Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Genetically modified chickens

I have been pretty amazed at the number of useless scientific researches out there that were done to only result in more destruction, to throw money and time away, or serve only for profit purposes. Things such as cloning of Dolly the sheep, or trying to come up with lab grown meat. None of these we really NEED.

Recently, another one popped up - genetically modified chickens that can't infect other birds with bird flu but can get the virus themselves and die. Seriously, what is the point of coming up with such a bird?

It's first, expensive, poor countries cannot afford it and people can still get bird flu from there and pass it to humans. And from previous experience, it's in poor countries that the flu is hard to contain. Second, it's main purpose seems to be stopping companies from losing money due to their chickens getting the flu. Third, who wants to eat such chickens? Fourth, the avian flu virus mutates very quickly and can bypass this mechanism. Fifth, new diseases are sprouting every now and then, and even if this technique is realised, who knows what other forms of pandemic we will have by then?

The direct way to solve the problem is to go to it's root: greed. Stop eating chickens, stop raising chickens.

Reference study:
Suppression of Avian Influenza Transmission in Genetically Modified Chickens
Jon Lyall et. al.
Vol. 331 no. 6014 pp. 223-226
DOI: 10.1126/science.1198020

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