Chromosome 6


Chromosome 6 Essay, Research Paper

Chromosome 6 by Robin Cook

Organ transplants once considered risky now are almost routine. However, the odds against a perfect genetic match are astronomical, and until that hurdle is overcome, no organ transplant is a sure thing. In Robin Cook’s Chromosome 6, a researcher has discovered a way to reduce the rejection rate to zero through genetic engineering – not in humans, but in apes. The result is an animal ”double” whose organs are immediately available for ”harvest.” The process is illegal, immoral in the eyes of animal rights activists, and highly attractive to sick people with lots of money. This process benefits GenSys, a biotech company long on greed and short on ethics. It establishes a laboratory in Equatorial Guinea, an impoverished African nation willing to ignore improprieties in exchange for a steady cash flow. Animals are procured, and enhanced breeding takes place, fortified with human DNA. The creatures are then isolated on an island, awaiting the inevitable surgeon’s knife. At first, all goes well, and profits soar. Then mobster Carlo Franconi is assassinated. His body is then stolen from the New York City morgue. When it resurfaces, the head, hands and liver are missing. A pair of NYC forensic pathologists is determined to find out how and why Franconi disappeared. It is discovered that Franconi was a recipient of a new liver, from GenSys. Jack, Laurie and their friends discover the crimes occurring in Equatorial Guinea, and stop the process before it continues to get out of hand.

Chromosome 6 was very boring at times, because Cook seemed to dwell on points that failed to pertain to the general plot. Otherwise, the events moved along well.

I was interested in the concept of transferring parts of DNA to another organism in order to produce a clone of sorts in a different species. The results would produce an incredible medical phenomenon, but create such an opposition that, the process would probably not be implemented. I feel because of the information we could learn, the actual transference of the DNA should be performed, however when it came to breeding the animals and sacrificing them for organ transplants, the world is not ready. Too many groups would challenge the science arguing that the animals should not be sacrificed, much less manipulated in the way GenSys did in the book.

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