identified the danger in plants (which are far from us) rather than in animals or humans (which are close to us). We shall review some of the unfortunate (and dangerous) consequences of this situation, which might result in dramatic new diseases, if we do not have a deep reflection on our knowledge and the causes of our fears."

Dernière modification : 24/05/2007

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