Saturday, July 26, 2008

I was listening to a new podcast today, The DNA Files. Some new things have been discovered on how genes get switched on and off that I am sure will make an incredible difference to the health of millions, once the scientists figure it all out. I am pretty confident I carry the gene that is latent for arthritic diseases and it got activated big time. I think my sister has it partially expressed, showing some FMS symptoms but not all. My MIL has discovered she has a breast cancer gene throughout her family, and I am high risk as well. My mother died of breast cancer and my sister is currently enduring therapy to remove it from her. Gene therapy offers better health but I am afraid I'm too old to get much benefit from it. I also hope it isn't one of those things that is limited to wealthy nations.

Another episode of the same podcast was about GM foods. I am of two minds on this one. I would love to see rice with an added beta-carotene gene grown in areas with severe deficiencies in Vitamin A in normal diets but I'm not so sure about inserting e.coli into pigs to help reduce their waste products. What about coffee decaffeinated in the bean? Do we know enough to do this? On the other hand we've been messing with plant and animal genetics for thousands of years. If only they'd work on weed genetics and not crop plants. So far the only work I've heard about is finding herbicide resistant weeds.

I was thinking about this before I venture back into the garden to plant my latest plants from Diggers. I am trying potatoes for the first time and I have 2 dwarf apple trees to plant. I know nothing about apples so I am on a steep learning curve. Sorry about the silence but I have been otherwise occupied and very depressed so why share the grief? He really is never coming back and that still rips my heart open daily.

No comments: