Genetic Engineering does indeed have problems

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Thu Feb 17 15:25:00 EST 2000

Heck, we're just killing time until the next ice age, anyway. 
When I realized that flu was the virus' way of making us more like our
companions, it gave me a whole new perspective on illness. 
Why now, whenever I have a cough, I dash out to spread my precious DNA
everywhere. (Or perhaps not.)
It is my theory that we are basically a device created by yeasts and
molds to produce and disseminate bread, beer and cheese. Or, in the case
of the Catholics, bread and wine. 
You'll notice that intelligence in the race of man develops
simultaneously with our starting to store grain (where the yeasts could
find them, of course). 
Mark, you want to dig out that bit in the Bible that says we're yeast? 
(After a week on Floxin, this is probably quite true about me.) 
 Me, I find GM foods scary, and I steer clear of pseudo fats and pretend
sugar, but I am a lady of substance ... I bet the junk food is mostly
GM. But the soy beans went first. Laugh? Scared the cat.
As for the butterflies, I think that your studying them is far more
important than what you find out. If this means that everybody changes
names every 25 years (well, at an accelerated rate now, I guess) it may
keep us mentally limber. 
Or, of course, we may go play something where we're not wrong quite so
Me, I don't care what you call them as long as there are plenty of them
in my garden ... and a nice assortment, too. 
I'm on a Terry Pratchett kick, and I hope most serious scientists cut
their teeth on Sturgeon, Clarke, Asimov, main-line science fiction, and
have considered what they're doing to society with their improvements. I
wish I thought the entrepreneurs who are  making the money (and spilling
cyanide here and there) had also done some reading, thinking and
Anne Kilmer
south Florida

Jim Mason wrote:
> I stand corrected on the distinctions (apparently very few) between
> mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA.  I hope Bruce and his merry band of
> genetic tinkerers have lots of fun messing around with all this and never
> regret what they are doing.  Those pesky unintended consequences have an
> amazing way of coming around to bite you.  We truly are now at a stage where
> we can play God with the world.  I am no Luddite.  I just want to enjoy my
> time on this wonderful planet and do my part to preserve its biodiversity.
> Jim Mason, Naturalist
> jmason at
> (316) 683-5499 x103
> Great Plains Nature Center
> 6232 E. 29th St. N.
> Wichita, KS 67220-2200
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bruce Walsh <jbwalsh at>
> To: jmason <jmason at>; Leps-L <LEPS-L at>
> Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2000 12:10 PM
> Subject: Re: Genetic Engineering does indeed have problems
> Jim chimes in with " It
> is very disingenuous to say that "Nature itself likes genetic
> engineering."
> based on the presence of mitochondria and chloroplasts in animal and
> plant
> cells.  You should know better."
> Actually, I do indeed know better, which is why I said this.  Most of the
> original genes in the mitochondria and chloroplasts have been transferred
> to the nucleus --- animal mtDNA have only 20 odd protein coding genes,
> cpDNAs have around 150 protein coding genes, yet the molecular energy
> structures unique to both organelles have 1000-2000 other proteins, which
> are
> all nuclear.  All those bacteria genes are now in our nuclei, a massive feat
> of genetic modification.
> Peace

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