Journal: News & Comment

Friday, January 26, 2001
# 8:42:00 AM:

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It keeps me alive, but still I am wary

I have diabetes, and I stay alive by injecting myself with insulin three times a day. I use synthetic human insulin, produced not by people but by genetically engineered bacteria. So, bioengineering saves my life every day.

Still, the four years of training that got me a B.Sc. in biology gives me enough of an understanding of biotechnology that I remain wary of its possibilities -- especially when we make genetic modifications to animals and plants used for food.

On Tuesday, the New York Times published an article (free registration required) about how such wariness from scientists and laypeople alike -- combined with arrogance and incompetence by companies making genetically modified (GM) foodstuffs -- has stymied GM foods from gaining much acceptance in the worldwide marketplace. Which, I think, is probably a good thing.

On another diabetic note, Salon argues that some diabetics using automated insulin pumps (which I don't) are actually some of the first cyborgs. It's a hard argument to deny.


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