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Links for 2006-09-25

  • Hypoallergenic cats are now available for people with cat allergies This is quite smart. You don’t genetically engineer the cats – you just find the ones that don’t have the genetic marker and breed them as you would otherwise. I’d be surprised if said cats don’t represent the majority of purchased cats within thirty years…

4 replies on “Links for 2006-09-25”

As the opinion of a random crazy-person: My current cat was specifically gotten (vs. something easy like a plant) because it is allergenic. I can count on it to keep certain annoying people away purely by force of anaphylaxis. I’m just saying here, there are advantages to bathing your house in allergens.

Only 1 in 50,000 cats have the gene naturally, so selectively breeding cats to come from just that tiny percentage of the gene pool could have dire implications if a new mutation of a disease arose in the future, or if these cats carry some sort of genetic disorder we don’t know about yet. While I have no objection to these cats being bred for the small proportion of people who are allergic, for the sake of species diversity I hope the majority of cats around in the future won’t be hypoallergenic.

Selective breeding to remove a genetic trait *is* a form of genetic engineering. After 100 generations, it makes no difference whether the trait was removed in 1 generation through the direct manipulation of an oranism’s genes, or over 10 generations through selective breeding. Don’t perpetuate the belief that “genetic engineering” is somehow less desirable (i.e. it’s evil) than selective breeding.

Genetic engineering may not be evil, but selective breeeding is tried and tested in the long-term. GE isn’t, and it has features that *might* cause problems we don’t yet know about. Selective breeding is hugely preferable. … IMO! 😉

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