An article on CNet (from which the title of this post is derived) discusses a project by a British team (the team responsible for Dolly the sheep) to grow proteins in Chickens that can be used in the development of cancer drugs. The process, like much transgenic engineering, uses a virus to insert novel genetic material into the chickens' DNA. This use of viruses as a vector for transmitting genetic material was the subject of early heated debates (such as the Asilomar Conference of 1975) about the safety and regulation of transgenic practices. Those concerns have not necessarily disappeared, and some scientists are still calling for a moratorium on such human-nonhuman transgenic processes, citing the risk of new and unstable viruses that could cross species boundaries more quickly. Critics also argue that money could be better spent on other methods of healing that are safer, more effective and accessible to more people.
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