Friday, October 28, 2005

Scientist Recipe: Chicken ala Morte

Why does this sound like a disaster in the making?
British scientists are genetically engineering chickens to protect them against the H5N1 virus that has devastated poultry farms in the Far East, with a view to replacing stocks with birds that are not susceptible to influenza.
Not only that, but they'll be able to type and take dictation. The perfect secretary, and they'll work for chicken feed. But seriously folks:
Even if the technique works, it will be several years before it can be used to stock farms and it also faces important regulatory hurdles and a battle to win over public opinion. If these obstacles are overcome and farmers are willing to adopt GM chickens, the entire world stock could be replaced fairly quickly.
Admittedly we are neither rocket scientists nor genetic engineers but we do know a little bit about bio-diversity and the Way Things Work. If we replace the entire world stock with one single, genetically enhanced chicken, we will have eliminated the diversity of thousands of years.

Meaning all it will take is one strange virus, a bacteria, a funky mold or a genetic "gotcha" that no one anticipated and no one took the time to research first, and every damn chicken on the planet will be gone.

Gone with the dodo, only the dodos will be us -- the saps who let these utopian scientists run wild with toys they do not fully understand.


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