Archive for September, 2013

Genetically Modified Humans

Genetically modified humans 

GMOs have created controversy across the world with people either for it, or bitterly opposed. There have been protest marches, lawsuits involving millions of dollars and violent clashes. So what’s all the fuss about? Man has been using selective breeding for thousands of years. By selecting wild grasses, grains such as wheat, rice and maize have evolved. From the wolf, dogs as different as the Great Dane and Chihuahua have been produced. But in all those years, breeding has only been done within a species. As one scientist said, “A pig can mate with a pig, and a tomato can mate with a tomato. But there is no way that a pig can mate with a tomato and vice versa.” Genetic engineering makes that possible.

GM  products are plants or animals that have been produced by taking DNA from one species and inserting it into another, totally unrelated species. The process transfers genes across barriers that kept species apart for millions of years. These genetically modified plants can spread and interbreed with natural plants and so contaminate environments in unforeseeable and uncontrollable ways. 

The Pegasus Project is a thriller about the search for a super bio-fuel and what might go wrong if that research fell into the wrong hands. A frightening and all-too-possible scenario. The book is available from http://www.melange-books.com/ and the author at dafol@mymtnmail.co.za 

GM is not confined to plants and animals. Genetically modified humans are already with us. An article in the Daily Mail reveals that the world’s first genetically modified humans have been created in the US. 30 healthy babies have been born to women who had problems conceiving. My short sci-fi story, Rock-a-bye Baby, paints a picture of what life might be like in the not-too-distant future. To read it click on  ‘My Sci-fi stories’ page.

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