Ethics of emerging technologies: Scientific facts and moral challenges.
Five reasons we should embrace gene-editing research on human embryos December 3, by Julian Savulescu, The Conversation Future people would be grateful if their disease is cured, rather than being replaced by a different healthier or non-disabled person.
Gene editing is a new precise form of genetic engineering. It uses enzymes from bacteria to locate genes within DNA and delete or replace them. In earlyChinese scientists used it to modify human embryos as a first step towards preventing the genetic transmission of a blood disease.
Many people, including scientists, are worried about creating genetically modified humans. They're worried about numerous things: While these are valid concerns, they don't justify a ban on research.
Indeed, such research is a moral imperative for five reasons. Curing genetic diseases Gene editing could be used to cure genetic diseases such cystic fibrosis or thalassaemia the blood disease that the Chinese researchers were working to eliminate.
At present, there are no cures for such diseases. Detractors say selection of healthy embryos or fetuses via genetic testing is preferable. But such genetic tests require abortion or embryo destruction, which is also objectionable to some people.
What's more, genetic selection doesn't benefit patients - it's not a cure. It merely brings a different person, who is free from disease, into existence.
Future people would be grateful if their disease is cured, rather than being replaced by a different healthier or non-disabled person. Dealing with complex diseases Most common human diseases, such as heart disease or schizophrenia, don't just involve one gene that's abnormal such as in cystic fibrosis.
They're the result of many, sometimes hundreds, of genes combining to cause ill health. Genetic selection technologies can't eliminate genetic predispositions to these diseases. In principle, gene editing could be used to reduce the risk of heart disease or Alzheimer's disease.
Delaying or stopping ageing Gene-edited embryonic stem cell lines that cause or protect against disease could help us understand the origins of disease.
Cardiovascular disease strongly age-related is emerging as the biggest cause of death in the developing world. Ageing kills 30 million every year. That makes it the most under-researched cause of death and suffering relative to its significance.
Indeed, age-related diseases, such as heart disease or cancer, are really the symptoms of an underlying disease: Gene editing could delay or arrest ageing; this has already been achieved in mice. Gene editing might offer the prospect of humans living twice as long, or perhaps even hundreds of years, without loss of memory, frailty or impotence.
Stopping the genetic lottery The fourth reason for supporting gene-editing research on human embryos is the flip side of the designer baby objection. People worry that such technology could be used to create a master race, like fair-haired, blue-eyed "Aryans".
What this concern neglects is that the biological lottery — i. Some are born gifted and talented, others with short painful lives or severe disabilities.
While we may worry about the creation of a genetic masterclass, we should also be concerned about those who draw the short genetic straw. Diet, education, special services and other social interventions are used to correct natural inequality.
Gene editing could be used as a part of public health care for egalitarian reasons: People worry that such technologies will be used to benefit only those who can afford it — keep reading for why they shouldn't. Making disease treatments less costly Gene editing of human embryos could enable greater understanding of disease and new treatments that don't modify human beings.
Gene-edited embryonic stem cell lines that cause or protect against disease could help us understand the origins of disease.
Other edited stem cells could help treatment - imagine blood cells that kill and replace leukemic cells. This knowledge could be used to develop treatments for diseases, including drugs, that can be produced cheaply. And that would reduce, rather than increase, inequality.Genetic selection technologies can't eliminate genetic predispositions to these diseases.
In principle, gene editing could be used to reduce the risk of heart disease or Alzheimer's disease. 3. U.S. Public Wary of Biomedical Technologies to ‘Enhance’ Human Abilities.
Americans are more worried than enthusiastic about using gene editing, brain chip implants and synthetic blood to change human capabilities. Ethics of Stem Cell Research First published Fri Apr 25, ; substantive revision Mon Jan 28, Human embryonic stem cell (HESC) research offers much hope for alleviating the human suffering brought on by the ravages of disease and injury.
A long-anticipated policy change proposed by the Trump administration that would count the use of many federally-subsidized programs against immigrants currently eligible to use them threatens public health and would undermine ethical practice in health professions and systems.
BioMed Research International is a peer-reviewed, Open Access journal that publishes original research articles, review articles, and clinical studies covering a . This book discusses about the big business of genetic engineering.
The author argues that the questions raised by biotechnology should be decided on ethical grounds and in terms of the public good.