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Re: Mice given bat-like forelimbs through gene switch



Dora Smith wrote:
> Genetic manipulation, as in cloning, or producing new organisms by combining
> the DNA of one organism with that of another...

Cloning happens naturally in a lot of species; every day in most
micro-organisms, and less often in the form of parthenogenesis in more complex
organisms. 

Retroviruses are be able to combine the DNA of different species. In fact,
endogenous retrovirus sequences have become a permanent part of the human
genome. Up to 8% of our genes once belonged to other species.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endogenous_retrovirus

Bacteria are able to exchange gene sequences not just between different members
of the same species, but between different bacterial species. That's how
antibiotic resistance can spread from one bacterial species to another, whether
or not all of the species involved have actually had direct contact with that
particular antibiotic.
http://www.gmo-safety.eu/en/gene_transfer/marker_genes/461.docu.html

Why should such behaviour be acceptable in one organism but not another?

>...  is morally wrong and
> ecologically extremely unwise.
> Anyone who doesn't know that probably isn't
> going to be convinced by me.

Moral stances can't be 'known', only 'felt' (and even then are highly
culture-specific). 

And as for unwise science; if scientists never took risks, we'd still be
huddling naked in caves freezing our *Equus asinus* off. Of course the planet
may well have been better off... unless of course science can ultimately protect
the planet from bolid impacts, in which case all our reckless science
experiments will have actually *saved* the planet. :)

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              Http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com
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