BIOETHICS: New vectors from species splicing

CDJeff cdjeff at
Mon Jun 26 18:46:22 EST 1995

I am concerned that in pursuing the intellectual and engineering
possibilities of what is possible to create, in the way of inserting human
genes into animal DNA, we are possibly going to develope a compounded
nightmare of a vector problem when trying to determine the origin of
vectors for all of the new killer viruses currently out there. It is my
understanding that at this point in time, some of the newly discovered
viruses are mutating at a rate astronomically faster than previously known
viruses, and that this rate is adding to the difficulty in trying to
address a cure for them. If we multiply that bit of mathematics by the
number of possible vectors involved in the dessemination of the virus
(increased by a power of ? by splicing species types together), haven't we
then compounded the odds against success geometrically? I think that some
kind of ethical limits and global guidelines for this type of
experimentation should be addressed until we can get a handle on the cure
and origins for at least some of the current strains of nightmare viruses.
If just one mouse escaped....

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