BIOETHICS: New vectors from species splicing

CDJeff cdjeff at aol.com
Tue Jun 27 19:48:20 EST 1995


I'm not sure if I made myself clear. I saw a special on gene splicing
where human genes were being spliced into mice genes. The hope was that
these new human/mice would produce higher protein milk cheaper, more
easily, and efficiently than a whole building complex of scientific
machinery and paraphenalia. (This was on one of the major networks in the
last few days.) My concern is that 

if the mice are no longer mice per se, but now mice/humans (even if only a
tiny percentage)... And

if viruses have been proven to be passed on only through certain vectors,
doesn't the introduction of a new "species" complicate the situation
substantially?...

Because:

The original animal (mouse) was known to not be a vector for given virus
A.... however, humans were

Then, if the mouse is now a mouse/human could or should he now be
investigated as a vector for the disease? And what if a bunch of them were
to escape?

I agree with you that gov. regulation has rendered the scientific
exploration of many of these problems almost cost prohibitive in some
instances...

However, there is nobody overseeing the medical ethics/implications of how
this left hand activity could be affecting a right hand activity and the
health and safety of us all in addition! We need a solution to this
dilemma in my opinion.



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