Monday, August 6, 2007

In Good Company

Every now and then I come upon a reference to the monster that happened in years past. Here is a good one that came to my attention over the weekend.

In 1978 the Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to three scientists who discovered an enzyme that could slice through DNA, hence become an essential tool in genetic engineering. Swedish television newscasters described their research as opening up “the possibility to copy human beings in the laboratory, to construct geniuses, to massproduce workers, or to create criminals.”

When they were introduced at the Nobel Prize awards ceremony, that particular prediction was quoted, and the official at the microphone then said, “Let me for now, however, leave this Frankenstein-fixation of the news media. Reality is remarkable enough, without such excursions into science fiction.”

Ah, yes, but those excursions are oh so fascinating...

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