• T Clark
    I’m saying there’s a clear distinction between ‘artificially engineered’ and ‘naturally occurring’. Yes, there’s already been millennia of artificial breeding via animal husbandry, as you point out, but that doesn’t involve the direct molecular manipulation of genetic material so as to deliberately create mutant strains. So I think a distinction can be made there as a matter of principle.Wayfarer

    As an engineer, I think it's accurate to call animal husbandry a form of engineering. That doesn't mean I don't understand the distinction you're making. It's kind of the difference between designing an addition to an existing house and designing a development which involves the clear cutting of 500 acres and building new houses and condos. As a civil engineer I can tell you that the engineering and permitting standards for the latter are nowhere near adequate to prevent serious unintended consequences to nearby properties, downstream waterways, and local animal and plant life. That's something we see all the time. How much worse would this be for something as novel as the new genetic technologies. As inadequate as the current design requirements for civil design, at least there are codes and professional standards that apply. For genetic manipulation, there are none.
  • Wayfarer
    Mammoths and Mastodons both have been extinct for about 10,000 years. There's probably a good chance they could mate and produce fertile offspring with modern elephants. Dinosaurs, on the other hand, have been extinct for about 65 million years. Their closest living descendants are birds.T Clark

    Sure thing - the title was referring to the movie, Jurassic Park, with its theme of re-animation, not to the actual Jurassic. I’ve been interested in dinosaurs since childhood and well understand the timescales. Actually one of the ‘mammoth stories’ I remember from many years ago was the discovery of a wooly mammoth preserved in ice with food still in its mouth, as if it had been snap frozen. Must have been some cold wind, that one. :scream:

    I think your comments on comparisons to building codes are spot on, although as I mentioned, when a Chinese doctor altered the genome of twins using CRISPR, he was sanctioned and ultimately jailed (mind you the CCP jails people for all kinds of reasons, he was jailed for ‘falsifying documents’. There’s a Wiki entry on the story here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Jiankui_affair ). I’m hopeful that these issues are subject to very searching scrutiny by regulators.
  • T Clark
    I think your comments on comparisons to building codes are spot on,Wayfarer

    I was thinking about that after I wrote it. Even if there were codes for genetic engineering, I'd still be worrying. The uncertainties and consequences of being wrong are too great.
  • DanLager
    Our goal is to have our first calves in the next four to six years," said tech entrepreneur Ben Lamm, who with Church has cofounded Colossal, a bioscience and genetics company to back the project.CNN

    Ben Lamm is out of his whamilibammilylammily mind!
  • Wayfarer
    Actually I think THE book to read about this whole issue is Walter Isaacson’s The Code Breaker, which profiles Jennifer Doudna, who was the scientist behind CRISPR gene editing technology. I’ve read many of Isaacson’s non-fiction books and they’re generally top notch. I’ll add it to the never-ending list of must-reads.
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