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>The trans-species migration of genes is as old as life, The grouping 
>of plants into species is not as cut and dry as it is with animals.  
>With many plant populations the result of hybridization and the 
>accumulation of genes from out side of the species.

True, but all the natural and man made hybridizing that has occured in 
plants has been at the whole chromosome level through a natural sexual 
process and the genetic exchange that has occured has occured between 
closely related species. Hosta species will cross with other hosta 
species, but hostas don't regularly cross with daylilies.  The genetic 
engineering we see today is combining genetic material from very 
diverse organisms that would never combine in nature.  Corn plants 
don't normally mate with bacterial in a sexual process.  The genetic 
engineering we see today is manipulating genetic material at the gene 
level compared to the chromosome manipulating of traditional 
hybridizing methods.

>So called gene therapy is all ready being studied and practiced in 
>humans in regards so some forms of genetic defects.

Yes, and it will continue.  At first, and probably for some time, gene 
therapy will be used to cure people who have a genetic defect.  Once 
the technique is worked out, what then?  We need workers who are 
strong and intelligent enough to get the grunt work done, but not 
intelligent enough to know they are beasts of burden destined to spend 
their lives working.  Now, how about taking genes from apps and 
injecting them into humans, or human genes into apps to produce this 
new "worker class?"  Apps and man have about 98% of their genes in 
common.  Certainly within posibility, maybe not right now, but 
certainly in the future.  Of course this is a moral issue, but not all 
people work from a moral background.

Another possibility that may confront future generations is the active 
use of genetic engineering to "improve" humans.  Lets face it, a 
complex world of computers, complicated communication systems and 
billions of lines of computer code all require a population with a 
high level of intelligence.  There are only so many intelligent people 
in the world - half the people are below average in intelligence.  Why 
not take genes from the next Einstein that comes along and insert 
those genes into "average" people to evolve the human race to a higher 
level of intelligence?  Again, a moral issue, but not impossible.

Joe Halinar

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