QIsn't it true that the endeavor of biotechnology is basically well meaning but subject to the myopia of the widely accepted philosophy that humans can do things better than nature? Stated differently, when these organisms are removed from controlled condi

Isn't it true that the endeavor of biotechnology is basically well meaning but subject to the myopia of the widely accepted philosophy that humans can do things better than nature? Stated differently, when these organisms are removed from controlled conditions and released into a conditionless state (ie reality) is it possible the perceived superiority of these organisms may become null and void?

AExpert Answer

Humans do many things better than nature. Human medicine attacks huge numbers of naturally existing microbes, insects, worms and pets that kill and maim us and our plants and animals. Nature is not always wise--the world can be a very nasty environment for our children and us. If we are going to live on the planet we will have to intervene and alter it to some extent to survive.
 
Still it is true that in trying to alter nature one of the biggest threats is the unexpected spread of an altered or artificially introduced species‹think of the havoc kudzu, Asian chestnut blight, zebra mussels and sea lampreys among others have done. In fact, introduced species (not including humans) are a greater threat to natural biodiversity than pollution or diseases.  So in engineering nature we do need strict controls over release, auditing, and labeling of engineering genes to allow traceability and liability and sometimes engineering in lethal genes that will cause engineered animals and plants to die after a few generations. International agreements are not as strong as they should be in this regard.

Posted on January 3, 2018
GMO is a general term that is used to describe a genetic variation that has occurred, which not only happens in nature, but humans have been doing this through selective breeding for over thousands of years. When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering. It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one... Read More
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Posted on September 25, 2017
Technically, you can mix traits among species, which is how transgenic work is done. The first transgenic mouse was introduced with the human growth hormone gene, and by overexpressing the growth hormone, the mouse grew bigger, but not the same as human size. This is more like the function of the gene. Whether it can mix the physical features between species will be different, but something like a chimera study that mixes animals of two strains might carry physical features of both. However,... Read More
Posted on November 28, 2017
There are currently no breeding techniques used to create genetic variations of hair textures. If a person wishes to change their hair texture in any way, they are currently limited to the available hair care products sold for those purposes.   However, new gene editing techniques are continued to be developed for different beneficial purposes and what you are referring to is the possibility of editing genes in humans. Some of the areas to apply gene editing, particularly in humans, are... Read More
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