Wednesday, July 12, 2006

BioTrek in Steinbach

We humans now have the ability to move genes from one species to another. (In fact, today we performed a transgenic experiment ourselves.) Under what circumstances, if any, do you think we should move DNA from species to species?

10 comments:

Damian said...

I don't have a problem with moving DNA from species to species, because it helps us achieve things that might save our lives. As an example, I would use Biosteel, which is using transgenics to get goats to produce spider silk. This helps us because we can use that spider silk as a very resistant material (10 stronger than steel) while it is extremely light. We can use it for bulletproof vests to avoid, well, death. So, yes I agree with performing transgenics.

By the way, I am still allowed to post here, right?

Dr. C said...

Interesting ideas, Damien. (Yes, you are welcome to keep posting here.)

Scotty Dog said...

Well, to take an opposing side to Damian (even though I agree with him, but we have to get some sort of convo going here) I have a few issues to bring up. Sure, transgenics can be a good thing... if the right people are using it. But the fact of the matter is, that once the door is open, it won't be shut again. If we choose to open the door and start learning more and more about transgenics, and developing new ideas, doesn't that mean that terrorist groups could be learning from our research. Not only that, but there would need to be an extreme amount of control put onto it. Sure, moving the GF gene from the jellyfish into the e-coli didn't really do that much, but why would it stop there. Us humans have a trait that pushes past boundaries... and if we start messing around with too much, we could seriously screw stuff up.

To conclude, I agree with Damian about being able to use it, but there HAS to be proper controls and regulations put on the practice.

Damian said...

Well, since that door has already been open, if we were to stop transgenics research, what would stop these terrorists from doing their own? I mean, and as i said before, if it is possible for us to do something, it is possible for somebody else too...

Vanessa said...

Well since we're allowed to post here, I guess I'm going to join the conversation.
I guess that I'm pretty neutral on this issue because I can't say I know a whole lot on the issue. I think that if it helps us medically (curing diseases) I am all for it. Or as Damian pointed out that it helps us with bulletproof vests then thats a good thing. Also knowing the trends of the human race someone is going to find something that they can do with transgenetics that will help alter the human race or just do something wierd then I don't think that that would be a good thing. A lot of contaversy would surround the issue like it does with cloning and although it could take years for everything to get sorted out it still isn't a good door to open to everyone. So I guess I would agree with Damian and Scott by saying that it should be controlled and monitered very closely.

Mr. Kuropatwa said...

You guys always have interesting things to say. ;-)

I was thinking about Damian's goat. A goat that spins spider webs. That's kind of cool. But what about if we start applying these techniques to humans. Is there a difference between using transgenic techniques on animals as opposed to humans?

Should we or shouldn't we be "allowed" to apply transgenic techniques to human beings? Perhaps we'll be able to "design" people who have special physical traits that help them do their jobs (swimmers for sea rescues, climbers for fixing electrical/telephone wires, people with excellent night vision for rescuing earthquake victims, ...).

Would there be anything "wrong" with doing this?

To what degree do questions of our "maturity" as a species have to do with all this?

Another thought ...

Wikipedia doesn't yet have a fully fleshed out article on transgenic organisms. Maybe you guys could start adding to it and sharing your knowledge with the world.

Check it out and let's see what you can do ...

Damian said...

I guess that question goes back to the previous discussion: How far can we go with altering humans' genes? Once again, I think everyone should have the chance to do it to save lives or avoid disease, but I myself would not.

Anonymous said...

i think it wouldn't be a great idea to select traits for ones child due the the fact that in order for the human population to sustain itself there have to be some casualties. our population is ever increasing on an exponential curve and thus we may plumet in the near future. so by giving our children our greatest charcteristics we may infact be doing them more harm. giving them a longer healthier life could result in overpopulation, resulting in the spread of deseases and other bad pestulences.
i think we should leave our children to be born the natural way.


however if i could i would pick charcteristics for my child that would make him a 160 IQ average and a fanrtastic sports player. leaving the artistic side to leonardo davinici.

Anonymous said...

I agree with damian as using this technology to produce specialized products can help us in the future in respect to our lives, the environment, and sustainable growth in urban and rural areas. For example, instead of producing hydrogen through electrolysis of water, we can get bacteria to produce that instead. Basically, if it will help us and our world, it is a useful technology.

twn_pride said...

I agree with moving DNA from one species to another because this technology will revolutionize nearly everything in life. Biotechnology may help create many products that can degrade into nonhazardous materials for the environment. Instead of exploiting for resources and destroying Mother Nature, we can use biotechnology to get what we want. Biotechnolgoy, in summary, can aid nature's recovery.
Just to note, animal activists may oppose this technology. After all, did the animals give permission to manipulate their genes?