Thursday, January 22, 2015

Why is this news?

I learned about this decades ago.  And it was old then. 

"Oh, it's such a good thing that scientists developed e. coli that can only exist in a lab environment and dies in the wild!  Imagine is super bug got out that could survive!  It's a new thing!"

No.  It's called CHI1776 or X1776.  Chi is latin for the letter X, and it was developed at the University of Chicago.  In 1976.  Bicentennial year.  Those old enough to remember remember all the Spirit of 76 stuff that was everywhere back then. So, almost 40 years ago.

X1776 allowed genetic therapy to begin.  A few years after this the newsmen announce the first man made life form.  A form of bacteria that ate petroleum oil, so it was good at cleaning up spills.  But didn't last long in the wild so no worry about it eating all the oil reserves in the ground before we refined it into gasoline.

Remember that?

So why is this news again 38 years later?   Bored newspaper people?  People ignorant of Science AND History?

1 comment:

Jon said...

The Venn diagram of newspeople and those ignorant of science and history approaches a single circle.