CBS Evening News for Friday, Aug 27, 1976
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(Studio) Scientific research with regard to combination of 2 types of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) subject of much controversy as DNA determines what each living thing will be.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd
(Boston, Massachusetts) (Film of city council inquiry in Cambridge, Massachusetts, earlier in yr.) [QUESTIONER - asks what happens if dangerous organism produced by research.] Harvard University microbiologist Dr. Mark Patshne doesn't answer. Reporter notes procedure in combining DNA's from animal cell and bacterium. (Film of demonstration at Stanford University and animation with regard to recombination process shown.) Scientists concerned that if patterns nature has kept separate for so long combined this way, man could alter evolutionary pattern. [MIT biologist Dr. Jonathan KING - says when people understand what's being done, they'll say they don't want it.] [Stanford Med. Center biologist Dr. Paul BERG - says can learn much from experiments; they can be done safely and evolution-altering organisms won't be created.] MIT professor Dr. David Baltimore thinks disease control 1 important prospect in research. [BALTIMORE - says it's never been known how to deal with cellular diseases until recombination DNA technology came along.] Harvard Med. School microbiologist Dr. Richard Goldstein says disease control can be sought in slower and more conventional way. Fear is of man-made disease, from use of bacteria, for which medical would have no cure. [GOLDSTEIN - says it's biological pollution.] Stanford's Dr. Paul Berg says no danger of this as bacteria would be weakened and die outside lab. [BERG - says these experiments not as dangerous as those done by Louis Pasteur and others.] Only rules governing recombination DNA research issued in June by National Institute of Health; events preceding issuance noted as well as guidelines themselves. It's feared insects might slip into labs and carry out disease, but workers present even greater problem. [Dr. GOLDSTEIN - says even with all precautions workers will carry bacteria out.] Need for further regulations noted.
REPORTER: Don Kladstrup