Mixing genes causes confusion

Last year, I expressed my concerns about combining the DNA (genes) of plants and animals. Evidently, it’s becoming even more commonplace. The addition of rodent DNA with our corn seed so as to prevent some corn diseases was protested heavily in Europe, but rather hushed up here.

Likewise, the union of coldwater fish’s DNA with some tomato plants is still going on — the result being a longer productive season for the tomatoes.

However, this is the first time the following has occurred, to my knowledge:

The latest Smithsonian magazine (March 2013) reports of the successful blending of a pink petunia’s DNA with a radical artist’s DNA! The artist, Eduardo Kac from Brazil, calls this bizarre experiment “transgenic art” and even likens the red-colored veins in the flower’s petals to his own veins. Tell me, if you step on this flower, are you killing a human or a flower?

Oh, brave new world that has such people in it!” — The Tempest, Shakespeare

Alice Kaczmarek

From the April 24-30, 2013, issue

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