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Designer Babies

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Andrea Chomyc

on 27 March 2013

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Transcript of Designer Babies

Gene Selection in 2020 Designer Babies Whose Baby Is It Anyway? History & Background Regulations Ethical Issues Case Studies The Power Struggle Where Do We Draw the Line? Where Do We Draw The Line? “We are morally obliged to do whatever we can genetically to make life better and longer for our children and ourselves” - John Harris, Professor of Bioethics at Manchester University
Savior Siblings
Children conceived with the initial purpose of acting as donors for a sick brother or sister
PGD can be used to decrease the possibility of disorders being passed onto children
What if I want disabled children?
Deaf Chicagoan couple wanted to use PGD to choose among the embryos they had fertilized for one that inherited a form of deafness
A deaf child born to a deaf couple is better suited to participating in the parents’ shared culture Will This Affect Evolutionary Progress? Genetically altering an embryo would be generational and permanent - Irreversible alteration of the entire human species
Science could potentially erase diseases such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and even cancer
What if a relatively simple procedure could make an individual and his or her offspring resistant to cancer?
Is manipulating genes in order to make an individual healthy a noble and worthwhile pursuit?
Historically amazing individuals have sometimes been plagued by genetic mental and physical disorders, which inadvertently shaped the greatness of their lives
Who gets to decide where the line is between righteous endeavour and the corruption of nature? These are questions facing our generation! Thank You! On March 3 the cover story of the New York Daily News was about the opportunity to “Design Your Baby," allowing parents to select hair, eye, and skin colour
A day later, the Fertility Institutes reconsidered
The organization made an “internal, self-regulatory decision” to scrap the project because of “public perception” and the “apparent negative societal impacts involved" Current Issues "Designer Baby" Cures Sister Regional Discrimination in China Parallel to the Possible Future There are minority groups in China subject to many discriminatory practices
After the Communist Party came into power, families are registered as either Rural or Urban. Rural people have limited opportunity.
People from the Henan province are looked down upon in the other territories. UNIVERSITY RECRUITMENT MOVEMENT A student from Henan need significantly higher grades for admittance In Beijing, people from Henan are only eligible for 12 out of 204 job types A child born of a rural family that now lives in and City is not allowed to go to city schools Banner hung by Police in Shenzen stating: The embryo that became Adam was selected from other available embryo that had developed through in vitro fertilization. This was not only because was it was free of disease, but it was also a tissue match with Molly
The transplant triggered controversy because it is the first time PGD has been used for the express purpose of ensuring a perfect stem cell donor
Weeks after Molly's surgery, her blood counts continued to steadily increase 23 and Me So far, at least 30 direct-to-consumer testing companies have answered the call, analyzing genetic information for curious consumers at anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars a pop
The services range from paternity and ancestry tests to risk assessments for specific diseases, such as breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes, to baldness and other disorders Who Is Watching? Currently this booming industry operates with little federal oversight and few industry guidelines
With the added attention, the federal advisory committee was forced to recommend increasing federal regulation of the tests and creating a mandatory online registry of all laboratory genetic tests performed
No action has yet been taken Resolutely Strike at Henan Racketeering Gangs The Evolution of Human
Body Modification Anything that changes our body can be considered body modification
Tattoos and piercings have existed for 1000s of years
Pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies are advancing
New genetic frontier Important Breakthroughs 1859: Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species

1866: Gregor Mendel publishes his investigative results on the inheritance factors in pea plants

1944: Oswald Avery/Colin McLeod/Maclyn McCarty report their findings that DNA is the transforming principle in cells

1953: Francis Crick/James Watson found the structure of the DNA molecule

1972: Paul Berg/Herb Boyer produce the first recombinant DNA molecules (lab produced DNA)
1973: Annie Chang/Stanley Cohen discover rDNA can be maintained and replicated in E. coli

1974: Rudolf Jaenisch creates the first transgenic animal by introducing foreign DNA into a mouse embryo

1981: Independent research teams discover oncogenes (cancer genes)

1990: first gene replacement therapy; T cells of a four year old girl were exposed outside her body to a retrovirus which introduced an ADA gene (controls normal development and maintenance of the immune system) allowing her immune system to begin functioning

2010: First synthetic life form is created. A synthetic bacterial genome was added to a cell containing no DNA, resulting in a bacterium named Synthia. Melissa & Brad Married, and both carriers of CF gene
Wanted a child, though wanted it to be healthy
Their chances without IVF, were:
1 in 4 - having a child with CF
2 in 4 - having a child with the carrier gene
1 in 4 - having a child with no abnormality detected
Had IVF 5 times, he had low sperm count & she had fertility disease
Most times she would experience complication before pregnancy took
On the 6th time, however it worked! They had a healthy baby The Masterson Family A happy family of 4 boys, and 1 girl, lost their daughter (3) in a tragic bond fire accident
Since they thought their family, psychologically & emotionally needed another girl, they decided to use IVF to create another girl
When this was going in 2000 you were only allowed to choose the sex for health reasons
HFEA (human fertilization & embryology authority) would only allow if clinics approved
Italy allowed them
After all their work, they ended up with one male embryo 1996 - Monsanto produces patent-protected herbicide-resistant soybeans
Monsanto’s soybean seeds are patent protected, and farmers must buy new seeds each year
1999 - Vernon Bowman plants Monsanto seeds
Bowman is sued The Incentive and Implications: Money is the incentive. The patent ensures continual revenue for the business
Will genetic companies put a patent on your baby?
If a designer child grows to be a sperm/egg donor, will they be sued?
Will genetically enhanced humans be able to reproduce without a company making profit? Gene Ownership The Story: Future Case Study • This exact form could be in your nearest health clinic in 2020
• The Fertility Institute in L.A. creates "cosmetic medicine" babies
• Couples can choose eye, skin colour, hair colour, and height
• The first cosmetic medicine baby is to be born next year for a cost of $18,000
• What will be next?
• How much would you pay? Do you think it should be cheap/expensive/free? Survey Results If you had the chance to choose the gender of your child, would you? 67% No If you had the chance to choose your child's genes, would you? 54% No Do you think it is morally acceptable to pick your child's genes? 40% No Would you feel comfortable knowing that your parents chose your genes? 39% Yes Female
Pale Skin
Green Eyes
Brown Hair
Wavy Hair
Oval Face
No Freckles
5'6" - 6'0"
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