Sunday, May 10, 2009

GMOs Everywhere!

Am I wrong, or is the malaria parasite a GMO on account of pesticides and on account of simply moving through the bodies of various victims?


mary said...

Anyone up on their Dawkins and evolutionary biology (as you apparently are) would tell you that genes are indeed in the habit of modifying themselves to ensure their survival--that's why the parasite genes become resistant to the antimalarials. (This modification, of course, does not require any "conscious" decision on the part of the genes--but is merely the result of fast and furious replication, the genetic "errors" that brings with it, and then the gene's survival or destruction through natural selection.) The question is, I suppose, how much our intervention manipulates that modification. Drugs and carcinogens (tobacco, for an obvious example) can clearly modify our genes on a cellular level towards a seriously detrimental end--and I think that's where the anti-GMO people get scared. We may not know exactly the effect of this one intentional modification on the development of everything else--but knowing that one modification can have a cascading and sometimes detrimental effect could make one cautious. Of course, as The China Study suggests, the presence of a "carcinogen" doesn't necessarily result in cancer, especially if the animal protein has been knocked out of the diet :)

But of course, I'm just a premed student and don't really know what I'm talking about. yet.

Macon said...

the thing that anti-gmo folks and vegan-ists have in common is a pathological disposition towards ludditism.

The Old must be Best.