Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Does anyone other than me think this is just *wrong*???

Glowing Monkeys Make More Glowing Monkeys the Old-Fashioned Way
The first genetically modified primates that can pass their modifications to their offpsring have been created by Japanese scientists.

The marmosets...express a green fluorescent protein in their skin. The gene for producing the glow was delivered to the first marmoset embryos via a modified virus. But now that modification method could become unnecessary. One male marmoset, number 666, fathered a child...that also contained the transgenes.

666? Oh, the wingnuts will have fun with that! But seriously, I've been saying that transgenetics is a dangerous thing because of its capacity to reproduce in the wild. What happens when this happens outside of a lab? And these are primates, our cousins. What's next, making our kids glow green under UV light? How will they feel about it? Like a freak? And how will those who don't have the novelty of glowing green feel? Normal? or freaks? Argggh!

It looks like, from the pictures, that the child glows stronger than the parent. What also disturbs me is that glowing transgenetic animals aren't made that way just to prove our scientists can. They're made to study all sorts of human diseases. Although I do believe scientific work to cure disease is important, I have trouble with the idea of creating an entire line of designer animals just so you can experiment on it. Not to sound like a religious zealot, but I think there is a point where we have wonder if some people play God in the name of science (As I'm sure you realise from reading this blog, I'm a great advocate of science. But science can run amuck, as its study and manipulation is in the hands of humans, who are in essence imperfect. I give to you the atom bomb and its unforeseen effects.)

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