Re: Bioplague [has Tom Clancy spoilers]

Robert J. Bradbury (
Fri, 8 Oct 1999 12:22:08 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 8 Oct 1999 wrote:

> In this genre of future fiction, did anyone read the bestseller "Chromosome
> 6" that came out I believe 2 years ago?

> >>> discussion of turning primates into humans in utero.

> The question I have, does anyone with the appropriate background know if
> this is indeed possible given the current state of biotech? Just curious!

Very very difficult. There is a 2%+ difference in the primate & human genomes and it is not specific to a single chromosome. So that translates into a *lot* of DNA that would have to be changed. I can't see you doing it with biotech in the next 5 years. In 10+ years maybe, but there wouldn't be much point. If you have that much biotech ability, you would be much better off building the protohuman genome from scratch and eliminate all the junk in the genome.

You would be able to do it with nanobots because you can do "nuclear abortions" (removing all the existing DNA from the nucleus of a cell and replace it with new DNA).