sickness due to genetech ?

R.G. Walters mbrgw at
Thu Jun 17 06:38:28 EST 1993

In article <C8q0nw.Gp0 at> alexandr at (Jerry N. Alexandratos) writes:
>>>+ Rather like the cloning of an active oncogene into SV40 in an uncontrolled
>>>+ environment. This was rumoured to have happened at the Pasteur Institute,
>>>+ I believe, and several workers and several members of the public "caught"
>>>+ cancer. I don't know if any of them died.  
>Hello, folks.  Why has no one responded?  I do not believe it is possible to
>show that someone can "catch" cancer.  It would take not only the organism with
>the oncogene to be viable away from it's growth medium, but in a totally 
>foreign organism, e.g. humans, long enough to pass along genetic material.
>The genetic material would have to be transferred in such a way as to be still
>intact.  Given that we have lots of living bacteria and virii in our systems 
>and we don't transfer DNA with *them*, I don't see that this is possible, never
>mind likely.  In summary, IMNSHO, I don't believe it at all.  Please show me
>some proof, first...  then I will take this up again.  

1. Cervical cancer is "caught" - it is virally induced.
2. I'm not sure, but I always believed that SV40 is viable in humans, so if it
carried an oncogene it could readily propagate and cause disease -  The
principle of viral oncogenes is well known (let's face it, it's how genes
such as src and ras were discovered). I think it is not unlikely that an
oncogene cloned into SV40 would be tumour-inducing.

Robin Walters.                      Robert Hill Institute, Sheffield UK.

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