The Problem of Recombinant DNA
After Dr. Khorana succeeded in synthesizing the E. coli gene, he was quick to point out that what he and his team had done was very different from the controversial work involving recombinant DNA -- the joining together of DNA from different organisms. "In our work, there is no risk whatsoever," he said. "We are dealing with a completely defined system, containing a single gene which is already present in, and absolutely necessary to, all living cells."
To that, Dr. Fritz added: "The technique we used was similar to that used in recombinant DNA studies. But it is different in that we never ever introduced any foreign genetic information into an organism. We built a gene from the chemical ingredients that make up that gene in nature and put it into the organism in which it is found."
Work on recombinant DNA and the experiments that are associated with it have touched off much heated debate both within and outside the scientific community. Recall that the principal ingredient of the heredity-bearing genes is the spiral-staircase molecule, DNA. The ar