Originally Posted by phatch
Since bacteria reproduce asexually, one thing they do to diversify genes is swap random genes across species.
If you object to selected targeted and tested GMO foods, the random chaos of nature should be highly objectionable.
How I am surprise this subject turns up in this forum...
I forgot to comment on your thought link between GMO and the article. True that the gene transfer is indeed random across microbial species but GMOs include gene manipulation across taxonomic domains that otherwise cannot happen by horizontal gene transfer i.e. animal to plants for example which makes it still questionable.
another problem with GMO, plants in particular, is genetic pollution, when GMO pollen travels very long distance to fertilize (contaminate) indigenous wild species. Wild Mexican corn being an example: http://www.scidev.net/global/gm/news/mexico-confirms-gm-maize-contamination.html
Horizontal gene transfer however is the root cause of antibiotic resistance. The biggest culprit and potentially the source of future outbreaks is not only the overuse of medical antibiotics in humans but indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal meat production where sewage run off is a breeding ground for horizontal antibiotic resistance gene transfer with otherwise inoffensive environmental microbes.
there is a suspicion that C. Difficile could have come from meat
sorry for the rant....