No. 24: Nov-Dec 1982
Viruses habitually subvert the manufacturing facilities of host cells so that they turn out viruses instead of material useful to the host. Stewart and his col-leagues injected fertilized mouse eggs with human beta-globin gene sequences. One of the resulting adult mice carried the human gene sequence intact; one of the others carried at least part of the sequence. More significantly, the latter mouse transmitted the human gene sequence to its progeny in a Mendelian ratio.
(Stewart, Timothy A., et al; "Human Beta-Globin Gene Sequences Injected into Mouse Eggs, Retained in Adults, and Transmitted to Progeny," Science, 217:1046, 1982.)
Comment. Animal cells are therefore not too fastidious about what they manufacture and what is transmitted to progeny. The unanswered questions are: How far can this proxy replication and transmission of genes go; and, most important, can it occur in nature to a degree sufficient to contribute to the evolution of new species?