Catching up with the talk about the State of the Union address, I noticed the President’s complaints about “human-animal hybrids” have attracted some commentary. P.Z. Myers pointed out that scientists are working toward producing a model system for Down Syndrome (i.e. a genetically-engineered mouse with human genes), and that this might further understanding of the condition in people—a worthwhile goal. But we should bear in mind that there’s already a real, live human-animal hybrid creature in widespread use today. Its job is to slave away producing a substance that millions of people use routinely. That substance is insulin. Virtually the entire commercial supply these days is produced by genetically modified e-coli bacteria that contain human DNA, live in a fungal substrate and secrete human insulin. I take it that the President isn’t planning to put every Type I Diabetic in America into hypoglycemic shock. I don’t think it would be a popular policy plank.