A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Sorcerer`s Apprentice

Researchers at the Salk Institute have created mice with human brain cells for research purposes. They injected human stem-cells into the brains of the rodents so they could study brain functions and the neurological effects of disorders such as Parkinson`s Disease.

While I have no problem with animal experimentation, I have stated previously that I see great danger in mixing human and animal DNA. My fear is that micro-organisms endemic to one species will ``pick the genetic lock`` and move into the Human Race as new, virulent plagues. Every species has a plethora of parasites and symbiotes which they are adapted to living with, and the mixing of genetic material could allow these bugs to find new, unprotected hosts. We would have no natural defenses against them, and they could possible result in unprecedented pandemics.

Bioscience is the great two-edged sword. The promises of bioscience are great, but there is a real and profound danger. Throughout the 20th Century Man was worried about nuclear annihilation; now we need to worry about bio-chemical destruction, which could kill as many or even more people, and which could be done far more easily, or even accidentally. This is the true Pandora`s Box, the box which cannot be closed. We can`t control it, and we don`t know where it will lead.

We are like the Sorcerer`s Apprentice, playing with forces we don`t understand. Unfortunately, we don`t have the Sorcerer to call on when our experiments backfire on us.

What fools we mortals be!



Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Was it Elvis who used to sing that famous almost-folk song,
"Yes, I take my Salk vaccine,
"Take it orally."

11:59 AM  

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