Coot makes an interesting (and frightening) comment about the potential genetic manipulation of the smallpox virus to make it more resistant to antibiotics, as well as deadlier. Sobering stuff. Although I generally support genetic research and, to a lesser extent, genetic modification of plants and animals, I am concerned about potential, unwanted, and undesirable, side effects. Mankind has been genetically manipulating plants and animals for thousands of years. We've been doing it the good, old-fashioned way, selectively breeding those living things with desirable attributes, and culling the ones with undesirable attributes. Mother Nature does the same thing, at a slower pace; I refer, of course, to evolution. The thing about evolution and mankind's emulation of evolution, is that it is a slow process, one that allows for failures to die out naturally. Mutations are so gradual that it is unlikely that any single species could gain a dominant advantage in a short period of time. Fast-forward to today's genetic research laboratory, where genetic modifications are made by the thousands on a daily basis. Some are beneficial, some are promising, others are dead-ends. It is only "natural" that, sooner or later, one of them will be deadly. Human beings clearly are capable of destruction and murder on a scale unimaginable to other animals. At our worst, we actively create such organisms as a deadlier version of smallpox. At our best, we foolishly think we can play God and create almost instantly what naturally takes much more time. We need to be careful not to create a monster. Literally.