The term "Franken-" is thrown in front of a lot of biology that anti-science activists distrust and fear because they do not understand - they behave much like the villagers with pitchforks and torches in Mary Shelley's horror novel "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus."
Unfortunately, they understand literature as a little as they understand genetics: Frankenstein's monster was a hybrid, not a GMO. Hybrids are considered organic and natural
We have to wonder if, using that logic, two generations of people are Frankenstein monsters waiting to happen. Groups like Center for Science in the Public Interest, Environmental Working Group and Natural Resources Defense Council believe a change in a gene in corn can ruin not only the milk or meat from cattle, it can then somehow change humans too - so it's difficult to imagine what they think of all those abominations created because for almost 40 years we have had synthetic insulin created using genetic modification.
Are diabetics now FrankenPeople?
Synthetic insulin is better than the 'natural' kind made using animal pancreases and scientists in the 1970s created it by genetically modifying yeast and bacteria cells with a gene for insulin production, turning the cells into tiny insulin factories. It was a huge breakthrough but the future looks even more promising; gene therapy is here and has brought with it 1,800 clinical trials to cure diseases like sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington s disease, severe combined immunodeficiency and hemophilia.
Writing on Science 2.0, American Council on Science and Health Research Associate Nick Staropoli details what approaches are in development and what it means for the future. And what it will mean for those who lobby against science, like SourceWatch and US Right To Know?
Are anti-science activists are willing to embrace a world without those devastating diseases, or if they will remain determined to retreat back into the past?