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See detailA quantitative analysis of fish consumption and stroke risk.
Bouzan, C.; Cohen, J. T.; Connor, W. E. et al

in American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2005), 29(4), 347-352

Although a rich source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that may confer multiple health benefits, some fish contain methyl mercury (MeHg), which may harm the developing fetus. U.S. government ... [more ▼]

Although a rich source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that may confer multiple health benefits, some fish contain methyl mercury (MeHg), which may harm the developing fetus. U.S. government recommendations for women of childbearing age are to modify consumption of high-MeHg fish to reduce MeHg exposure, while recommendations encourage fish consumption among the general population because of the nutritional benefits. The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis convened an expert panel (see acknowledgements) to quantify the net impact of resulting hypothetical changes in fish consumption across the population. This paper estimates the impact of fish consumption on stroke risk. Other papers quantify coronary heart disease mortality risk and the impacts of both prenatal MeHg exposure and maternal intake of n-3 PUFAs on cognitive development. This analysis identified articles in a recent qualitative literature review that are appropriate for the development of a dose-response relationship between fish consumption and stroke risk. Studies had to satisfy quality criteria, quantify fish intake, and report the precision of the relative risk estimates. The analysis combined the relative risk results, weighting each proportionately to its precision. Six studies were identified as appropriate for inclusion in this analysis, including five prospective cohort studies and one case-control study (total of 24 exposure groups). Our analysis indicates that any fish consumption confers substantial relative risk reduction compared to no fish consumption (12% for the linear model), with the possibility that additional consumption confers incremental benefits (central estimate of 2.0% per serving per week). [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops
König, Ariane UL; Cockburn, A.; Crevel, R. et al

in Food and Chemical Toxicology (2004), 42

This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD ... [more ▼]

This paper provides guidance on how to assess the safety of foods derived from genetically modified crops (GM crops); it summarises conclusions and recommendations of Working Group 1 of the ENTRANSFOOD project. The paper provides an approach for adapting the test strategy to the characteristics of the modified crop and the introduced trait, and assessing potential unintended effects from the genetic modification. The proposed approach to safetyassessment starts with the comparison of the new GM crop with a traditional counterpart that is generally accepted as safe based on a history of human food use (the concept of substantial equivalence). This case-focused approach ensures that foods derived from GM crops that have passed this extensive test-regime are as safe and nutritious as currently consumed plant-derived foods. The approach is suitable for current and future GM crops with more complex modifications. First, the paper reviews test methods developed for the risk assessment of chemicals, including food additives and pesticides, discussing which of these methods are suitable for the assessment of recombinant proteins and whole foods. Second, the paper presents a systematic approach to combine test methods for the safetyassessment of foods derived from a specific GM crop. Third, the paper provides an overview on developments in this area that may prove of use in the safetyassessment of GM crops, and recommendations for research priorities. It is concluded that the combination of existing test methods provides a sound test-regime to assess the safety of GM crops. Advances in our understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, and nutrition may in future allow further improvement of test methods that will over time render the safetyassessment of foods even more effective and informative. [less ▲]

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See detailCombining multiple viewpoints on genetically modified foods
König, Ariane UL

Report (2004)

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See detailA framework for designing transgenic crops - science, safety, and citizen’s concerns.
König, Ariane UL

in Nature Biotechnology (2003), 21(11), 1274-1279

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See detailForum Comment
König, Ariane UL

in Science & Technology (2003), XX

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See detailNegotiating the precautionary principle: Regulatory and institutional roots of divergent US and EU positions
König, Ariane UL

in International Journal of BioTechnology (2002), 4(1), 61-81

The precautionary principle has been a bone of contention in international negotiations on the governance of environmental and health risks. The US administration and European institutions often present ... [more ▼]

The precautionary principle has been a bone of contention in international negotiations on the governance of environmental and health risks. The US administration and European institutions often present opposing views on whether formal references to precaution help or hinder the global governance of risk, in particular where linked to world trade. The European Commission official position, backed by Council, Parliament and some Member States, advocates the principle's use in legal texts and pushes for the elaboration of international guidelines for its application. The proposed guidelines, whilst explicitly conforming to basic principles of trade law, include recommendations on broad socio-economic impact analyses of alternative risk mitigation measures and emphasise political aspects of decisions on risk. The US administration's official position papers oppose references to precaution and socio-economic impact analysis in international laws and guidelines on risk analysis. They mainly cite fears of abuse of the concept as guise for protectionist measures. In each administration a wide range of state and non-state actors with disparate views inform policy makers who then have to adopt one coherent position. This article suggests that overarching differences in the negotiating positions adopted by the US and European institutions, often attributed to culturally and politically rooted biases on risk and uncertainty, are also reflected in institutional practices and regulatory frameworks of the two jurisdictions. It recommends taking disparate institutional structures and regulatory frameworks into account in future deliberations on international guidelines on risk analysis. [less ▲]

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See detailThe credibility of expert advice for regulatory decision-making in the US and EU
König, Ariane UL; Jasanoff, Sheila

E-print/Working paper (2002)

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See detailSafety considerations of DNA in food
Jonas, D. A.; Elmadfa, I.; Engel, K.-H. et al

in Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism (2001), 45(6), 1-20

Recombinant DNA techniques are capable of introducing genetic changes into food organisms that are more predictable than those introduced through conventional breeding techniques. This review discusses ... [more ▼]

Recombinant DNA techniques are capable of introducing genetic changes into food organisms that are more predictable than those introduced through conventional breeding techniques. This review discusses whether the consumption of DNA in approved novel foods and novel food ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be regarded as being as safe as the consumption of DNA in existing foods. It concludes that DNA from GMOs is equivalent to DNA from existing food organisms that has always been consumed with human diets. Any risks associated with the consumption of DNA will remain, irrespective of its origin, because the body handles all DNA in the same way. The breakdown of DNA during food processing and passage through the gastrointestinal tract reduces the likelihood that intact genes capable of encoding foreign proteins will be transferred to gut microflora. The review does not specifically address food safety issues arising from the consumption of viable genetically modified microorganisms but it shows that the likelihood of transfer and functional integration of DNA from ingested food by gut microflora and/or human cells is minimal. Information reviewed does not indicate any safety concerns associated with the ingestion of DNA per se from GMOs resulting from the use of currently available recombinant DNA techniques in the food chain. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a common understanding of the precautionary principle?
König, Ariane UL

Article for general public (2000)

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See detailRisk assessment of antibiotic resistance markers in genetically modified crops
König, Ariane UL

Scientific Conference (2000)

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See detailDevelopment and biosafety aspects of transgene excision methods
König, Ariane UL

Scientific Conference (2000)

Detailed reference viewed: 45 (3 UL)
See detailGenetically modified crops in the European Union - the regulatory framework and public acceptance
König, Ariane UL

Scientific Conference (1998)

In both the United States and the European Union the fundamental concept for the food and environmental safety assessment of products derived from modern biotechnology is the concept of substantial ... [more ▼]

In both the United States and the European Union the fundamental concept for the food and environmental safety assessment of products derived from modern biotechnology is the concept of substantial equivalence, where the novel product is compared to a closely related product that has an accepted standard of safety. The concept was initially introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (WHO, 1991). In 1992, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) elaborated the underlying concept and introduced the term “substantial equivalence” (OECD, 1993). The application of substantial equivalence has since been reinforced by international expert bodies (WHO, 1995; FAO, 1996) and has been adopted by regulatory authorities in most countries. [less ▲]

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See detailThe pipecolate-incorporating enzyme for the biosynthesis of the immunosuppressant rapamycin: Nucleotide sequence analysis, disruption and heterologous expression of rapP from Streptomyces hygroscopicus.
König, Ariane UL; Schwecke, T.; Molnár, I. et al

in European Journal of Biochemistry (1997), 247(2), 526-534

An open reading frame (rapP) encoding the putative pipecolate-incorporating enzyme (PIE) has been identified in the gene cluster for the biosynthesis of rapamycin in Streptomyces hygroscopicus. Conserved ... [more ▼]

An open reading frame (rapP) encoding the putative pipecolate-incorporating enzyme (PIE) has been identified in the gene cluster for the biosynthesis of rapamycin in Streptomyces hygroscopicus. Conserved amino acid sequence motifs for ATP binding, ATP hydrolysis, adenylate formation, and 4'-phosphopantetheine attachment were identified by sequence comparison with authentic peptide synthetases. Disruption of rapP by phage insertion abolished rapamycin production in S. hygroscopicus, and the production of the antibiotic was specifically restored upon loss of the inserted phage by a second recombination event. rapP was expressed in both Escherichia coli and Streptomyces coelicolor, and recombinant PIE was purified to homogeneity from both hosts. Although low-level incorporation of [14C]beta-alanine into recombinant PIE isolated from E. coli was detected, formation of the covalent acylenzyme intermediate could only be shown with the PIE from S. coelicolor, suggesting that while the recombinant PIE from S. coelicolor was phosphopantetheinylated, only a minor proportion of the recombinant enzyme from E. coli was post-translationally modified. [less ▲]

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See detailThe nature of the starter unit for the rapamycin polyketide synthase
König, Ariane UL; Schwecke, T.; Molnár, I. et al

in Angewandte Chemie International Edition (1996), 35(19), 2249-2251

A remarkably high level of incorporation is observed when 2,2,5,5-tetradeutero -3,4- dihydroxycyclo -hexanecarboxylic acid is fed to the rapamycin-producing organism. Intriguingly, however, analysis of ... [more ▼]

A remarkably high level of incorporation is observed when 2,2,5,5-tetradeutero -3,4- dihydroxycyclo -hexanecarboxylic acid is fed to the rapamycin-producing organism. Intriguingly, however, analysis of the gene sequence for the rapamycin polyketide synthase has suggested that the free acid may not normally be involved in rapamycin biosynthesis. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganisation of the biosynthetic gene cluster for rapamycin in Streptomyces hygroscopicus: analysis of the enzymatic domains in the modular polyketide synthase
Aparicio, J. F.; Molnar, I.; Schwecke, T. et al

in Gene (1996), 169(1), 9-16

The three giant multifunctional polypeptides of the rapamycin (Rp)-producing polyketide synthase (RAPS1, RAPS2 and RAPS3) have recently been shown to contain 14 separate sets, or modules, of enzyme ... [more ▼]

The three giant multifunctional polypeptides of the rapamycin (Rp)-producing polyketide synthase (RAPS1, RAPS2 and RAPS3) have recently been shown to contain 14 separate sets, or modules, of enzyme activities, each module catalysing a specific round of polyketide chain extension. Detailed sequence comparison between these protein modules has allowed further characterisation of aa that may be important in catalysis or specificity. The acyl-carrier protein (ACP), beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase (KS) and acyltransferase (AT) domains (the core domains) have an extremely high degree of mutual sequence homology. The KS domains in particular are almost perfect repeats over their entire length. Module 14 shows the least homology and is unique in possessing only core domains. The enoyl reductase (ER), beta-ketoacyl-ACP reductase (KR) and dehydratase (DH) domains are present even in certain modules where they are not apparently required. Four DH domains can be recognised as inactive by characteristic deletions in active site sequences, but for two others, and for KR and ER in module 3, the sequence is not distinguishable from that of active counterparts in other modules. The N terminus of RAPS1 contains a novel coenzyme A ligase (CL) domain that activates and attaches the shikimate-derived starter unit, and an ER activity that may modify the starter unit after attachment. The sequence comparison has revealed the surprisingly high sequence similarity between inter-domain 'linker' regions, and also a potential amphipathic helix at the N terminus of each multienzyme subunit which may promote dimerisation into active species. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganisation of the biosynthetic gene cluster for rapamycin in Streptomyces hygroscopicus: analysis of the genes flanking the polyketide synthase
Aparicio, J. F.; Molnár, I.; Schwecke, T. et al

in Gene (1996), 169(1), 1-7

The three giant multifunctional polypeptides of the rapamycin (Rp)-producing polyketide synthase (RAPS1, RAPS2 and RAPS3) have recently been shown to contain 14 separate sets, or modules, of enzyme ... [more ▼]

The three giant multifunctional polypeptides of the rapamycin (Rp)-producing polyketide synthase (RAPS1, RAPS2 and RAPS3) have recently been shown to contain 14 separate sets, or modules, of enzyme activities, each module catalysing a specific round of polyketide chain extension. Detailed sequence comparison between these protein modules has allowed further characterisation of aa that may be important in catalysis or specificity. The acyl-carrier protein (ACP), beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase (KS) and acyltransferase (AT) domains (the core domains) have an extremely high degree of mutual sequence homology. The KS domains in particular are almost perfect repeats over their entire length. Module 14 shows the least homology and is unique in possessing only core domains. The enoyl reductase (ER), beta-ketoacyl-ACP reductase (KR) and dehydratase (DH) domains are present even in certain modules where they are not apparently required. Four DH domains can be recognised as inactive by characteristic deletions in active site sequences, but for two others, and for KR and ER in module 3, the sequence is not distinguishable from that of active counterparts in other modules. The N terminus of RAPS1 contains a novel coenzyme A ligase (CL) domain that activates and attaches the shikimate-derived starter unit, and an ER activity that may modify the starter unit after attachment. The sequence comparison has revealed the surprisingly high sequence similarity between inter-domain 'linker' regions, and also a potential amphipathic helix at the N terminus of each multienzyme subunit which may promote dimerisation into active species. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 154 (2 UL)