Designer Diseases?

Bob bbruner at uclink4.berkeley.edu
Tue Aug 7 21:06:46 EST 2001

On 7 Aug 2001 15:46:54 -0000, whuffman at aol.com (Wordly Huffman) wrote:

>As somebody whose science knowledge comes from reading Popular Science
>magazine and an occasional newspaper, it's my impression that
>biologists can now root around in the dna of a cell, snipping bits out
>and inserting other bits, pretty much like editing a text file with a
>word processor.

in principle yes, but it is still very slow work.

>Have things gotten to the point where biologists can change a
>bacterium or virus so that it will become active only if certain
>characteristics exist in the host? So that, for example, if somebody
>wanted to diminish the number of blue-eyed people, he could alter some
>deadly disease so that it did its work only in blue-eyed people?

I suppose so in principle, but it would take a lot of understanding.


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