The Synthetic & Toxic Coastal Clean-Up

I find it more than just a bit appalling that the people and corporations responsible for turning the entire Gulf of Mexico into a toxic waste dump – and large scale scientific experiment – have not been held accountable for their actions. Whatever fines BP received were nothing more than a government sponsored publicity stunt that made a mockery of anyone who has suffered due to the reckless disregard for the consequences of this mad science.

Corexit was banned in the UK a decade ago; it was known to be unsafe. On the other hand, Synthia was completely untried and untested and presented even more danger…and yet both substances were still released all along our coast by a bunch of greedy, arrogant bastards who find the destruction of an entire eco-system to be an acceptable risk to take…but hey, it was an *Accident* and no one is directly responsible, right?

I had no intention of spending most of the day working on this post but here I am at hour six (or is it seven or eight?!) with my head swimming in more oily muck that I can absorb. As with every other major news story that may cast our corporate rulers in a bad light, it is really difficult to find the various pieces of the story and even more difficult to place them into any kind of cohesive order. It’s like trying to scrunch a picture of the NY City skyline onto a recipe card; no matter how you try to lay it out, it just won’t fit into one easy-to-see picture.

Adding to my ‘Rabbit Hole Frustration’ and crankiness is the fact that many links to articles I’ve used as references in the past have mysteriously vanished into thin…cyberspace…I guess. Just when I was beginning to seriously question my sanity, I caught a paragraph of an article by another author who has also noticed this mysterious phenomena.

“I want to make it known to the reader that google has been scrubbed of Corexit info. When I wrote the above article, much more information was available. The New York Times even deleted part of an article that they published, with Corexit information. This stuff is deadly and they want to hide that fact from everyone.” Science Ray author, mygoditsfullofstars

At any rate, there is obviously more to the BP clean-up than the Powers That Be would like us to know. While government officials, corporate executives and even a few mad scientists have done their best to muck up the already filthy waters in the Gulf, some of their dirty little secrets and connections manage to float to the top…we just have to catch the pieces and fit them all together in order to expose the immeasurable harm caused by the actions of our psychopathic leaders.

Here’s the Cliff Note’s version of what I’ve pieced together today…

BP Oil works closely with Craig Venter, founder of Synthetic Genomics, Inc, the J. Craig Venter Institute & the newly formed Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. (The timing of Venter joining in the vaccine business is eerie; he joined forces with Novartis in June of 2010…just a couple of months after his e-coli bacteria was released into our ecosystem.) BP and Venter would like to create a computer programmed bacteria that can assist with releasing oil from hard to reach places and/or assist with making the oil vanish in the event of an oil spill.

Venter’s lab-bred, e-coli based and computer programmed bacteria, Synthia, was sprayed across the Gulf shortly after the Deepwater Oil Spill. It appears to have been unleashed on the ocean with little concern for the long-term ramifications or potential harm to the environment – or the citizens – of the coastal region.

What stumped me for several hours was trying to figure out where in the HELL the direct connection was between Craig Venter and Nalco, the company that produces Corexit. I kept hitting articles about Venter’s genomics work and his oil-eating bacterial creation, Synthia, being used to clean up BP’s spill but all major news sources are focusing on Corexit with no mention of Synthia…argh! And then, on page 2 of a last ditch search, I hit pay dirt when I stumbled across a pdf. link on Nalco’s website. The article was far less interesting than the photo beside it -

1Nalco-Venter

That is none other than the infamous Dr. Venter standing proud, front & center.

I also found this announcement about a water conference that turned up the names of both Venter & Nalco -

“The second annual Water Innovations Summit will take place in Chicago on September 28-29, 2010 at McCormick Place.

Keynotes include famed researcher Craig Venter; Don Correll of American Water; Finn Neilson of Veolia NA; Fabien Cousteau; Dr. Mark Shannon U. IL.; and the EPA Department of Administration for Water’s Michael Shapiro. Others speakers are confirming every day from IBM, Hach, Badger Meter, Siemens and Nalco, among others.”

While it isn’t as much information as I’d hoped to dig up, it absolutely answered my question as to whether or not Venter is connected to Nalco directly. There is obviously an amiable association and working relationship there…the specifics can be ferreted out later.

For now I leave you with excerpts, videos and links relating to the BP clean-up (or cover-up?), the potential harm dispersants can cause & some of the connections between the perpetrators of this careless crime against LIFE…

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1Corexit600x236

NBC News Excerpt – “For microscopic animals living in the Gulf of Mexico, even worse than the toxic oil released during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster may be the very oil dispersants used to clean it up, a new study finds.

More than 2 million gallons (7.5 million liters) of oil dispersants called Corexit 9527A and 9500A were dumped into the gulf in an effort to prevent oil from reaching shore and to help it degrade more quickly.

However, when oil and Corexit are combined, the mixture becomes up to 52 times more toxic than oil alone, according to a study published online this week in the journal Environmental Pollution.”

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More from NBC News “The dispersant makes the oil more deadly by decreasing the size of the droplets, making it more “bio-available” to small organisms, said Ian MacDonald, a researcher at Florida State University. “The effect is specifically a toxic synergy — the sum is worse than the parts,” said MacDonald, who was not involved in the research… 

The results contrast with those released by the Environmental Protection Agency in August 2010. That study found that a mixture of oil and Corexit isn’t more toxic than oil alone to both a species of shrimp and species of fish. However, several studies have found the mixture is more toxic than oil to the embryos of several fish species. The EPA could not immediately be reached for comment.

“To date, EPA has done nothing but congratulate itself on how Corexit was used and avow they would do it the same way again,” MacDonald said. However, Snell said the dispersant should not be used. It would be better to let the oil disperse on its own to minimize ecological damage, he said.

“This is a cautionary tale that we need to do the science before the emergency happens so we can make decisions that are fully informed,” Snell said. “In this case, the Corexit is simply there to make the oil disperse and go out of sight. But out of sight doesn’t mean it’s safe in regard to the food web.” 

Full Article –  Dispersant makes oil from spills 52 times more toxic

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Excerpts from ScienceDaily Article, “Caution Required for Gulf Oil Spill Clean-Up, Bioremediation Expert Says” (May 4, 2010)

“The concentration of detergents and other chemicals used to clean up sites contaminated by oil spills can cause environmental nightmares of their own,” says Terry Hazen, a microbial ecologist in Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division who has studied such notorious oil-spill sites as the Exxon Valdez spill into Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

“It is important to remember that oil is a biological product and can be degraded by microbes, both on and beneath the surface of the water,” Hazen says. “Some of the detergents that are typically used to clean-up spill sites are more toxic than the oil itself, in which case it would be better to leave the site alone and allow microbes to do what they do best..

…In 1978, an oil tanker, the Amoco Cadiz, split in two about three miles off the coast of Normandy, releasing about 227,000 tons heavy crude oil that ultimately stained nearly 200 miles of coastline. The spill-site was so large that only the areas of greatest economic impact were treated with detergents. Large areas in the more remote parts of the coast went untreated.

“The untreated coastal areas were fully recovered within five years of the Amoco Cadiz spill,” says Hazen. “As for the treated areas, ecological studies show that 30 years later, those areas still have not recovered.”

Air force C-130 airplane spraying chemical dis...

Air force C-130 airplane spraying chemical dispersants on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Excerpts from

“Mystery” illness continues on the Gulf Coast — mutated bacterial infections and miscarriages abound

 April 22, 2011 by summerburkes

I think chemical poisoning is only half of the multi-symptomatic mystery illness we’re dealing with in the Gulf of Mexico. I think the other half is an undetectable and heretofore-unseen bacterial infection.  I’m not the only one. Specifically, a synthetic bacterial infection. Or at least a genetically-modified one. Or maybe a proliferation of a type we’ve not seen before, but the money trail says Synthetic Genomics could’ve been playing a little Dr. Moreau with the cleanup effort, by dropping their “SYNTHIA” bacteria into the Gulf — to see if it might clean up the oil, and maybe forgetting or not caring that human and animal cells are held together by oil. 

And the most common physical symptom of the “Gulf Blue Plague” is staph-like sores. We may even be talking about more than one Franken-microbe wreaking havoc, courtesy of the secretive unholy alliance between biotech and Big Oil. Two self-obsessed, ego-driven, greedy, racketeering, God-playing industries making out with each other and stepping on people and shitting all over our planet. Gross.

I find it odd that Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics company also partnered with Novartis to create a vaccine company. Wouldn’t that be SO WEIRD if everyone started breaking out in “staph infections” from “bacteria of indeterminate origin”? … I mean, what if that staph that half the US’s meat is infected with isn’t the staph bacteria after all, but the world’s first fully synthetic organism, which may act and look like staph when it starts to eat humans?

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Press Release: October 7, 2010

Synthetic Genomics Inc. and J. Craig Venter Institute Form New Company, Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. (SGVI), to Develop Next GenerationVaccines

SGVI announces collaboration with Novartis on the development of influenza vaccines using synthetic genomics technology

Collaboration will combine advances in synthetic genomics science and genome sequencing capabilities with leading edge vaccine technology

Craig Venter (Founder, Synthetic Genomics, Inc. whose lab created franken-bacteria, Synthia was used in the BP clean-up) has attracted over $110 million in investments so far for Synthetic Genomics, with a future deal with Exxon Mobil of $300 million in research to design algae for diesel fuel.

Alliance between Synthetic Genomics Inc and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company

Under the program, if research and development milestones are successfully met, ExxonMobil expects to spend more than $600 million, which includes $300 million in internal costs and potentially more than $300 million to SGI.

What is microbial cell culturing and how will it be used in the BP/Synthetic Genomics deal?

Microbial cell culturing is the scientific method of growing various microorganisms in the laboratory. It is estimated that less than one percent of the microbial biodiversity has been cultivated in the laboratory. To gain access to novel uncultured microorganisms, Synthetic Genomics has developed innovative microbial cultivation technologies and monitoring approaches.

Synthetic Genomics will apply multiplex culturing methods to the BP/Synthetic Genomics samples. The combination of environmental sequencing and microbial cell culturing will enable the fundamental understanding of the dominant metabolic and chemical processes taking place in the subsurface hydrocarbon environments.

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Excerpts From The Gulf Blue Plague
It’s not wise to fool Mother Nature

By Michael Edward
 

“The published commercial goal of the BP/Synthetic Genomics alliance was to create new genetically engineered micro-organisms to increase the flow of oil. A public trademark of that research involves man-made genomes [synthetic DNA] controlling new artificial cellular organisms. Because of the vast estimated reserves of oil at MC252 in the Gulf of Mexico, the temperatures involved, and its extreme low oxygen depth, previous known or lab enhanced micro-organisms would not be effective in creating an increased flow of the oil.

One can only imagine what the results would be of a new MEOR synthetic bacteria that had a computer DNA designed capability to replicate itself rapidly in that extreme environment. The outcome would be unpredictable since it had never been tested in those conditions before or had it?

In 2003, JCVI (J. Craig Venter Institute) successfully synthesized a small virus that infects bacteria. By 2008, the JCVI team was able to synthesize a small bacterial genome. On May 6, 2010, JCVI revealed they had already created a self-replicating bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome they named “synthetic Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0″.  This completely synthetic cell with its computer designed genome has absolutely no natural DNA. The etc group from Canada named it Synthia and it contains added watermark chains to identify the genome as artificial. It also has antibiotic resistance indicators.  One can only speculate why this artificial bacterium has an inherent programmed capability to resist antibiotics.

This new life form has the ability to replicate itself and organically function in any cell into which it has been introduced. Its DNA is artificial and it’s this synthetic DNA that takes control of the cell and is credited with being the building block of life. This is the first self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell thanks to its computer generated DNA. All of the funding for this came from Synthetic Genomics Inc , the company BP has a sizeable equity position and alliance with. BP is definitely way beyond petroleum just as their new slogan publicizes. 

Synthia’s Sin

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/05/21/article-1279988-09B037B1000005DC-63_634x875.jpg

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