4.23.2009

Where Are We Going With All Of This Science?


Consider the cow and how very important it is as a food source and income to millions and millions of people all over the world. Now, consider how incredible, and important it is, when hundreds of scientists working in different parts of the world combine their knowledge and research into a recently published acknowledgment that they have successfully discovered and sequenced the entire DNA (or genome) of a single cow in Montana. We say: WELL DONE. That was not easy!

But, along with our congratulations comes some good old fashioned motherly/fatherly suspicion. We're just a little concerned about what it means when scientists start talking enthusiastically about genomes and mass gene mapping, not to mention gene sequencing - not only with cows, but cats, rats, and HUMANS. Nor does it sound very reassuring when then President Clinton announced in 2000 that "We are beginning to learn the language in which God created life..." (The Era of Personalized Medicine Awaits). The idea of scientifically figuring out something as utterly complex as our DNA is simply astounding and it's implications can, or will be, overwhelmingly important - no doubt! But when you start hearing things like: "If we can see precisely what genes cause the differences between each animal, there is an opportunity to enhance selective breeding," (see the story that contains this quote) then naturally we should wonder about several things.... most importantly things such as scientifically controlled breeding. (Read more about this latest development in the Washington Post Online)

Nobody really wants to put a sour face on potential progress, especially when it could mean improved food sources for huge populations or much better medicines. But, nobody wants to see something strange like out of Star Trek, or the story behind such films as the Omega Man (or I Am Legend) and Soylent Green (Remember those cult Sci Fi films???). What do you think... we'd like to hear your opinions. Should we all be a bit worried or are we over-reacting?

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