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Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer, etc, yeah, that's important too, but what we
really care about is when can they put daylily flowers on hostas.


"James M. Anderson" wrote:

> Joe,
> Ouch.  The question of what constitutes a species is already unanswerable.
> I suppose if the engineered plant no longer can cross with the original
> species it would be a new species.  In horticultural crops the species
> concept can loose meaning anyway.  Is Zea maize (corn) really a species?
> Personally, I will leave such questions to people that worry about
> systematics.
> Genetic engineering of Humans.  Why not walk on fire.  The ethical questions
> are of primary importance here, but what if your family consistently
> produces children that get Alzheimer's at a young age.  There is a gene that
> can be inserted to prevent this (hypothetical at this time, but probably not
> for long)   --  should you abstain from having children or attempt to cure a
> genetic problem using genetic engineering in your gene line.  Even more
> difficult to answer.  What if a gene from plants or bacteria is found that
> prevents plaque from forming in human arteries (would be the end of the most
> common form of heart disease).  Is it ethical to put this gene into the
> human genome?  I am not looking for answers to these questions, but only
> pointing out how knotty the ethical problems are going to get.
> Jim Anderson
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <halinar@open.org>
> To: <hosta-open@mallorn.com>
> Sent: Thursday, December 02, 1999 1:53 PM
> Subject: Re: "AND ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST" a song
> > Jim:
> >
> > >Not to be argumentative, but we there are several areas that could
> > >benefit agriculture that would require multigene transfer.
> >
> > Your point is well taken.  At the present time one gene is about what
> > is all that is practical.  Of course many of the most important traits
> > are going to be multigenic.  Unfortunately, we also don't understand
> > how these traits operate.  The techniques of genetic engineering is
> > such that it is going to be very difficult to inject multiple genes -
> > would probably have to be done one gene at a time.  How to do isolate
> > 10, or 100 genes for cold tolerance or aluminum tolerance?
> >
> > Actually, some of this could be done by other techniques, just as
> > complicated as genetic engineering but not as glamorous as genetic
> > engineering and probably not understood by the biochemical geneticist
> > who work on genetic engineering.
> >
> > The question I have is, how many genes can you inject and still claim
> > you have the original species?  Even if you inject one gene is that
> > transgenetic plant a new species?  What's going to be more intersting
> > is when they start injecting genes into human DNA!
> >
> > Joe Halinar
> >
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> >
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