Chapter 24 : Conjectures and Realities

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Genetically manipulated organisms (GMOs) is an emerging technology, which ought to be applied with both technical and social prudence, and there are undoubtedly significant concerns, such as the possibility that bacteria deliberately released as cleanup agents may seize unforeseen opportunities to act as pathogens. New traits are precise, discrete characteristics, incorporated for well-defined purposes. They provide invaluable information regarding new pandemic variants and have helped to generate our present understanding of "flu" virus evolution and of the importance of gene transfer between human and avian strains. Introducing their paper, they made the following observation: “Remarkably little is known about the aetiology, prevalence and impact of acute respiratory infections among elderly people living in the community.” This is an entirely valid assertion. Equally arresting is the conclusion of the Leicester survey: “Rhino-viruses are an important cause of debility and lower respiratory illness among elderly people. The overall burden of respiratory infections in elderly people may approach that of influenza.”

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. Conjectures and Realities, p 110-113. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch24
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1. Nicholson, K. G.,, J. Kent,, V. Hammersley,, and E. Cancio. 1996. Risk factors for lower respiratory complications of rhinovirus infections in elderly people living in the community: prospective cohort study. Br. Med. J. 313: 1119 1123.

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