[LMB] We've been discussing gene engineering on people...

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 4 10:14:30 BST 2019

From: "Parish, James" <jparish at siue.edu>

Eric Oppen wrote:
> Just for starters---I was reading some really oogy stuff about scurvy, and
> about how long it took for people to figure out how to counter it.  If I
> were designing improvements for people, one thing I'd do would be to give
> us the same ability to secrete our own Vitamin C that almost all other
> animals (except bats and capybaras, for some insane reason) have.

Also guinea pigs and other close relatives to capybaras, all of the
simians, and tarsiers. Some scattered species of passerine birds can't
synthesize it either.
Jim Parish

Gwynne: I don't know if this is a scurvy story or not, but it's part of my
sometimes colourful family history: My Dad's mum had four sisters. All
five of the girls married and had children. Four of them were dead by their
early thirties. The surviving sister had seen that each of the others had
some kind of tooth/gum problems before they died. So she had all her
teeth removed (I can't imagine this, in the early 1930's) and she lived into
her nineties. They lived in rural areas, fairly isolated - not much medical
help at all. We don't know what really killed them. But Aunty Ina was sure
it was teeth!

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