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Anytime you genetically engineer a bacteria that lives in the gut of virtually every animal on planet earth (E. coli) to produce some new chemical (in this case porphyrins) when it gets into the wild it will be producing those in your gut. Will that be good or bad? We don't know yet, but we won't be able to do anything about it then.
 

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Thanks for explaining your thoughts on that to me I think that makes sense but admittedly I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all.
 

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Anytime you genetically engineer a bacteria that lives in the gut of virtually every animal on planet earth (E. coli) to produce some new chemical (in this case porphyrins) when it gets into the wild it will be producing those in your gut. Will that be good or bad? We don't know yet, but we won't be able to do anything about it then.
In this case your concerns are unfounded - polyphorins are one of the more common chemical moieties in living things (heme [as in hemeglobin] and chlorophyll are polyphorins). In the case of these "probiotic" E. coli, the biosynthetic pathway normally used to make heme has been broken (the final genes in the process deleted), and as such they instead release a heme precursor PPIX, which is damaging to nosema spores.

PPIX is the most abundant polyphorin found in nature. Its in the dirt, water, and air. In fact, your own body synthesises about a pound of it each month, and it is also produced by every living animal (from sponges on-up), all plants, all fungi, all protists, and by the majority of bacteria.

So there is literally no risk to releasing this E coli into nature - in fact, you can even find strains of E coli naturally deficient for heme synthesis which release PPIX in large amounts in many environments. They don't compete well with non-mutant E coli, and neither should this deliberately modified version.
 

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>In this case your concerns are unfounded - polyphorins are one of the more common chemical moieties in living things (heme [as in hemeglobin] and chlorophyll are polyphorins). In the case of these "probiotic" E. coli, the biosynthetic pathway normally used to make heme has been broken (the final genes in the process deleted), and as such they instead release a heme precursor PPIX, which is damaging to nosema spores.

I understand that it seems like it won't cause a problem. But we won't know for sure until it happens. Everything is harmless in small enough amounts.
 

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Given that these bacterial have existed naturally for literally eons (as in billions of years), I think its a safe bet that if something bad were possible it would have occurred already. At the end of the day these bacteria are biologically deficient relative to their competitors.
 
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