Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Fluorescent Monkeys Cast Light On Human Disease

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the grape-ape-version-2.0 dept.

Biotech 174

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that a team of Japanese scientists has integrated a new gene for green fluorescent protein into the common marmoset, causing them to glow green under ultraviolet light, creating second-generation, glow-in-the-dark monkeys in what could be a powerful new tool in human disease research. Though primates modified to generate a glowing protein have been created before, these are the first to keep the change in their bloodlines. If a fluorescent protein gene can be introduced into the monkey genome and passed onto future generations, other genes could be too opening up a world of possibilities for medical research, such as the generation of specific monkey colonies containing genetic defects that mirror human diseases aiding efforts to cure such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. However many people are likely to find the routine use of monkeys in medical research far less acceptable than that of rodents, drawing action from animal rights activists. 'I'm worried that these steps are being taken without any overall public discussion about whether we want to go down that road. We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings,' says Dr David King, from the group Human Genetics Alert. '"Slippery slope" is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Oblig... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28117853)

I for one welcome our glowing primate overlords?........

Re:Oblig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118187)

Do you know whats funny?

"You must use Internet Explorer or Apple Safari during the sign up process. Do not use Firefox"

stupid web designer delivers: http://www.discoveractenergy.com/

Re:Oblig... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118233)

Don't you also need the Mono runtime?

Re:Oblig... (2, Funny)

nametaken (610866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118621)

I'll welcome them when they're two-assed monkeys. Those are so obviously more useful for research in human diseases.

Re:Oblig... (2, Interesting)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118899)

Fluorescent Monkey Overlords would be a great name for a band.

Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117867)

I want phosphorescent monkeys, dammit.

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (2, Insightful)

peektwice (726616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118207)

Exactly. I too, wish to nit-pick the whole "glow-in-the-dark" monkeys thing, because they don't really glow in the dark. They fluoresce. Hopefully this isn't to pedantic.

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (3, Interesting)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118241)

Well it makes all the difference in the world if you're dieting. If you were phosphorescent, you could eat a tub of ice cream and just shine the calories away. Try doing that if you're just fluorescent.

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118419)

If you were phosphorescent, you could eat a tub of ice cream and just shine the calories away.

So the fat girls would glow in the club? Where do I send the check with the funding?

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118321)

It's the 21st Century. Where are my phosphorescent flying monkeys?

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (2, Funny)

Again (1351325) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119161)

They can put a man on the moon but they still can't give us phosphorescent flying monkeys?!

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (2, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118367)

I want to do this to my future, hypothetical kids.

Re:Fluorescent monkeys? Bah (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118873)

FIGHTING with one of these lean, mean green machines would definitely show you to be very unenlightened...

But, if you don't believe, then read this:

http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-or-Survive-a-Monkey-Attack [wikihow.com]

Now, if you don't heed, you will bleed, and kiss behind your behind for that last view of monkeyshine...

When all else fails, make love, not war. Get down with the monkey business... and do the funky monkey..

Glowing is cool, but the novelty is elsewhere (5, Informative)

crescente (1334029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117875)

Biologists have been making this glow for a long time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_fluorescent_protein [wikipedia.org] But the novelty is that now you can make green offspring with no extra effort! For those with journal access to nature, the source: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7246/full/nature08090.html [nature.com]

Re:Glowing is cool, but the novelty is elsewhere (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118509)

now you can make green offspring with no extra effort!

Some of us like the "effort" part, you know.

Re:Glowing is cool, but the novelty is elsewhere (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119197)

"But the novelty is that now you can make green offspring with no extra effort!"

Some of us like the "effort" part, you know.

With monkeys??? :-P

Cheers

Just a matter of time (4, Interesting)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117885)

So, how long do you think it'll be before decedents of these 'somehow' hit the exotic pet trade.

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118029)

Why would anybody buy a dead monkey, even if it was fluorescent?

Re:Just a matter of time (4, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118193)

He's not dead, he's pining for the fjords

Re:Just a matter of time (2, Funny)

peektwice (726616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118223)

He's not dead

He will be in a minute.

Re:Just a matter of time (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118469)

No really he's feeling better, maybe he'll go for a walk soon.

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118245)

A dead monkey, no, but I hear there's a market for dead parrots.

Why would anybody buy a dead monkey? (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118301)

I don't always buy dead monkeys, but when I do, I prefer fluorescents.

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

aethelwyrd (1410845) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118205)

I want a pink fluorescent monkey and I will love him and pet him and I will call him George.

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

alienunknown (1279178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118457)

I have a gorilla suit [prettygreatfun.com] and some glow sticks, will that suffice? I'd prefer to be called Steve though.

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

alienunknown (1279178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118385)

So, how long do you think it'll be before decedents of these 'somehow' hit the exotic pet trade.

I'm sure it will only be a matter of weeks before vendors start selling glowing monkeys to drug-fucked people at raves/clubs.

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

mr_rarr (636892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118629)

So, how long do you think it'll be before decedents of these 'somehow' hit the exotic pet trade.

Already done... GlowFish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GloFish [wikipedia.org]

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119061)

So, how long do you think it'll be before decedents of these 'somehow' hit the exotic pet trade.

Already done... GlowFish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GloFish [wikipedia.org]

What kind of funky world do you live in where a fish is a descendant of a monkey? (I assume the GPP meant descendant [wikipedia.org] rather than decedent [wikipedia.org] , which, although undoubtedly exotic, would hardly make a very good pet!)

Re:Just a matter of time (1)

JuzzFunky (796384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119425)

At least part of their DNA is from a comman ancestor.

Crunchy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28117895)

Do they taste like pickles, too?

Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (4, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117901)

We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings

And eradicating genetic disease and improving humanity to the peak of its potential would be bad why, again? Here's a hint: The reason why the world of Gattaca is dystopic isn't because of genetic engineering.

Rob

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (5, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118055)

But.. but.. improving humanity genetically = eugenism = nazi = evil! It's inherent, you can't even screen foetuses for genetic defects without bringing dystopian technofascism into power. If science fiction warns us against it, there must be a reason!

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118189)

But.. but.. improving humanity genetically = eugenism = nazi = evil! It's inherent, you can't even screen foetuses for genetic defects without bringing dystopian technofascism into power.

I think you skipped the "Nazis riding dinosaurs" in there, but otherwise that's obviously exactly what would happen.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118461)

Its not an inherent danger. However, at humanity's present level of maturity, so to speak, it certainly could open one massive can of worms. In the short term and at the present time, it would be one bumpy road, but in the long term, in some future time period, it could do a whole lot of good.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (3, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118745)

Yeah, sure, because anyone just knows that we'll rush to make bizarre experiments on humans.

Here's a reality check : we're not even cloning humans and we get our wads in a bunch about stem cell research on embryos.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (3, Insightful)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119029)

No ones saying we would, at least not in general. The issues to overcome would be social issues that favor or discriminate against the genetically modified/non-modified people. What do you do about perceived unfair advantage the modified might have? What about the perceived inferior non-modified people, who would more than likely be children of groups already poor? What about pockets of luddites and their children? What about the (unlikely) chance that something goes wrong with the modifications themselves? Sure, genetic engineering hasn't blown up in anyone's face yet, and much to Greenpeace's dismay, it probably never will, but modifying human populations is something that must be taken with much more prudence than crops. Its not about bizarre experiments so much as it is about potential problems, mostly social in nature. I'm not saying these problems can't be overcome, or that modifying humans is necessarily a bad thing (as I said, it could do a whole lot of good), just that I don't think we should be doing gene modifications on humans at this point in time.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (2, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119063)

Genetic engineering is a tool, or method, just like everything else really. It can be researched, documented, understood, and used responsibly, or it could be used irresponsibly and have unintended side effects. In my mind what many authors and futurists warns of is unchecked or unbalanced genetic engineering run rampant.

The thing to keep in mind is that advances within this field is coming, what is or isn't possible is still subject to a great deal of speculation; but our understanding, and our ability to change and manipulate is increasing. Forces within society might want to slow down what they see as an unhealthy development. But the problem is that whatever legislation some countries or regions might wish to implement to combat these developments is futile. Other countries will continue research either openly or covertly; and I think undoubtedly there are those already working covertly on things that might be considered a bit icky by many. If we enact reasonable laws, and allow controlled research to continue we might be able to maintain some control of the technology; at least for a few years or decades. But if the edge of this field is driven underground then I fear things could easily go out of control. However, this is also pure speculation since I can not say what will or won't be possible with genetic Engineering.

Speculating further I would reckon that removing genetic inherited conditions and learning disabilities will one of the first benefits, and one that will drive many to embrace this field. But one could argue that if it is possible to give people perfect night vision, or similar traits, then sooner or later someone somewhere will either be born with night vision or have night vision eyes crafted straight into their skulls. Of course, as I said, speculation; but time does not stop. If it is possible with the right understanding and technology then it will be done. That is my feeling regarding the subject at least. So my argument is; lets have objective debates about genetic engineering and make sure that the legislation that is implemented isn't from fear or prejudice; but from long term thinking and reflecting about a field of research that carries the potential to make all our lives infinity better, or infinity worse, or both at the same time.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (5, Interesting)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118175)

There's also the world of... Brave New World.

By unfortunate genetic lottery, we have people suited to manual labor, manufacturing and other undesirable jobs. In addition, we dehumanize people if they're "designed." Think about the problems we have when clothing/electronics/houses go out of style. Now think about your kids. Do you want them to "go out of style?" We'll only further objectify people.

Sure, it sucks if you're ugly. But at least you're unique.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118333)

Trouble is, our present "non designed" model hasn't really resulted in a utopia of loving everybody just the way they are. Rather, there is a whole lot of shoving round pegs into square holes, and vice versa. We already have (roughly) genetically defined underclasses, we already have children being subjected to high pressure parental expectation. There are, already, even phenotype fads(just look at, say, artistic depictions of ideal beauty over time).

The design -> dehumanization argument would be a lot more compelling if we didn't already have dehumanization and disappointment. Dehumanization and success would be step up.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118483)

IIT : Sci-fi fans who take what they read a bit too seriously.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118665)

In addition, we dehumanize people if they're "designed."

Shit, we do? I didn't even know there were "designed" people, and here I am, dehumanizing them!

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119455)

There's also the world of... Brave New World.

Ah, TWO fictional stories. Well then it's pretty much a dead certainty.

Wait a minute... terminator and matrix... my god, I need to stop typing and destroy my computer RIGHT NOW!

By unfortunate genetic lottery, we have people suited to manual labor, manufacturing and other undesirable jobs. In addition, we dehumanize people if they're "designed." Think about the problems we have when clothing/electronics/houses go out of style. Now think about your kids. Do you want them to "go out of style?" We'll only further objectify people.

"go out of style?" Exactly how? Because if we start designing our kids to have floral print skin, that would be one thing, but not having cystic fibrosis probably isn't going to go out of style ever, and I think people are going to tend to leave superficial features alone, focusing more on diseases. And maybe height, weight, and intelligence, but those also probably aren't going to go "out of style."

Dehumanizing sounds convincing until you realize people already do that to ugly people.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (5, Insightful)

JuzzFunky (796384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119513)

Modifying genetic code to remove known defects that will do nothing but cause a lifetime of suffering is hardly dehumanizing. If anything, having the ability to prevent this kind of suffering and choosing not to would be inhumane.

Sure it sucks that you have a crippling disability and no quality of life and will probably die young and in pain, but at least you're unique.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118547)

What's interesting about Gattaca (aside from nature/nurture arguments) is that they engineered people not just to eliminate physical defects and disease (great), but also with some sort of ideal human being in mind (perhaps not so great). eg: They eliminated genes 'responsible' for risk taking behavior, which is why the main character was always able to kick his genetically engineered brother's ass at swimming.. likewise why he could go farther than his brother ever could.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (2)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118697)

This is what worries me - How many things in nature have been IMPROVED through human involvement?

Go on, count them...I'll wait.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118929)

How many things in nature have been IMPROVED through human involvement?

Go on, count them...I'll wait.

Ever heard of polio?

Know why we don't worry about it much any more?

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (2, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119081)

This is what worries me - How many things in nature have been IMPROVED through human involvement?

Well, the food is certainly better now.... the meat is better cooked than raw, and the fruits and vegetables have been bred for centuries and now they're delicious. You should have seen the semi-edible crap that people subsisted on a few millenia ago.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (5, Informative)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119469)

Are you joking? Do you know how many varieties of apple there are? Wild apples are barely half the size and aren't nearly as sweet. Think pears just happened? Uncultivated ones are gritty and sand-like. Ever notice how there's no seeds in your banana? Think wild ones are seedless? Corn? Not even naturally occurring. Wild wheat has a fraction of the yield of newer varieties. Look at all the ways humans have improved Brassica oleracea (hint: do you think broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts just happened?). Potatoes, carrots, oranges, nectarines, tomatoes, melons, barley, jeez, this post could go on and on, and that's just common food crops. To act like humans don't improve natural things is just bafflingly ignorant. People should really learn the history of their food sometime.

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118699)

I was incredibly disappointed with how Gattaca handled its genetic engineering premise.

In essence, Gattaca passes up the chance to face a really interesting question: "What would happen in a world where science has ensured that all men are very much not created equal?" and, instead, passes off a much, much flatter sci-fi racism allegory.

Supposedly, the protagonist suffers from a number of serious genetic defects, his heart condition being the worst. His brother, and the fellow whose identity he uses, do not. This is treated as simple fact within the context of the movie, the same way the space technology is. And yet, it has virtually no effect on the characters. The protagonist completes, without undue effort, highly rigorous physical and mental training(with a single heart palpitation to add dramatic tension). His only risk is being discovered and unjustly victimized by society; simply being let down by his body isn't an issue. By contrast, the fellow he is impersonating is impulsive, depressive, and suicidal(all traits with genetic components, but he has them and the protagonist doesn't, despite being engineered). The protagonist's brother is similarly unaffected by his supposedly superior genes.

The movie constantly downplays, in practice, the effect of genes on phenotype(and completely ignores the potential for psychology to be affected by genetics, in favor of a fuzzy "triumph of the human spirit" subplot) while making it a major plot point. It ends up simply being the story of "perfectly good guy, oppressed just because of who he is, shows what he can do through sheer pluck" rather than the much more interesting(but considerably darker and less comfortable) story of "adequate guy, whose inescapable limitations doom him to a life of frustration and inferiority" or, even, "Bold, self-absorbed, narcissist bluffs his way onto a mission where a number of other are depending on him to do what he knows he won't be able to do".

Re:Oh no, not human genetic engineering! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118823)

Here's a hint: The reason why the world of Gattaca is dystopic isn't because of genetic engineering.

It isn't? I'm not trolling. It sure seems like if everyone is born perfect everyone would be dehumanized. We'd all be largely the same. I can't imagine what life would be like for non-engineered people.

I mean, I love the idea of removing genetic diseases, but it sure does seem like a slippery slope to something way more dangerous.

We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards t (3, Funny)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117921)

KHANNNNN!!!!!

Re:We may find ourselves gradually drifting toward (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118819)

Parent is not offtopic.

Raise your hands (3, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117923)

How many of you would pay extra for a child that would fluoresce?

Re:Raise your hands (4, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117933)

Does it have to be mine?

Re:Raise your hands (1, Funny)

aereinha (1462049) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117957)

At least you wouldn't lose them in the dark.

Re:Raise your hands (1)

IHateEverybody (75727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118043)

No but I'd definitely pay extra for a fluorescent monkey.

Imagine this in the closet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28117959)

Takin' the evil monkey [wikia.com] to the next level!

Earth-Friendly Proposition? (2, Funny)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28117965)

Use the monkeys as light bulbs?

Transgenic Cures (1)

telomerewhythere (1493937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118011)

If they can put in genetic code to embryos, I want Gattaca!! Even better, I want those virii to remove Male Pattern Balding, a redhead's suseptability to skin cancer, etc. I know, what could possibly go wrong?!? I might just be able to live forever.

Oh the tgHumanity!!

Sigh.... (-1, Troll)

Akir (878284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118015)

"Slippery Slope" is an idea pushed by the ultra-conservative republicans in an attempt to prevent any kind of societal progress. A means to spread FUD, it is the absolute lowest of all attacks that can be given, as it needs no facts, proof, or any kind of truth to be taken for the claim to be considered truthful and factual. For a better example, see the false and flimsy arguments against gay marriage.

Also, where in hell did that last quote come from? It makes no sense in this context, and it doesn't appear in any of the links.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118287)

As far as this subject goes, there's just as much, if not a lot more, bogus 'ZOMG genetic engineering is teh ebil!!!1!' FUD from the generally left wing groups than right wing groups.

Re:Sigh.... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118625)

Indeed, ignorance is not constrained by politics. The ignorant on the left claim it's against Nature, the ignorant on the right claim it's against God. The ignorant in the middle claim it's a bit of both.

oblig. (5, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118039)

Take your shining paws off me, you damn dazzling ape!

Re:oblig. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118225)

So that's what would happen if they remade that movie with the tastes of the flamboyant furry in mind.

Animal rights activists (3, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118105)

However many people are likely to find the routine use of monkeys in medical research far less acceptable than that of rodents, drawing action from animal rights activists.

And once you have the attention of the animal rights activists, the harsh reality is that your research involves monkeys that fucking glow in the dark so it's not like they're easy to hide or anything.

Re:Animal rights activists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118155)

That'd make it harder for the PETA asshats to hide them as well. Letting them loose wouldn't help since you could find them with lighting commonly found in dance clubs.

The path less traveled (4, Insightful)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118107)

We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings," says Dr David King

I submit we have already, (and even within one generation) passed that fork in the road. Unless you think these people are doing all this research because they favor monkeys?

Re:The path less traveled (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118303)

Haven't there been trials of gene therapy in humans already

Re:The path less traveled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118557)

 

I submit we have already, (and even within one generation) passed that fork in the road. Unless you think these people are doing all this research because they favor monkeys?

I don't look at it as a fork in the road (or choice) but more as a one way trip just hold on for dear life.

Yes some horrible things are going to happen in the process but the process is indivertible and outcome will be out of necessity.

I'm not even going to read the summary... (2, Funny)

joebok (457904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118115)

... let alone the article. Why spoil a great headline? Heck, I just like the "Fluorescent Monkeys" part.

Pets that already glow under UV light ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28118181)

are called scorpions, see: Mating scorpions from Molcaxac, Puebla [johnbokma.com]

Beige? (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118237)

But are the fluorescent monkeys beige?

The Island of Dr Moroe (Japan) (-1, Troll)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118309)

I mean this is beyond believe they do this to those poor creatures.

This only shows their incompetence in model scenarios, so they just modify the DNA of primates and watch what happens, that is pretty low and disgusting, terrible trial and error approach.

But I see the point, these gruesome Japanese scientists probably want to advance themselves from being the missing link between humans and monkeys.

Re:The Island of Dr Moroe (Japan) (4, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118355)

This only shows their incompetence in model scenarios, so they just modify the DNA of primates and watch what happens, that is pretty low and disgusting, terrible trial and error approach.

Why? Nature does this all the time.

Re:The Island of Dr Moroe (Japan) (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118553)

Um, its called learning. Think of it this way, its like a programming language that you have no clue what it does. So you see a line of code, find a variable, think Hm, thats a 1, if we make it be a 0 what happens? So you do that and compile it, suddenly the background of the program turns transparent. You figure out what that does. Its the same thing here, manipulate enough variables and you get a lot of knowledge.

It's almost like they were trying to draw fire... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118379)

Curiously, the internal numbering scheme used in this research is practically handing paranoia fuel to a certain class of anti-science forces on a silver platter.

The only viable male marmoset produced by the experiment was Code named "666" [scienceblogs.com] . Are they trying to rouse the god squad?

Re:It's almost like they were trying to draw fire. (2, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118523)

Many asian cultures consider repeating numbers to be lucky, regardless of if the Babylonians considered them divine or not.

Glowing humans (1)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118389)

Humans are a type of primate, no? If we can make glowing monkeys, can't we make glowing humans? For one, it would solve the animal right's issues if we tested the stuff on humans (we could ask animal rights activists to volunteer). And second, I think it would be cool if we could glow under fluorescent lights.

Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (2, Insightful)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118443)

We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings

This argument is correctly labeled as a "slippery slope" argument, but what the author fails to mention is that "slippery slope" arguments are part of a group of arguments known as logical fallacy's. [wikipedia.org] The error is that the Dr. David King equates changing monkeys to genetic engineering and then assumes that genetic engineering on other organisms, namely humans, is inevitable; since human genetic engineering is bad, then all genetic engineering MUST be bad. This is illogical.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (1, Insightful)

glwtta (532858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118637)

The error is that the Dr. David King equates changing monkeys to genetic engineering and then assumes that genetic engineering on other organisms, namely humans, is inevitable; since human genetic engineering is bad, then all genetic engineering MUST be bad.

I'm sorry, but none of that makes any sense. Manipulating the genomes of monkeys to produce specific traits is, by definition, genetic engineering. Most biological research is done with an eye for treating human disease (even if the research itself is quite far removed from the ultimate applications - they aren't just doing this to fuck with monkeys), so yes, getting this to work in humans is likely the ultimate goal.

And finally, "human genetic engineering is bad" is a nonsensical aphorism - why exactly is it bad?

Huh? (2, Insightful)

electrons_are_brave (1344423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118797)

OK, I'm ignorant and confused about the whole thing. So - when I read it - they have injected a new gene into an embryo and that genetic code was then passed on to the embryo's offspring(?) OK, so maybe (one day) we can do that to humans as well. So there's (a) a the usual ehtical arguments about whether animal experimentation is ethically justified via it's possible benifits to humans, (b) the usual ethical arguments about whether genetic modification of humans above and beyond using your good sense in chosing a mate is a good or bad thing. I'm clear on that. But my confusion is - how does modifying offspring to produce a heritable (is that the word?) thinggy have a potential health benefit? I'm missing something obvious here I know - but I just can't get it.

Re:Huh? (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119121)

Modifying already-formed human cells is hard, impossible in some instances.

If we can instead modify the genetic code that produces those cells, then we can correct defects before the cells are formed. Heritability is the key to this. I don't have any specific examples because I'm not a biologist, but I'm sure they abound.

It's kind of like the difference between replacing defective capacitors on a motherboard, and building a completely new motherboard with non-defective capacitors. Just based on economic costs alone, it's been the case for a while that replacing motherboards is more cost-effective than repairing them. Unlike motherboards, humans self-reproduce and aren't expendable. So, health benefits aside, the economics of design vs. repair are even more compelling.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118921)

Please reread the

Dr. David King equates

part again. It isn't my argument, it's his. My point was that is doesn't make sense.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (2, Insightful)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118831)

...what the author fails to mention is that "slippery slope" arguments are part of a group of arguments known as logical fallacy's. [wikipedia.org]

It's only a logical fallacy if it's presented as a logical argument. I don't see that here: I see a concern that although the thing is not bad in and of itself, it may lead to a trend that is. That's not a logical fallacy, it's a reasonable concern which arises from taking a long-term view. One could argue whether it's a valid concern, or whether the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks, but to cry "logical fallacy" here is just an attempt to dismiss the objection without discussing its actual merits.

Some "logical fallacies" are perfectly good rhetorical devices when used as such. Learn the difference. Also learn to use apostrophes, for Pete's sake.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118927)

but to cry "logical fallacy" here is just an attempt to dismiss the objection without discussing its actual merits.

I'm pretty sure that's what I did, right here:

The error is that the Dr. David King equates changing monkeys to genetic engineering and then assumes that genetic engineering on other organisms, namely humans, is inevitable; since human genetic engineering is bad, then all genetic engineering MUST be bad.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (2, Informative)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119001)

The slippery slope is not a logical fallacy in this instance, and in fact is not a fallacy in most instances in which it is used. The entire argument just isn't usually spelled out. Most people are able to fill in the blanks.

1) Absent effective regulation, in a free-market economy, activities which are profitable will occur.
2) Human genetic engineering is a profitable activity.
3) Technological advances lessen the barriers to profitability of any activity.
4) Humans and monkeys are genetically similar.
5) Medical research on monkeys is widely cross-applicable to humans.

Any and all of these premises may be flawed in the singular sense, but in the general sense they are all true. And this ultimately means that, absent effective regulation, genetic engineering of primates will likely help lead to genetic engineering of humans. 100% effective regulation doesn't exist.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119079)

On the contrary, your second point is incorrect. As of know, all genetic engineering has to be paid for by large biomedical firms or universities. I see no small upstarts cashing in on its success. There are no profits to be made in the short or intermediate term. Also, your third point is a half-truth. While technological advances often do make profitable activities easier, they also make the competition for the same activities more fierce. This counterbalances the ease of production with the difficulties in marketing, so technological advances ultimately don't make profits easier, just more diverse. Regardless, your viewpoint is merely the one of defensive fear-mongering, with you halting technological process for your own selfish moral dilemmas, which don't happen to exist in this scenario.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119231)

your second point is incorrect.

Yes I realized this after posting. This does not affect my argument. It should have been:

2) Human genetic engineering is a potentially profitable activity.

Also, your third point is a half-truth.

Your view of profitability is unnecessarily limited. Profit can accrue in the absence of commerce. Given the technical feasibility of individual genetic engineering, the free market is not necessary to my argument. Besides, this entire line of reasoning requires human genetic engineering to already exist before market forces limiting profitability even come into play. Are you sure that's what you want to argue?

Regardless, your viewpoint is merely the one of defensive fear-mongering, with you halting technological process for your own selfish moral dilemmas, which don't happen to exist in this scenario.

Haha if you're going to nitpick every statement for logical accuracy, then I'm sure you can explain how you managed to derive my "viewpoint" from what I posted.

Re:Slippery Slope is a Logical Fallacy (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119331)

The error is that the Dr. David King equates changing monkeys to genetic engineering...

It IS genetic engineering. That is a proper equation.

what good is glowing (1)

rosaliepizza (951681) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118585)

now if they could come up with a way to add transparacy and layers in different colors they would be onto something

Wrong "Slippery Slope" (2, Interesting)

Telephone Sanitizer (989116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118587)

"I'm worried that these steps are being taken without any overall public discussion about whether we want to go down that road. We may find ourselves gradually drifting towards the genetic engineering of human beings," says Dr David King, from the group Human Genetics Alert. "'Slippery slope' is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward."

This research may some day influence the manipulation of the human genome, but the same reasoning would apply to the current generation of fluorescent fish and bunnies. If your concern runs that deep, you might as well ban animal husbandry.

What bugs me about messing with primate genes is that they're already so close to us genetically that turning a few genes on or off would make them anthropomorphic analogues. In other words, we're making them men, but they lack the legal capacity, rights and protections that we take for granted.

For those of you with refined literary tastes, yes. I'm thinking of that Heinlein story, "Jerry Was a Man."

Fluorescent Monkeys?! (1)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118717)

Like every other reader on Slashdot, I have trouble getting past the first two words of the headline.

Nose of the camel (1)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118739)

'Slippery slope' is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.

I think that the saying he's after is "letting the nose of the camel into the tent". The camel's nose poking in through the tent flaps isn't a problem in and of itself, but one still discourages it because of what will inevitably follow if one does not. It's much easier to address a camel-in-the-tent problem when it's just a nose, not the whole camel. This is similar to "nip it in the bud" (which is frequently mangled into "nip it in the butt" -- the dog's approach to discouraging a postman).

Re:Nose of the camel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28119163)

What inevitably follows the nose of the camel? The toe of the camel. What's so bad about camel toe in the tent?

Flashing as the future pleasure. (2, Funny)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118769)

Flashing will totally take on a whole new meaning soon...

And /. will be pleased.

Um... (0)

viyh (620825) | more than 5 years ago | (#28118829)

Why don't they just use a flashlight?

Re:Um... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119227)

Why don't they just use a flashlight?

Why use a flashlight when you can use a genetically engineered fluorescent monkey?

I mean, sure, it's a little showy, but chicks dig it. :-P

Cheers

slashdot confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28119135)

Somehow slashdot always manages to distort science reporting. This is not a huge discovery. They managed to infect a monkey embryo w/ a virus. Rudolf Jaenisch did this with mice in 1974 but it took another 10-15 years to make a meaningful genetically modified mouse..... and it had nothing to do with viral modification.

If you want to make meaningful "monkey models" you need monkey embryonic stem cells which can be genetically modified, through homologous recombination, and reinjected into an embryo. These reinjected cells must contribute to the germline of the resulting organism. Currently, monkey embryonic stem cells don't appear to behave like their mouse counterparts, thus "knock-in" and "knock-out" monkey's will require significant advances in monkey embryonic stem cell research.

Slippery Slope is perfectly adequate (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119267)

'Slippery slope' is a quite inadequate description of the process, because it doesn't happen passively. People push it forward.

What? Slippery slope doesn't depend at all on how the changes are made or who makes them. Just the changes themselves cause the slippery slope!

Marmoset (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28119559)

"Marmoset there'll be days like this
There'll be days like this, my marmoset"

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?