Closing Remarks

  • Gilbert S. Omenn
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 28)


We have had a most stimulating and informative meeting. The quality of research is high, the extent of communication across fields was encouraging, and the intense discussions and roundtables yielded these main conclusions:
  1. 1)

    Nature offers remarkable biodegradative capabilities in certain organisms. Modern genetics can be done with some of these organisms, and the rates of biodégradation can be enhanced to what should be useful levels. The ability to dechlorinate highly persistant chlorinated pesticides would be especially desirable.

  2. 2)

    Ecosystems present severe challenges for survival and effectiveness of genetically engineered or selected organisms, due to low concentrations of substrate, toxins, predators, physical barriers, and seasonal or other fluctuations in environmental conditions.

  3. 3)

    Potential ecological hazards should be minimal so long as genes are transferred within bacteria or within fungi, as opposed to moving mammalian genes into plants or bacteria.

  4. 4)

    The best strategy for efficacy and safety is to isolate organisms from environments of interest—sediments, sludges, dumps, soils, introduce the plasmid or gene coding for the biodegradative enzyme(s), and then return the organism to its habitat.



Marginal Cost Activate Sludge Promising Target Mammalian Gene Dump Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert S. Omenn
    • 1
  1. 1.Public Health and Community MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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