French Anderson & GATTACA

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Fri Mar 23 2001 - 19:10:46 MST

Heard W. French Anderson on the radio this morning. He did the first
gene-therapy trials with a SCIDS patient, and sez that Ashanti DeSilva is
still alive and very much kicking today, at the age of 14 (her last
gene-insertion treatment being in 1992).

On the other hand, it turns out that Anderson was scientific advisor to the
movie GATTACA. Different opinions of this flick have been aired here; I
thought it was distinctly, um, non-extropic. Genetic conservatism certainly
seemed to be Anderson's own spin (perhaps, I suppose, for prudent PR and
self-preservation purposes). Soon, he sez, we'll be able to tweak hair
follicles for regrowth (hurrah!), then for color; then skin color, then...
*Where will it all stop?* Since we don't know what we're doing, we could
end up *losing our human essence*. Humans might *look like Star Trek
people!* Oh, can you imagine a more terrible fate?

Damien Broderick

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