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[APD] Re: glowfish banned

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

I would be very surprised to see *any* fish survive a trip through the sewer system. Even if the fish could survive the very, very hostile environment in the piping (black water in sewer lines is _not_ good for anything besides some strains of bacteria), the treatment plant at the end would finish it off. In order for a fish to be released into a wild population it would need to be placed in a stream, lake, pond, or other natural waterway, which unfortunately does happen occasionally.

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.

Seems to me that the glowing part of the fish would make it easy for predators to spot and thus would keep their populations down should they be released.

engineered bioweapon (did you know the US spends more on its military than the next twelve biggest spenders combined?),

This is irrelevant to the discussion and the implication is false.

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.

Stupidity is unfortunately extremely difficult to overcome. Even at work we see problems still with users and email worms, despite repeated instruction, mass media attention, and even some firings of repeat offenders. And following the "don't open email attachments" rule is not difficult. I think what you're talking about here is the real problem, and not one that can be easily overcome.

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.

Now you're looking at a serious amount of work, and something that might not even be possible today. Sterilization can be 100% but such methods are likely to reduce the life span of the fish.

BTW, movies are a notoriously bad source of scientific knowledge.


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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