This CRISP(r) Is Bananas

Genetic modification via CRISPR is the only way to ensure that we can all have cheap bananas. Amusing, WIRED buries the lede pretty far down: the banana disease spreads via… wait for it… migrant banana workers.

The #Blessed part of the world wants four-season tropical fruit so we can all live our best lives. The #NonBlessed part of the world has to trudge around doing the work, and the corporations have ensured that there’s a legal framework to make it possible. Cut down the demand from DUMBO or the insane practice of permitting open borders for the purpose of cutting corporate expenses, and the problem never comes up. But it’s okay. We can use genetic editing to fix the problem. We can all learn to use CRISPR, the same way they are trying to force every elementary student in America through a “learn to code” process. And then we can unleash hell.

What would you do once you became a master of gene editing? If you can make a banana that is resistant to the TR4 disease, you can also make a TR5 disease that kills a competitor’s banana. Oh, and you can also rejigger the influenza virus so it’s deadlier than ever. And you can key it to certain gene markers, too. Today’s Amazon link to make us rich is Frank Herbert’s The White Plague. No prizes for guessing that the next “white plague” will come from China, and no prizes for guessing whom it will target.

14 Replies to “This CRISP(r) Is Bananas”

  1. Eric L.

    So are you telling me that John Oliver neglected to inform me that CRISPR can do a non germ-line edit of something like a virus and use that to infect me without infecting non-red-heads?

    To continue your Stephenson references… Hello, Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. Clouds of CRISPR-edited germs flying from corporate-nation-state to corporate-nation-state. Thinking emoji face here.

    (Obligatory editing snark: It’s fascinating to me how a single errant can somehow shatter all of WordPress, making _everything_ on the page after DUMBO emphasized. Sidebar. Footer. Comment box… Impressive.)

    Reply
    • Eric L.

      Edit: Oh. Some PHP’s running wild and wrapping everything in s. There’s no way the DOM could have been structured to let one detonate everything, duh.

      Reply
  2. stingray65

    You mean to say that gene editing, which might solve many problems plaguing man-kind since Adam and Eve, might also be used for nefarious purposes? I find that very hard to believe given the peaceful nature of human history.

    Reply
  3. hank chinaski

    Echoes of the banana republic. A fruit with a dirty political, ecological, and now potentially genetic footprint.

    And how odd. I just yesterday (re)watched Gillian’s ’12 Monkeys’ on Netflix.

    Reply
  4. Dolphin Love Wins

    It seems that DUMBO is not a Disney reference here…”Down Under Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass” or something else?

    Reply
  5. DougD

    Of course there’s migrant banana workers. Do you expect them to sit there and wait 8 months for the next batch to grow?

    Using CRISP(r) to turn a banana into a TR4 is an idea with some ap-peel. I wouldn’t want to turn one into a TR5 as I’m not a fan of Lucas mechanical fuel injection.

    Reply
  6. jz78817

    I think part of the problem is that there aren’t a whole lot of “competitor” bananas out there. Most species’ fruits are starchy (like plantains) and full of enormous seeds. We kind of did this to ourselves by creating a monoculture of the Cavendish; they’re cultivated asexually so they’re practically genetically identical and a disease that kills one plant can wipe them out entirely. Already happened with the Gros Michel cultivar.

    Reply

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