I am frightened to live in a society that believes that increasing profit margins is ample justification for tampering with the fundamental building blocks of life.
Scientists are adding extra chromosomes to fish in order to make them “larger and more attractive,” because consumers are less likely to purchase an ugly fish. The extra chromosomes prevent the fish (in this case trout) from darkening with age, and also prevents the flesh of the fish from getting soft when it is older. The modifications also reduce the prominence of the characteristic hooked nose.
All in the name of profit. While the scientists insist that these fish cannot reproduce, life always finds a way. These same scientists insist that we’ve been genetically tampering with our food sources for centuries in the form of selective breeding.
I’d postulate that putting select sheep in a position to mate with each other is a slightly different thing that adding extra chromosomes to fish – the difference being that what happens to the sheep genes might have occurred naturally.
It’s hubris to assume we know how DNA works. We’ve mapped it, sure. That doesn’t mean we understand it. This isn’t just having a pile of uranium spontaneously explode (which is scary enough), this is sticking our fingers in the light sockets of the universe to see what happens.
But hey, I’m not a scientist, right? â˜¿