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Re: Mice given bat-like forelimbs through gene switch

Jura writes:

Dann Pigdon wrote:

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


Because, unlike other "organisms" (technically
retroviruses and bacteria are not organisms), we have
both a history of seriously screwing these things up...

We're still amateurs compared to cyanobacteria. They managed to pollute the entire planet's atmosphere with a deadly toxic gas. These days we call it 'oxygen', but back then it was a dangerous waste product that radically changed the planet's surface. Our ancestors managed to adapt to the toxin, to the point where we now depend on it.

At the very least, I think it would be best to remove
the ability of any genetic creations to either
reproduce, or live on their own without supplements
from us (this is starting to sound very Jurassic
Park). Just some kind of fail-safe in the inevitable
event that one of these genetic manipulations winds up
getting out into the wild.

Some genetically modified organisms are engineered not to be able to reproduce. There are GM fish specially engineered to be able to eat noxious water weeds. They've been released into some waterways to remove the pest plants, and once they've done their job the fish die off without reproducing.

Unfortunately for organic non-GM farmers, GM plants are often reproductively viable (and pollen is notoriously difficult to control). Legally speaking, once your (formerly) non-GM crops have been contaminated by GM wind-borne pollen, you're supposed to pay royalties to whomever owns the patents on the genes - whether you wanted GM crops or not!

(And for the record - the 'lysine deficient' dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were a huge mistake by the author. No tetropod is able to produce lysine for itself!)


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