Possible degradation in the effectiveness of antibiotics in the treatment of human diseases

Bill Angel wtangel at chele.cais.net
Thu Jul 22 17:26:03 EST 1999

In article <dss10-1907991340430001 at harmony.cellbio.duke.edu>,
Scott Snyder <dss10 at acpub.duke.edu> wrote:
>   How big a problem this could be depends on how easily genetic
>information is transferred between protozoans.  For example, can they just
>pick up a bit of extrachromosomal DNA from another species and transfer it
>on like some bacteria?

	Is it not possible that viruses could act as a mechanism for
transferring information between different species of protozoans? 

 Ron Epstein, in an article titled 
 "Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering" 
(see http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/GE%20Essays/Redesigning.htm), 

	"Viruses have the ability to enter the genetic material of their hosts,
to break apart, and then to recombine with the genetic material of the
host to create new viruses. Those new viruses then infect new hosts, and,
in the process, transfer new genetic material to the new host. When the
[new] host reproduces, genetic change has occurred." 

	The relevant question here, of course, is whether the "old" host and
the "new" host could be different species of protozoans, which normally
would not exchange genetic material during their reproductive process.

 --- Bill Angel

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