Dr. Mengele Makes A Comeback As Mad Scientists Play With Genetics


eugenedw's picture

Mostly alarmist nonsense. As for Dr. Eugene McCarthy, I have to wonder whether he even exists, and if so, when last he has taken his medication. :-)

Log from Blammo's picture

The pig/chimp hybrid hypothesis actually made me laugh out loud. It suggests that a "geneticist" is unfamiliar with how species work.

The essence of humanity is not the sum of its DNA. I, for one, would not mind tinkering with my own genes. For instance, if I were to assemble a retrovirus that targets the phi-GULO pseudogene and repairs it, using a gene copied from practically any other mammal, my liver would begin producing vitamin C and peroxide. Is that "corruption"?

It seems to me that the corruption was losing that capability in the first place, and having insufficient interbreeding humans to repair it from within our own gene pool.

This particular djinn is already out of the jar. If you need to be alarmist, bang the gongs against misfolded protein prions arising from newer sciences such as preoteomics. It takes significant computing resources to calculate how a given gene sequence translates to a particular protein, and even more to design a protein and calculate backwards to a gene that creates it. This is coming within our grasp. If you are afraid of animal DNA corrupting the genome, cower in horror at the prospect that we can now design entirely novel genes.

Why, imagine what could be done! You could design a venomous baby! Make a virus that kills only the Miller family! Cure a profitable cancer!

There's really no more to fear here than any other potentially useful technology. You will likely not even notice it, unless your child chooses to become a bioengineer.