Fruit and vegetable hybrids fall into the funny category of an alteration of an object(s) by combining it with something else. Pluots are 75% plum - more plum than apricot. But we aren’t calling them a variation of a plum but a whole new thing - pluots. What happens if we mix a pluot with a plum? Still a pluot? How many times can we repeat this pairing before we get to a plum again? Think how quickly this gets to be creepy when we talk about something other than fruit. A variation of this has even been proposed for elephants and wooly mammoths to bring back the extinct species. We could have wooly mammoths again - sort of.
We’re all pretty comfortable with hybrids of plants or even in animals that have been around for a while, such as mules. But to get the wooly mammoth we have to start playing with the genetic code, or at least moving it. This jumps straight into some basic questions that pop up in the news periodically – Where is our ethical boundary? How much of the original has to remain so that we can still call it the original? And what is it about the moving around of amino acids that creeps me out on some primal level?