Thursday, June 19, 2003

Life imitates Jurassic Park

A genetically-modified bacterium
not only produces a beneficial chemical (in this case an
anti-inflammatory agent for the treatment of inflammatory bowel
disease), but it lacks a gene which would be necessary for its survival
outside the intestine. It's an interesting safety mechanism (although
the 72-hour lifespan in the outside world seems awfully long).
Fortunately it's a lot easier to make an organism non-viable than to
make it extraordinarily prolific. (Yeah, I know the idea probably
pre-dates Jurassic Park but that's where I first read about it)


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