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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  December 16, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm EST

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as they arise. thanks for watching al jazeera americ i'm del walters. techknow is next.
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[♪ music ] >> i was really lucky because i got to go to vancouver, seattle, and alaska to learn about genetically modified salmon. it's so cool. these fish are just crazy. you got to take a look. this here is a gm salmon that is a year old. >> genetically modified, right. >> yes.
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>> this king may be facing competition from a fish created in laboratory.
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>> those fish are hungry. >> reporter: they're called mg, genetically modified. here in vancouver, canada, these trains have been genetically modified to become a super salmon, eating voraciously and growing by leaps and bounds. >> i was throwing feed out in the water and it was a feed ing frenzy. >> they respond dramatically and show a 30-fold increase in growth relative to wild type . >> 10 to 30 times the speed of growth. >> taking science a step further, asking the food and drug administration to approve their farmed salmon for sale in the u.s. and from the looks of things it might happen. the fda has said it is safe to
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environment. it was first engineered in 1989. it's an atlantic salmon modified by a combination of chnookcal monday and an ocean pout that reaches full market size in half the time. under the application before the fda aqua bounty would spend their eggs to panama where they would grow the salmon from tank farms to avoid any chance they would get out and mix with the salmon population. then they would be sent back to the states for sale. here at seattle's famed pike place fish market the idea of gm salmon is not tossed around lightly. >> for kara. [ cheering ] >> what would you say to me if i said the words genetically modified salmon. >> no! >> why no?
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>> welding worried that a genetically modified fish would escape. >> this guy is really big. he's about 28.3 grams. >> reporter: dr. bob devlin is a scientist wit , he's involved with the science and the impact it might have on the environment. >> reporter: you're telling me that these transgenic fish have been able to eat all they want, and they're the exact same egg as those wild type fish. >> brothers and sisters. >> who have been able to eat all they want. >> that's right. >> when dr. devlin first told me that these fish were the same age, i was blown away. i almost didn't believe him. i can see why this would be more economical for a would be gm salmon farmer. they get big faster in half the time.
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>> one, they waste almost no food. their behavior is so strong to acquired food resource there is very little waste. so for any amount of food taken in, they will grow about 15 to 20% larger. >> reporter: the haines family has been at sea for five generations. now counting their newest crew member but no matter how hard this family works they can't keep up with the world 's appetite for salmon. >> we need a million more pounds of this. >> reporter: why do we need more fish? two-thirds of the salmon caught in the united states is not caught but farmed in chile,ed in and norway. we eat a lot of salmon. most ly atlantic salmon. according to noah, the the
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atlantic salmon is designated and an endangered species. >> so if americans want it on their plates it's coming from a farm. the idea of the work behind the lab is to feed the planet and potentially lower the price. >> reporter: this is cutting edge science. how do you think that this type of innovation could potentially change the world we live in. >> i think transgenic technology will have dramatic impact on the human population in the coming centuries. i think we'll learn to use this technology very safely. >> reporter: for now safety is the key question. >> one of the problems with fish which differs were cows, cows if you have a transgenic cow that escapes from the field you could find him. but the fish, once they escape in the natural environment, that's it. you're not going to recover that animal. so what happens in nature will just depend on whether that animal is fertile or not.
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>> reporter: aqua bounty said, it's salmon will be grown sterile in land base facilities. the doctor said sterility is not always what you get. >> certainly above 95% routinely. >> reporter: that's still two out of a thousand fish. >> that's the problem. and so if there are 50,000 fish that are escaping, that means that there could be 100 fertile animals entering into nature. >> reporter: runaway animals, runaway growth. the whole idea of gm salmon is a hard sell. >> it's big corporations. the reasons why they want to grow them twice as fast is a way to turn the profit over twice as fast. i would never eat it. >> reporter: we talked to tom douglas one of the best chefs in seattle. he makes his living on salmon. >> our customers know what salmon is and what it's all about. on top of all that have they
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want to know was it caught sustainably. >> reporter: he was brutally honest. all this debate about g.m. farmed, whatever, it will all be settled at the table. >> shoppers weren't buying the gm talk. >> reporter: would you buy it? >> probably not. >> preferably not. i like wild salmon. >> if they labeled it properly and i could say no thank you. but it's when they don't label it that i get a little ticked off. >> reporter: a couple that does genetic modification is a huge target. they have been called injure harass as quickl jurrasicpark, frankin fish. we wanted to visit this facility in panama with above ground tanks, but they wouldn't let you go come visit.
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i would like to have a chance to see what is behind that curtain so we would know what we're dealing with. >> reporter: meanwhile in alaska they're not worried about the competition. they live, after all, in the salmon capital of the world. it's good to be king. >> when we pulled it out of the ocean, we saw the look in your eye. >> reporter: this is a good way to end the day. >> wildfire. >> reporter: we could potentially have this technology on the grocery store shelves within the year, right? what do you think? >> i think one of the things that really stands out is just what the public is concerned about versus what the scientists are concerned about. >> reporter: you're right. the public perception is health and human safety. it's always, oh, i don't know if i want to eat a franken fish because maybe it will give me superpowers. >> you do research on butterflies and you know all about their habitat and what could destroy it.
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do you see risks if one of these fish were to escape and start breeding, what would the consequences may be? >> it's not just how is that salmon going to interact with other salmon. how is it going to interact with its food source or things that feed on it. there are all these tiny details that are hard to study in a lap. >> we heard all of these companies say trust us, we'll take care of you. >> reporter: exactly. >> the deep water horizon, it's fail safe, and then all of a sudden it blows up and they're dumping. >> the transparency is important. >> we don't have that right now. >> reporter: we need to take a break, after we come back, phil, you're going to talk to us about going to mars? >> robots on mars? it was pretty awesome . it was pretty awesome. >> we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation about
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while you were asleep news was happening. >> here are the stories we're following. >> find out what happened and what to expect. >> international outrage. >> a day of political posturing. >> every morning from 5 to 9 am al jazeera america brings you
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more us and global news than any other american news channel. >> tell us exactly what is behind this story. >> from more sources around the world. >> the situation has intensified here at the border. >> start every morning, every day 5am to 9 eastern. >> with al jazeera america. >> tell us what you learned when you visited nasa's jet propulsion laboratory. laboratory. >> it's like a grown up toy store. expensive toys. take a look, the images they're getting from mars is amazing, the data they're starting to get is incredible. this thing landed a year ago, and finally the information is starting to trickle through that is pretty impactful for us as humans. let check it out. >> which is a technical achievement. things have to work. the whole thing of us wanting to
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do things like this is sort of a human question, the classic, everest, let's scale the mountain because it's there sort of thing. but, too, it's this incredible question of what does it mean to be alive? we're going to mars to understand could life survive there? >> we're five minutes to entry, two minutes to entry. >> you are the flight director of this thing, how did you become the flight detectiver of this incredible-- >> i don't know that i conceived of this job as a kid. when you look at that sort of landing, let's hover with a jet pack over the surface of mars and watch it touch the surface. that's an uniquely creative idea that i don't think anybody would have come to the conclusion unless they said we have a challenge to face.
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>> this is where it all went down. >> this is where it went down. the most tense moments happened right here for this mission. >> touchdown confirmed. >> curiosity a had the world's attention. >> i understand there is a special mohawked guy working on the mission? you guys are a little cooler than you used to be. >> reporter: what would you say is the most unique and amazing thing about your job? >> it's a surreal experience to know that you're talking to an object on another planet. >> and it talks back via twitter >> reporter: another planet lives in california. the rocky train is a duplicate of the martian landscape where scientists can test out vehicles outside in natural light.
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>> it's really exciting. this is our place to essentially do everything that we want to do on mars, but in a comfortable, safe environment where we can fix things if they go wrong. you only have this one opportunity to get things right. >> reporter: since curiosity landed, it's been driving, digging and sending back never before seen images. >> you can see the surface of mars, but when you drill you see the grayish rock that we're used to seeing on eithe either. earth. >> the direc director dr. charles elachi. >> we found that th the ingredis that existed on mars is the same ingredient as part of life on earth.
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the same oxygen, nitrogen,
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>> it's in us, that sense of exploration. that's what always excited me about science and why i became a scientist, to discover the unknown and push those boundaries. i think going to mars that's a big thing. >> way to skirt the question. you're application is in the mail. >> yes, did they tell you? i'm leaving next thursday. >> yeah. >> enough mars talk. we're going to take a break, and what do we have coming up next.
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>> these vertical farms are everywhere. >> they're popping all over the world. and it's really exciting because it's going to change the way we eat and change the way we appreciate our food. check these out. they're called tower gardensers one of the many ways we can farm. food grows in them organically very quickly. there is water that flows through them. >> this is a great new way to grow produce. let's check it out. >> for over 8,000 years we've food. in fact, we've gotten so good at
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it that 80% of the world's farmable land
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land. >> it would be easier if i showed you. let's pull this out. look at how healthy and strong these root systems are here. the water every 15 minutes is just washing over these roots. >> is it ready to be harvested? >> this is ready to be fully harvested for a restaurant or you could just start harvesting and eating it. >> delicious. >> we have one restaurant here that it's garden is 50 feet. >> what kind of produce dubai? >> we buy kale, arugula.
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>> what do they say. >> they say it just pops. it's fabulous. we have a smoothie made from kale from next door. >> we start with the almond milk. tear some of that kale, a handful , spinach, protein powder. that is health in a glass. >> delicious. >> i just landed here in o'hare national airport, and i'm starving. i hear there a rumor that there is a vertical farm here that feeds 10,000 people here every year. let's go find it. it's like a secret garden in the middle of an airport.
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>> yum, super fresh. it's so good. >> help yourself. i know you're hungry. >> i'll eat it all. [♪ music ] >> tower gardens are so new its hard to know what kind of impact it will have opposite our country.
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but here at this pre-scale they've had tower gardens for the last two months. >> this is the first preschool ever to have an official tower garden. >> do you know what these are? >> tower garden. >> what is your favorite vegetable is. >> lettuce. >> carrots. >> tomatoes. >> gracie, what do you want to pick? >> um. >> arugula. >> one day we're at the supermarket, and this is after the tower garden appeared, and she grabbed a sugar pea and started eating it. wow, i can't believe she's eating this. >> did you eat snap peas off the tower gashe garden? >> no, we ate them all. >> they'll ask for kale, so we'll pull it off and we'll wash
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it and off they go running off to the sandbox with a piece of kale out of their mouth. >> what is this? >> it's eating the afids. >> what do you think the impact would be if every kid had this in schools. >> i think it would seriously shut down fast food as we know it. people have learned the value of eating healthy. >> vertical farming is not a new idea. it's been around forever. >> so what the innovation? >> the innovation is how inexpensive and reachable this particular system is. so all of a sudden anybody can go buy these tower gardens, and it's being mass produced, and it's something that used to be a custom job. >> i want one for my house, an it will be my party trick. people will come over and see that, and you take a step back, wow, you have fresh produce right in the middle-- >> this is going to be your new way to pick up girls.
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>> no, i said to entertain guests. >> i can read the sub text there. >> mojitos. >> it spreads this interesting part of culture where science and innovation is really catchy. if you can show this off, hey, i'm eating this fresh stuff and it's grown right there, that's a cool thing. >> you're talking about cool coloniesing mars. >> you're talking about vertical farms and i'm talking about genetically modified fishing. this is a fascinating experience. it seems like you had a good time. >> absolutely. >> "techknow" never stops. dive deep into these stories behind the scenes at
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>> thithis is al jazeera americ. live from new york city i'm tony harris. the senate wraps up its 2013 session. the senate is expected to vote on presidential nominations and a budget deal approved by the house last week. the u.n. says it needs nearly $6 billion in humanitarian aid to assist those fleeing syrian war, barrel of explosive fired on the city of aleppo, killed most of them


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