Helge Torgersen

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Public opposition to genetically modified (GM) food and crops is widely interpreted as the result of the public's misperception of the risks. With scientific assessment pointing to no unique risks from GM crops and foods, a strategy of accurate risk communication from trusted sources has been advocated. This is based on the assumption that the benefits of(More)
As synthetic biology develops into a promising science and engineering field, we need to have clear ideas and priorities regarding its safety, security, ethical and public dialogue implications. Based on an extensive literature search, interviews with scientists, social scientists, a 4 week long public e-forum, and consultation with several stakeholders(More)
As part of the SYNBIOSAFE project, we carried out an open electronic conference (e-conference), with the aim to stimulate an open debate on the societal issues of synthetic biology in a proactive way. The e-conference attracted 124 registered participants from 23 different countries and different professional backgrounds, who wrote 182 contributions in six(More)
Molecular detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a rapid and accurate method. In this study we present PCR for the detection of FMDV RNA in infected BHK cells. Using PCR and two primers selected from the RNA polymerase gene, a conserved sequence in all types and subtypes of FMDV, we were able to detect(More)
Mutants of human rhinovirus serotype 14 (HRV14) with increased resistance to treatment at low pH were obtained by repeated cycles of exposure to pH 4.5 and propagation in HeLa cells. Whereas wild-type virus lost more than 5 logs of infectivity upon incubation at pH 4.3, the three isolates examined were essentially unaffected. Conformational change of the(More)
Unambiguous assignment of restriction enzyme patterns to six individual serotypes of human rhinovirus was accomplished after amplification of a 380 bp DNA fragment derived from the 5' non-coding region. This was possible even though serotypes 1A and 1B and serotypes 2 and 49 differed only at 10 and 15 positions respectively. The method utilizes the(More)
The aim of this study was to investigate the tRNA(Leu(UUR)) gene and the first part of the ND1 gene in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A total of 158 cases of SIDS and 97 controls were included in the study, and the base pairs in the range 3230-3330 were investigated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and(More)
Drawing an analogy to past debates over biotechnology, some stakeholders fear that synthetic biology (SB) could raise public concerns. Accordingly, ‘lessons from the past’ should be applied to avoid controversies. However, biotechnology in the 1990s is not the only possible comparator. The potential to become contested has been attributed to a number of(More)