genetic engineering

Susan Hogarth sjhogart at unity.ncsu.edu
Tue Apr 1 22:23:41 EST 1997


Wubaduoy wrote:

> ...I reckon anything this powerful, volatile and
> unpredictable should be left alone and be made outlawed.

Ah-ha! A refreshing dose of sarcasm! How pleasant and amusing! For the
benefit of *some* people, who might not realise you're joking, I'll add
a few comments, below:
 
> We cannot prevent animal extinction by cloning. Dolly the sheep was the
> only succesful birth out of about 200 attempts, so the risk is high.

... for now. The risk of an airplane crash was undoubtably high when the
Wrights made their first flights. I suppose we should have banned
flying, eh?

> Besides, a cloned population would ultimately become predominantly
> homozygous at most alleles and die out due to deleterious recessives.

????Helllllooo??? Exactly _how_ would this work? _Inbreeding_ will
increase the proportion of homozygous genes, but _cloning_ *won't*. It
will just make more copies of the same genome, which *can* lead to
problems if that genome contains susceptibility to some previously rare
disease. But that is *not* the same thing as increasing the proportion
of deleterious recessives.

> We
> can prevent extintion by not hunting the damn animal and fucking up its
> habitat!

True. 

> Gene therapy has proved successful, but there's a limit. Should we have
> the right to change the eye and hair colour of our unborn child?

Who really cares about hair and eye color? I'd rather see parents
changing their children's eye color through genetic engineering than
punching holes in their infant's ears (a common form of mutilation among
White Trash Americans).
 
> No way in hell do the benefits outweigh the risks.

That's funny! (but possibly untrue and certainly irrelevant, since
humans are bound to keep exploring new things anyway - it's in our
nature).

> We hardly know
> anything! we cannot predics the dire consequences and yet will only stop
> after a disaster (only for a while).

Yup! You said it! And it's a good thing, too!
 
-- 
Susan
http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/s/sjhogart/public/home.html

"To stay awake all night adds a day to your life."
                       -- Stilgar (Frank Herbert)



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