RNAi opens a new vista for pest control

10-03-21 10:14:00,

RNA interference (RNAi) is a biological process in which endogenesis or external-origin double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) inhibit gene expression or translation. Such a process is common in natural organisms. According to research, scientists discovered RNAi in the 1990s, and since then, it has become evident that RNAi has enormous potential in the suppression of target genes. RNAi has been applied in entomology research and the development of innovative pesticides in the past few years, thanks to its high efficiency, species specificity and ease of application.

How does RNAi protect crops from insect pests?

RNAi interferes with the insect’s gene expression, and prevents protein synthesis, thus decreasing the insect’s adaptability to the environment or leading to its death. To make external-origin dsRNA work for crop protection, pest feeding on the dsRNA is the main way to start the RNAi process. The dsRNA can be absorbed in the insect’s midgut. If the target gene is not in the midgut, the interference signal can be passed through cells and eventually reaches the gene to inhibit its expression.

There are mainly five types of target genes that RNAi works on to control insects, namely lethal gene, resistance/immunity-related gene (to decrease the resistance of insects to pesticides), growth/development-related gene, oviposition-related gene, and the olfactory gene (to prevent insects from identifying crops).

The most popular way to introduce dsRNA into insects is through feeding. This method is easy to implement, no special equipment is required, and it is convenient to study RNAi using this approach. It has been successfully utilized to control many species of pests, such as Nilaparvata lugen, Reticulitermes flavipes, Rhodnius prolixus, Diabrotica virgifera, etc. However, it might provide slow-killing efficacy, and is invalid to pests at the egg or pupal stage since they feed on nothing.

Advantages of RNAi applied for pest control

1) Due to the high specificity of dsRNA, such a technology has a small effect on non-target organisms.

2) As RNAi naturally occurs in the environment or organisms, and is biodegradable, the toxicity potential of RNA pesticides is lower than that of chemical pesticides.

3) RNA pesticides can be developed to control all species of pests. While comparing such products to Bt technology, for example, scientists have found that Bt crops provide limited control on sucking insects as Bt toxins have hardly any effect on them,

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Mahatir Opens A Ukraine Political Pandora’s Box | New Eastern Outlook

09-06-19 07:25:00,

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad sent shock waves in a public speech where he dismissed a Dutch “official” report blaming Russia for the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17 in July, 2014, weeks after a CIA-led coup toppled the elected President of Ukraine. Despite the downplaying in western mainstream media of the Malaysian leader’s comments, it is creating a major new potential embarrassment for ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his Ukraine collaborators such as Igor Kolomoisky, in their flimsy effort to blame Russia for their own misdeeds.

During a dialogue with the Japanese Foreign Correspondent Club May 30, Mahatir challenged the Dutch government to provide evidence for their claim that the civilian Malaysian FH17 jet that crashed in Ukraine was shot down by a Russian-made BUK missile fired from a Russian regiment based in Kursk. The Malaysian Prime Minister told the Japanese media, “They are accusing Russia, but where is the evidence? We know the missile that brought down the plane is a Russian type missile, but it could also be made in Ukraine.” The blunt-spoken Mahatir added, “You need strong evidence to show it was fired by the Russians; it could be by the rebels in Ukraine, it could be Ukrainian government because they too have the same missile.”

He went on to demand that the Malaysian government be allowed to inspect the black box of the crashed plane, stating the obvious, that the plane belongs to Malaysia, with Malaysian pilot and there were Malaysians passengers: “We may not have the expertise but we can buy the expertise. For some reasons, Malaysia was not allowed to check the black box to see what happened.”

He went on to state, “We don’t know why we are excluded from the examination but from the very beginning, we see too much politics in it, and the idea was not to find out how this happened, but seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it to the Russians.“

The Malaysian Air MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. Only in May 2018 the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team issued its report alleging that a BUK missile was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17,

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US withdrawal opens the question of the Coalition’s war crimes

02-01-19 10:39:00,

Following the announcement that the US was withdrawing its troops from Northern Syria, Syrian and Russian experts have declared that at long last it would be possible to draw up an accurate evaluation of the war crimes perpetrated by the Coalition.

This alliance is formed of 74 States, and includes France and the United Kingdom among them. Notably, the Alliance has bombarded Raqqa under a carpet of bombs killing almost all the inhabitants of this city which was under Daesh occupation.

The Coalition would also have abstained from providing rations and the necessary medical care to refugees in Camp Rukban, provoking an alarmingly high number of deaths. Several witnesses assure that before leaving, US soldiers burned a large number of cadavres there.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

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