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[APD] glowfish banned
On Fri, 5 Dec 2003 08:53:49 -0800 (PST), xicotenco <xicotenco at yahoo_com>
I think that glow fish should be banned not only in California but, in
the whole word. We all know that either plant of fish end in the river
streams disruption the local ecosystem with invasive species. Just as an
example we have here in Florida South American Plecos allover the place.
We don’t know the impact of genetically engineered fish will bring in to
nature in the near future.
Another example of GM stuff it is in your freezer right now. Check out
this website for genetically modified food.
Surely this is true of most species kept in aquariums? This makes us
(except me, I only have goldfish yet) all guilty of potentially invading
our natural ecosystems with invasive species? Does your tank contain any
fish or plants that you would rather not have in your streams and rivers?
Of course, properly kept, there is little to no risk of contamination. It
is only when some stupid lazy person gets bored of their fish/plants and
flushes them alive, or otherwise allows this contamination, that species
escape. It makes no difference whether the zebrafish glows or not, it
could still damage natural ecosystems, but I assume you don't go throwing
fish into rivers. The company states that the modified zebrafish tolerate
cold less than the unmodified fish, so since as far as I am aware
zebrafish have not invaded the wild, then the modified version is even
less likely to, given its current known tolerances.
It is different, however, when you are creating an organism which presents
an obvious or less obvious risk to the natural environment. The most
extreme case of this would the accidental release of a modified virus or
other pathogen, such as an engineered bioweapon (did you know the US
spends more on its military than the next twelve biggest spenders
combined?), but there are probably many more examples of this.
There is no fundamental difference between animal breeding and genetic
modification, the only difference is that genetic modification is far more
precise (changing only a few known genes instead of thousands of genes
randomly), but far more powerful. It is a technique which needs more care
than other techniques, but unfortunately the root of the problem is that
humans are, as a mass, stupid. Nobody would release an organism
intentionally that would cause damage, yet stupidity allows it to happen
anyway. Stupidity can be overcome, though.
I understand that a common way of isolating modified from unmodified
bacteria in a mix is by antibiotic resistance - the bacteria are given
antibiotic resistance in addition to the main modification, and then the
mix is subjected to the antibiotic, leaving only modified organisms?
Surely, outside secure lab facilities, this is asking for trouble.
Perhaps it would be prudent to place security measures in every organism?
Suicide genes, that inhibit wide-spread growth (the organism produces a
chemical that kills it if to much grows). In Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs
were incapable of producing the amino acid lysine. By not feeding this in
the dinosaurs diet, the dinosaurs should have died, although (as in the
Lost \world), it is possible they could have eaten food high in this amino
acid to survive. If rabbits were created with such a deficiency, they
would soon breed with other rabbits and gain the proteins to do it.
However, dinosaurs are unlikely to breed in the wild. Perhaps all
organisms created should:
a) be extinct or otherwise completely unable to breed with any other forms
of life (not sterilisation, which is never 100%)
b) be fitted with multiple suicide genes to avoid becoming a major
invasive problem in the event of release
c) have huge gaps in their metabolism, making them utterly dependent on
humans to survive, and highly unlikely to gain the necessary mutations.
Care and attention, as with all things, is needed.
What a long post! And pretty off-topic too.
thefish at theabyssalplain_freeserve.co.uk
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