GM - this time it is personal
Light blogging today as I had to go to Oxford for a blood test - it looks like there is a 50% chance I have a rare disorder - Factor VII deficiency - (which is usually asymptomatic so it doesn't cause any problems - the possibility was picked up in a routine test on the Heir, results will come back sometime...). Obviously a little worrying in case it causes problems in any of my offspring - that is if I have it. So straight to Google and look what I find -
AR.net >> Genetically Modified Fish Produce Blood Clotting Agent
Researchers at the UK's University of Southampton and U.S. biotech company AquaGene have created a genetically modified fish which produces the human blood clotting agent factor VII.
Factor VII is used to treat a rare form of hemophilia as well as being used to treat gunshot wounds.
Currently factor VII is available commercially as NovoSeven -- an injectable factor VII made from genetically modified hamster cells. Unfortunately growing hamster cells is surprisingly expensive, and a single injection of NovoSeven can cost up to $10,000....
Interestingly, animal rights activists frequently claim that human beings are just too different from animals for things like NovoSeven or this new fish-derived effort to work. In this case, though, it is the difference between animals and human beings that makes using animals as a source for factor VII attractive.
Factor VII can be derived from human sources, but it requires expensive filtering to ensure that no human diseases are passed between the donor and the ultimate recipient. So far, there is no evidence that diseases can be passed from factor VII derived from hamsters or fish, making animal-based products superior to the human-based alternatives.
So while I have always supported GM technology in a general way - now it is personal and please feel sorry, very very sorry, for the first moonbat to start preaching the evils of GM to me. And using Hamsters or Guinea Pigs for medical purposes, which is current hot news in the UK - great by me!
(The Heir? - The problems come if you are homozygous for the gene - he is probably heterozygous and well in the safe zone for % so he should have no problems.)