Re: [gardeners] "Terminator" gene

Allen and Judy Merten (
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 21:42:09 -0600

Hi Liz,
    Didn't I read just recently that the terminator gene application was
turned down.
Bastrop Co.,Tx

Liz Albrook wrote:

> On 17 Nov 98 at 10:42, wrote:
> > I agree with Lucinda's call for a chemist who can help sort this
> > out. I am ignorant.
> You mean you want a bacteriologist to comment -- they actually know
> something on the topic.  My understanding of immunity and the
> exchange of immunities among bacteria is a bit better than
> average but still very crude.  I know enough to take a full course of
> antibiotics when prescribed so as to not help create superbacteria,
> to not ask for or take antibiotics for viral infections for the same
> reason and to avoid people who take daily doses of antibiotics
> because they are apt to harbor superbacteria that are harmless to
> them and deadly to others.
> I worked for several years with a person who fell into the last
> category.  In 1988 or so, when discoveries concerning the exchange
> of immunities between unrelated bacteria were made, he and thousands
> of other people were taken off of those daily doses of antibiotics
> because of the extreme threat they posed to other people.
> I am uncertain as to the levels of active antibiotics found in meats.
> Just because a steer was dosed with high levels of a given antibiotic
> does not to me indicate that the flesh of that animal, killed 24
> hours or more after innoculation, contains enough antibiotic to
> warrant concern.  This is an area in which I have found there to
> be quite a bit of over-the-counter scare-tactics type of information
> without having seen much mainstream science.  Though ignorant, I am
> somewhat bouyed by the fact that I don't know many bacteriologists
> that are vegetarians.
> I also can say that I know just enough about genetic exchanges
> between plants to be very uncomfortable with the idea of "terminator
> technology".  There may be nothing at all wrong with it but my
> limited understanding of the whole process tells me this is a genie
> that shouldn't be released from the bottle.
> Perhaps there's a roving botanist who could comment on the likelihood
> of introduction of genetically-based sterility into the environment
> if "TT" seeds are planted.
> Liz
> who's back with a reasonably healthy computer