This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Frisky bacteria war on drugs revealed

Frisky bacteria war on drugs revealed - Comments

Daniel Williams's Avatar Comment 1 by Daniel Williams

Risky business messing with the DNA of bacteria. As the will inevitably try to fight them at DNA level. You might inadvertently create a super bug that is un-killable.

Interesting stuff though.

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 15:34:21 UTC | #585971

Mithracalin's Avatar Comment 2 by Mithracalin

It is important to remember that the majority of genetic mutation is actually detrimental or neutral. It is very rare for a mutation in the DNA sequence to be a boon for the organism that it builds. I doubt that they will create a 'super-bug' by sequencing and altering the genome of bacteria. It is technically possible, but so is producing a world-ending black hole in the LHC. As a species this is a tremendous step forward for us, because of our hostile past with bacteria and disease. Being able to identify and understand the underlying mechanisms of infection can save countless lives.

-=Mith=-

[Edited by moderator to correct faulty formatting, which was caused by inserting spaces at the start of a line]

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 16:30:06 UTC | #585988

ColdThinker's Avatar Comment 3 by ColdThinker

Comment 1 by MrD_W --

Fear not. The existing "super bugs", lethal bacteria and other dangerous life forms have perfected their killing abilities through billions of years of evolution. The odds against some scientists accidentally creating a super bug are astronomical.

Likewise, it would be very far-fetched to think that by playing around with feline DNA we somehow "accidentally" came up with a horrible man-eating super tiger. Or that someone tinkering with the code of MS Word could somehow accidentally create a super effective computer virus.

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 16:59:03 UTC | #585996

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 4 by DamnDirtyApe

Relax, this is not a case of 'I took nature's deadliest killing machine and completely unecessarily turned it into an invincible robot'.

That's DARPA's job.

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:19:33 UTC | #586000

Skinny_White_Sinner's Avatar Comment 5 by Skinny_White_Sinner

Comment 4 by DamnDirtyApe

That's DARPA's job.

First of all, I love you.

Second of all, it's only a matter of time before we start implementing nanomachines to fight disease (or control armies of genome soldiers).

War... (on bacteria) ... has changed...

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:47:08 UTC | #586010

Skinny_White_Sinner's Avatar Comment 6 by Skinny_White_Sinner

Nevermind the previous comment. I thought you were making an obscure reference to MGS (which would have warranted some internet thread nerd love). Upon further examination, it seems my flippant spreading of love was unnecessary. My apologies.

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:56:50 UTC | #586012

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 7 by Neodarwinian

Enough on super bugs, as what would be really cool is human conjugation!

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 18:06:58 UTC | #586015

Nunbeliever's Avatar Comment 8 by Nunbeliever

To ColdThinker:

Likewise, it would be very far-fetched to think that by playing around with feline DNA we somehow "accidentally" came up with a horrible man-eating super tiger. Or that someone tinkering with the code of MS Word could somehow accidentally create a super effective computer virus.

Great analogy! 5/5!!!

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:34:12 UTC | #586047

some asshole's Avatar Comment 9 by some asshole

Comment Removed by Author

Sun, 30 Jan 2011 22:25:43 UTC | #586095

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 10 by Randy Ping

And this is how the Zombie Apocolypse will begin....

Just kidding, scinece is awesome!

Mon, 31 Jan 2011 03:00:45 UTC | #586175

T. S. Elliott's Avatar Comment 11 by T. S. Elliott

Risky business messing with the DNA of bacteria. As the will inevitably try to fight them at DNA level. You might inadvertently create a super bug that is un-killable.

I think the more likely, and more dangerous scenario is that we develop something that is too good at fighting bacteria, and inadvertently risk destroying the many strains of symbiotic and beneficial bacteria that enable us to live.

Mon, 31 Jan 2011 06:18:58 UTC | #586199