Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Sperm Gets Cold Shoulder

Now GE may cause the inability of the sperm to fuse with the egg. Genetically modified (GM) carrots and potatoes have been imported into NZ, these vegetables contain an unstable transgene containing a zona pellucida (ZP) antigen and a LT-B protein to enhance the absorption of the antigen. This antigen when eaten crosses the intestinal wall and then circulates around the blood stream. The antigen then causes an auto-immune response causing antibodies to ZP to be formed. These antibodies will then go on to attack the undeveloped egg in the follicles of the ovary. It has been found that human ZP is 85% similar to possum and pig ZP. Researcher, Koyama (1996) injected pZP into hamsters causing permanent infertility followed by degenerative changes in the ovaries. In monkeys there was also ovarian impairment with pre-cancerous cells.

Why worry.....because an antigen to the zona pellucida has been created?

The zona pellucida (ZP) is a jelly that every mammalian female egg cell has enclosing it. It is a compound of three glycoproteins that acts as; an attraction to the sperm, a help for binding sperm to the egg and once the egg is fertilised a repellent to other sperm. It also acts to protect the egg from chromosomal damage and to promote fertility. All ZP jelly is specific and essential to each species. If this form of possum control is allowed to become commonplace, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) across species could infer long term sterility to all the female populations of animals both marsupial, bird, bovine, ovine and homo-sapiens. How would this happen?

It is acknowledged that possums are major carriers of TB. They transfer the toxin to the soil through their faecal waste and dead bodies. Cows dogs and other animals can pick the disease is up if they contact the waste. There is no guarantee that possums would not transfer the ZP antigen through their faeces into the soil in this manner. Research studies have found that, “Humans and mice fed on potato expressing the sLT-B protein produced antibodies against LT-B in their serum and gut secretions” (Mason et al. 1998; Tacket et al. 1998). Therefore, GE Free NZ suggests that ERMA should have prohibited the release of possums to the outdoor facility/pens.

ERMA has allowed 13 such decisions to reach the field without any scientific reviewed information counteracting the concerns of the NZ public. The risk to the NZ environment and economy through poor science with no insight to the precautionary principle, is leading New Zealand agriculture close to the brink of a disaster. So maybe the least worry is the sperm being left in the cold!

References

Skinner,SM,:Mills,T.:Kirchick, H.J; Dunbar, B.S.; (1984) Immunisation with zona pellucida proteins results in abnormal ovarian follicular differentiation and inhibition of gonadotrophin-induced steroid secretion. Dept Cell Biol; Baylor Coll. Med., Houston, TX, USA.

Rankin Tracy; Talbot, Prue; Lee, Eric; Dean, Jurrien.(1999) Abnormal zonae pellucidae in mice lacking ZP1 result in early embryonic loss. Laboratory of Cellular and Development Biology, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Cai,L; Li, D; Sun, X; Wang, M. (2000). Mechanism of prmature ovarian failure in murine autoimmune oophoritis immunised by porcine zona pellucida.Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, People Rebublic of China.

Abington Reproductive Medicine.(2000) Association of antizona pellucida antibodies in human premature ovarian failure and infertility. www.abington-repromed.com

Koyama, K.; Hasegawa, A.; Isojima, S.(1994) Porcine zona pellucida antigen 4(ZP-4) as a candidate for vaccine. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hyogo Medical College, Hyogo, Japan.Eds. Talwar, G.P.; Rao, Kanury V.S.; Chauhan V.S. Recomb. Synth. Vaccines.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Voluntary Administration: Renaissance Brewing Up For Sale

Renaissance Brewing, the first local company to raise capital through equity crowdfunding, is up for sale after cash flow woes and product management issues led to the appointment of voluntary administrators. More>>

Elsewhere:

Approval: Northern Corridor Decision Released

The approval gives the green light to construction of the last link of Auckland’s Western Ring Route, providing an alternative route from South Auckland to the North Shore. More>>

ALSO:

Media Mega Merger: Full Steam Ahead For Appeal

New Zealand's two largest news publishers have confirmed they are committed to pursuing their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of the proposal to merge their operations. More>>

Crown Accounts: $4.1 Billion Surplus

The New Zealand Government has achieved its third fiscal surplus in a row with the Crown accounts for the year ended 30 June 2017 showing an OBEGAL surplus of $4.1 billion, $2.2 billion stronger than last year, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Mycoplasma Bovis: One New Property Tests Positive

The newly identified property... was already under a Restricted Place notice under the Biosecurity Act. More>>

Accounting Scandal: Suspension Of Fuji Xerox From All-Of-Government Contract

General Manager of New Zealand Government Procurement John Ivil says, “FXNZ has been formally suspended from the Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS) contract and terminated from the Office Supplies contract.” More>>