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RE: Mice given bat-like forelimbs through gene switch



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Dann Pigdon
>
> Dora Smith writes: 
> 
> > I don't know if this is on topic here, but genetic 
> manipulation is not 
> > a good idea.
> 
> Try telling that to someone with cystic fibrosis. :) 
> 
> Besides - retroviruses have been engineering the genes of 
> other species for millions of years (for good or for ill). 
> Why shouldn't humans get in on the act as well? At least we 
> have the courtesy of creating sealed laboratory conditions, 
> and developing codes of ethics. Those maverick retroviruses 
> just do as they please, and damn the consequences! 

And additionally, all our food stuffs (grains, fruits, domestic animals,
etc.) have been genetically modified for hundreds or thousands of years.
These modifications were done the slow way (controlled reproduction), but
are genetic modifications nonetheless, and have produced organisms wildly
transformed from their ancestral state. (Have you seen a wild eggplant or
Brussels sprout?) In fact, crops like corn were so amazingly transformed
that there was a long debate among agronomists and archaeologists as to
whether teosinte really is the wild ancestor of corn!

(I highly recommend the relevant chapters of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs &
Steel for a readable look at the degree to which wild sources were
transformed via controlled reproduction).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA