Thursday, February 21, 2008


Since humans first began agriculture, we've experimented with the genetics of living things. From cultivating certain types of figs to the domestication of dogs and other animals such as cows, we've been very, very busy.

As impressive as our ancestor’s efforts in genetics were, those efforts cannot hold a candle to what is being done today. I'm currently watching National Geographic's Extreme Genes.

Take a look at the monster beef in the video below:

The show is fascinating. the featherless chickens are weird looking.

Genetically altered fish that grow twice the rate, rice that is being genetically altered so that it has Vitamin A, and genetically altering pigs so that their waste produces less sulphur seem like beneficial ideas.

The most exciting break-through discussed was growing artificial 'mini livers" by using stem cells.

There were two segments that made me very squeamish. One showed how cloned cows are altered and produce human antibodies. The cows whose blood is being harvested for human antibodies looked to be in distress. In order to produce the antibodies, the cows have to be infected.

The second discussed human stem cells being injected into sheep fetuses in an effort to genetically alter the sheep so that human organs can be harvested.

It is disturbing to think of human genes being mixed with animal genes.
To me, a line has been crossed.

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