Some of you may recall the book/movie Jurassic Park, where biotechnologists cloned dinosaurs from DNA samples extracted from ancient mosquitoes preserved in amber. In order to prevent their products from endangering the outside world, they incorporated a mutation that made them highly dependent on the lysine supplements provided by the park staff. Since lysine is a naturally occurring amino acid, this strategy was not very effective when they did escape (this was not in the movie, but someone who read the book told me about this part of the story). Back to the real world, the most legitimate concern of genetic engineering is not knowing what happens when GMO products escape into the natural environment. This concern is much more justified when dealing with microorganisms because they are harder to track. This problem is being addressed with a new bacteria that was designed to rely on an amino acid that does not occur in nature. This development will no doubt make it easier to use bacteria designed to break down the hydrocarbons from oil spills or other hazardous wastes in an unconfined area.