In a message dated 7/24/01 11:19:55 PM, email@example.com writes:
>> Dr. Peter G. Schultz, director of the Genomics Institute of the Novartis
>> Research Foundation, wants to subject bacteria with extra synthetic amino
>> acids to stresses like heat or poison to see if they evolve and adapt
>> than natural bacteria. "Will those forms of life with a bigger
>> set be superior to the ones who have 20?" he asked.
>Is it just me, or does this sound like a really bad idea?
Nope; I'd be really concerned too. 25 years of lab experience has shown that
swapping genes has a minimal environmental effect. This doesn't indicate that
adding nifty new amino acids to the code is safe. Chance of major improvement
is small, but effects could be disastrous; so we should be pretty paranoid for
a decade or so.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:55 MDT