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Mankind occupies a strange place in the ecosystem !

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Michael Gilligan30/03/2022 09:18:24
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… as this story, from the Smithsonian, nicely demonstrates : **LINK**

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/scientists-are-making-cochineal-a-red-dye-from-bugs-in-the-lab-180979828/

Consider the layers of self-interest that have driven this endeavour dont know

MichaelG.

Mick B130/03/2022 09:58:56
2226 forum posts
125 photos

It's rather long.

I didn't find the punchline.

wink

KWIL30/03/2022 10:49:17
3563 forum posts
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I found the Genome Study work, refered to on the same link far more interesting

Michael Gilligan30/03/2022 11:27:25
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Oh well sad

MichaelG.

Perko730/03/2022 12:07:15
427 forum posts
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Intriguing to think that people who may balk at the use of natural dye extracted from dead bugs could be happy to use synthetic dye extracted from living genetically modified microbes. I know which one I would prefer.

Michael Gilligan30/03/2022 12:23:55
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Thanks, Perko … we’re on the same page

Also strange to think how much effort has been expended over the centuries, catering to various whims.

MichaelG

Howard Lewis30/03/2022 12:36:14
6316 forum posts
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And once upon a time, we were part of the natural food chain

Once dead and buried, we probably are, but in different position in the hierarchy!

Howard

Nigel Graham 230/03/2022 12:57:06
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Perhaps, like Procedures, Put in our Place at last?

And even then, only if by woodland or sea burial.

What would be more to the point is not synthesising dyes per se, but finding sensible, sustainable alternatives generally to petroleum and coal derivatives once either depletion or 'Er from Sweden has made them no longer available. So perhaps microbial cochineal is a start in the right direction.

Bill Phinn30/03/2022 13:45:31
768 forum posts
114 photos

My reading of the article tells me the chief reason for the engineered version is not vegan sensibilities but rising prices of the natural product and a supply that cannot keep up with demand.

Michael Gilligan30/03/2022 14:11:43
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Probably true, Bill … Vegan sensibilities make a good cover story

What intrigued me was that Mankind has [for the sake of an attractive, but otherwise generally useless colouring]:

  • Harvested and processed countless numbers of beetles
  • Tried to use Aniline dyes as a substitute
  • … with the consequent effect on health
  • Is now genetically modifying another life-form
  • … with who knows what what consequences ?
  • Persisted in “needing” this pretty colour to enhance appearance.
  • … despite having more urgent matters to attend-to.

Gratuitous, or what ?

MichaelG.

Mike Poole30/03/2022 14:59:01
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On holiday in Lanzarote I found that one of the local products is cochineal, as it is pretty much a desert landscape there are limited opportunities for farming and cochineal production is probably a reasonable living. I hope the engineered product doesn’t put them out of business.

Mike

SillyOldDuffer30/03/2022 17:53:41
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In defence of artificial dyes, biologic microscopists noticed they differentially penetrated the various parts of cells structures, leading to medical advances based on understanding cells. Even more usefully, the effect was applied to drugs, allowing them to be aimed at particular organisms and cancers, whilst providing the foundations of modern pharmaceuticals.

Of course humanity having drugs that actually work, rather than granny nostrums, means more of us survive to want lots more pretty colours...

Michael Gilligan30/03/2022 18:44:04
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Posted by Mike Poole on 30/03/2022 14:59:01:

[…]

… cochineal production is probably a reasonable living. I hope the engineered product doesn’t put them out of business.

.

yes that’s one of several thoughts that crossed my mind this morning, Mike

MichaelG.

Michael Gilligan30/03/2022 20:34:58
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 30/03/2022 17:53:41:

In defence of artificial dyes, biologic microscopists noticed …

.

But … In the case for the prosecution: I know, from personal experience, that ‘Sunset Yellow’ is a powerful allergen … to the extent that I cannot tolerate its inclusion as a colouring in tablets and capsules: My prescribed medications must be either plain white, or coloured with Iron Oxide.

MichaelG.

Tim Stevens31/03/2022 12:26:53
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1622 forum posts

Well, at least you have a range of colours available. Rouge is red, magnetite is black, so a mix can supply browns. And if you allow a bit of harmless carbon-dioxide into the mix, the whole range of ochres.

cheers, Tim

Michael Gilligan31/03/2022 21:17:10
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Posted by Tim Stevens on 31/03/2022 12:26:53:

Well, at least you have a range of colours available. Rouge is red, magnetite is black, so a mix can supply browns. And if you allow a bit of harmless carbon-dioxide into the mix, the whole range of ochres.

 

Fair comment, Tim … and surely that is all the more reason to not put known allergens into medicines !

Two particularly ludicrous instances were:

  • Dispersible Aspirin tablets, coloured with ‘Sunset Yellow’
  • Ramipril capsules which were coloured with “Yellow Iron Oxide” [sic] which, on further investigation, turns-out to be the descriptive name of a particular Aniline dye !

MichaelG.

.

dc7b6b95-adea-4e1d-946b-554a135c0cdc.jpeg

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 31/03/2022 21:31:43

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