The possibility of scientists creating a Frankenstein monster in genetic experiments is real. It could happen. Something that runs roughshod over human chemical barriers can be given life.
The reality of genetically modified crops "contaminating" adjacent farms and ridiculous monetary claims by Monsanto are common. Everything living does affect everything else. There are no hard barriers keeping them in. A great frontier is wide open to them. An "off-switch" is badly needed.
Modified insects to fight pests and disease have already been released. There is a way to reduce the danger. Create a genetic code that is able to force a genetically modified organism to commit suicide. This works for insects but not so well for GM bacteria. Denying bacteria an essential element is problematic. There are two ways to destroy such bacteria.
The first involves the creation of a synthetic extra amino acid in proteins. GM bacteria are created that need this 21st amino acid. However, it can be removed and the GMO dies.
Second, like the method just explained above, E. coli is the protein carrier. It becomes active in the presence of arabinose, a sugar. When it detects arabinose it goes on the rampage killing the main GMO.
We could be heading down a rocky path in the future. It should be noted that we are using GMOs to fight GMOs. What stops the killing organism from running riot on its own? The fear is real. Our Brave New World is dangerous.
✴ Biology by Ty Buchanan ✴