Re: TH: Genetic Viability

Tree House

re: cloning (~sorry bad spelling)

There are many concerns about cloning, and likely many benefits. (As
Richard mentioned, cloning of one sort or another has been going on in
horticulture for a while).  In horticulture, perhaps as in mammals, cloning
taken to extremes can reduce the genetic diversity which lets, for
instance, a forest of trees survive insects or disease.

The "sheep cloned!" story concerns me because one of the angles is to
create sheep which are closer to humans, and can be used to grow organs for
transplant into humans with fewer side effects. While this obviously offers
tremendous opportunity, it is the "virul ecology" issues which concern me.
As I understand it, both Syphillus and the related "mad cow disease"
(Bovine Spongiform Encyphelitus) 'jumped' from sheep to humans. (FYI these
two health concerns share "spirochets", things which screw into the brain,
driving you crazy and leaving your brain looking like a sponge - hence
"spongiform") Growing organs in sheep will open up humans to all kinds of
new diseases, viruses and things like BSE (which is actually neither
bacteria nor virus but a "Prion" - some sort of protein-based thing). Will
the cure be worse than the disease?

Goodness how I love ecology!

Kevin McLaughlin
".... isn't the first rule of ecology that all things are related?"