9. 「聯邦食品藥物管理局批准（麻薩諸塞州坎滕市Canton, MA）『有機品創生（Organogenesis）公司』生產的 Apligraf® （移植用皮膚）上市。根據負責 Apligraf全球行銷的（紐澤西州東翰諾弗市E. Hanover, NJ）『諾瓦提斯製藥廠』（Norvatis Pharmaeuticals）所稱，此產品是唯一獲準在美國行銷的活的雙層皮膚組織。Apligraf近似人類的皮膚，有兩層主要的皮層，包括外在由活的角質細（Keratinocytes）組成的上皮層。Apligraf的真皮層含有活的人類纖維母細胞。該公司的發言人指出，用來生產Apligraf的人類角質細胞和纖維母細胞取自於捐者，是經過檢驗合格的，不攜帶傳染性病原體的。Apligraf是經由醫院門診部或傷科中心的醫師，應用在病人身上。」（一九九八年六月十五日版的〈基因工程新聞〉。）
10. 喬治•華德（George wald）所著「對基因工程的控訴」一文，收錄於強生與史蒂哲編輯的〈重組脫氧核醣核酸（DNA）的辯論〉第一二七與一二八頁。（翻印自一九七六年〈科學〉第九╱十月期。）
11. 艾文•沙格（Erwin Chargoff）著、紐約洛克斐勒大學出版社一九七八年出版的〈赫拉克賴脫之火：原始前生命素描圖（Sketches from a Life before Nature）〉第一八九頁。[註：紀元前五世紀的希臘哲學家赫拉克賴脫（Heraclitus）認為火是形成宇宙的主要的物質。]
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3) Many pharmaceutical drugs, including insulin, are already genetically engineered in the laboratory Many enzymes used in the food industry, including rennet used in cheese production, are also available in genetically engineered form and are in widespread use.
4) Medical researchers are genetically engineering disease carrying insects so that their disease potency is destroyed. They are genetically engineering human skin9 and soon hope to do the same with entire organs and other body parts.
5) Genetic screening is already used to screen for some hereditary conditions. Research is ongoing in the use of gene therapy in the attempt to correct some of these conditions. Other research is focusing on techniques to make genetic changes directly in human embryos. Most recently research has also been focused on combining cloning with genetic engineering. In so-called germline therapy, the genetic changes are passed on from generation to generation and are permanent.
6) In mining, genetically engineered organisms are being developed to extract gold, copper, etc. from the substances in which they are embedded. Other organisms may someday live on the methane gas that is a lethal danger to miners. Still others have been genetically engineered to clean up oil spills, to neutralize dangerous pollutants, and to absorb radioactivity. Genetically engineered bacteria are being developed to transform waste products into ethanol for fuel.
SOME DISTINGUISHED SCIENTISTS' OPINIONS
In the 1950's, the media was full of information about the great new scientific miracle that was going to make it possible to kill all of the noxious insects in the world, to wipe out insect-born diseases and feed the world's starving masses. That was DDT. In the 1990's, the media is full of information about the coming wonders of genetic engineering. Everywhere are claims that genetic engineering will feed the starving, help eliminate disease, and so forth. The question is the price tag. The ideas and evidence presented below are intended to help evaluate that central question.
Many prominent scientists have warned against the dangers of genetic engineering. George Wald, Nobel Prize-winning biologist and Harvard professor, wrote:
Recombinant DNA technology [genetic engineering] faces our society with problems unprecedented not only in the history of science, but of life on the Earth. It places in human hands the capacity to redesign living organisms, the products of some three billion years of evolution. Such intervention must not be confused with previous intrusions upon the natural order of living organisms; animal and plant breeding, for example; or the artificial induction of mutations, as with X-rays. All such earlier procedures worked within single or closely related species. The nub of the new technology is to move genes back and forth, not only across species lines, but across any boundaries that now divide living organisms... The results will be essentially new organisms. Self-perpetuating and hence permanent. Once created, they cannot be recalled...
Up to now living organisms have evolved very slowly and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in.... Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism or their neighbors.
It is all too big and is happening too fast. So this, the central problem, remains almost unconsidered. It presents probably the largest ethical problem that science has ever had to face. Our morality up to now has been to go ahead without restriction to learn all that we can about nature. Restructuring nature was not part of the bargain... For going ahead in this direction may be not only unwise but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics.10
Erwin Chargoff, an eminent geneticist who is sometimes called the father of modern microbiology, commented:
...The principle question to be answered is whether we have the right to put an additional fearful load on generations not yet born. I use the adjective 'additional' in view of the unresolved and equally fearful problem of the disposal of nuclear waste. Our time is cursed with the necessity for feeble men, masquerading as experts, to make enormously far-reaching decisions. Is there anything more far-reaching than the creation of forms of life?... You can stop splitting the atom; you can stop visiting the moon; you can stop using aerosols; you may even decide not to kill entire populations by the use of a few bombs. But you cannot recall a new form of life. Once you have constructed a viable E. coli cell carry a plasmid DNA into which a piece of eukaryotic DNA has been spliced, it will survive you and your children and your children's children. An irreversible attack on the biosphere is something so unheard-of, so unthinkable to previous generations, that I could only wish that mine had not been guilty of it.11
It appears that the recombination experiments in which a piece of animal DNA is incorporated into the DNA of a microbial plasmid are being performed without a full appreciation of what is going on. Is the position of one gene with respect to its neighbors on the DNA chain accidental or do they control and regulate each other? ... Are we wise in getting ready to mix up what nature has kept apart, namely the genomes of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
The worst is that we shall never know. Bacteria and viruses have always formed a most effective biological underground. The guerrilla warfare through which they act on higher forms of life is only imperfectly understood. By adding to diis arsenal freakish forms of life-prokyarotes propagating eukaryotic genes—we shall be throwing a veil of uncertainties over the life of coming generations. Have we the right to counteract, irreversibly, the evolutionary wisdom of millions of years, in order to satisfy the ambition and curiosity of a few scientists? This world is given to us on loan. We come and we go; and after a time we leave earth and air and water to others who come after us. My generation, or perhaps the one preceding mine, has been the first to engage, under the leadership of the exact sciences, in a destructive colonial warfare against nature. The future will curse us for it.12
9. "The FDA cleared Organogenesis' (Canton, MA) Apligraf® (graft-skin) for marketing. The product is the only living, bilayered skin construct approved for marketing in the US., according to Novartis Pharmaceuticals (E. Hanover, NJ), which will market Apligraf worldwide. Like human skin, Apligraf has two primary layers, including an outer epidermal layer made of living Keratinocytes. The dermal layer of Apligraf consists of living human fibroblasts. The human Keratinocytes and fibroblasts utilized to manufacture Apligraf are derived from donor tissue that is thoroughly screened for a wide range of infectious pathogens, notes a Novartis spokesperson. Apligraf is applied by a physician in a hospital outpatient facility or a wound care center." (Genetic Engineenng New, June 15, 1998.)
10. George Wald. "The Case Against Genetic Engineering."
The Recombinant DNA Debate. Jackson and Stich, eds. p. 127, 128. (Reprinted from
The Sciences, Sept./Oct. 1976 issue).
11. Erwin Chargoff, Heraclitean Fire : Sketches from a Life before Nature (New York: Rockefeller University Press, 1978), p. 189.
12. Ibid., p.190.
To be continued