Manipulating the Genome of Human Embryos: ..
The techniques are not as precise as they are sometimes made out to be,so there is every reason for caution in their application, especially inconnection with the manipulation of human cells or human embryos. Butover and beyond technical issues is the pressing ethical concern:should researchers cross the line into genetically manipulatinghuman embryos?
Mapping the Human Genome: Risks and Benefits | Wilson Center
Knowing that scientists in China were performing theseexperiments, two groups of researchers and others publishedcomments in and in March 2015 warningabout genome editing in human embryos (Baltimore et al. 2015; Lanphieret al. 2015). Since then, one Chinese research group has publishedthe results of its experiments (Liang 2015).
In this experiment the researchers used 86 abnormal human embryos thatthey had obtained from fertility clinics that perform fertilization (IVF); the embryos were donated by the parents. Each of thesingle-celled embryos (zygotes) contained two sperm nuclei, instead ofone sperm nucleus that normally fuses with the egg nucleus. Such abnormalembryos do not develop further when transferred into a woman’s womband would have been discarded by the fertility clinics. For this reasonthe researchers state that their experiment avoids any ethical issues,since they were working with embryos that would have been thrown awayanyway. (It is a symptom of the distancing effect of technology thatit is possible to casually speak of discarding or throwing away humanembryos. In stating that their experiment is ethically unproblematic,they do not question the ethics of IVF techniques that engenderabnormal human embryos in the first place.)
The Human Genome Project, Part 4
Treatment: Up to 85% of patients' response to drugs is due to genetics, so knowing if patients carry particular mutations can help doctors to tailor therapy. For example, the drug tacrine seems to slow progression in Alzheimer's patients who do not have two copies of the gene for apolipoprotein E4, but other drugs may be more beneficial for patients who have different apolipoprotein E4 profiles.
There is not much about the human genome that should worry people, although some wonder how the information from a complete map of the human genome will be used. Many of these concerns are valid, but many more may stem from a lack of education on the science of genetics. Genetics is a relatively new and rapidly expanding science; it is changing the world in which we live. Most people do not like change until they get used to it, and people are still wary and uncertain of this revolutionary science. Many genetics-related benefits exist, which are becoming increasingly evident, but many people still wonder about the effect of this knowledge on the many different levels of society.
To what extent will it be considered acceptable to play with people's genes? Are scientists trying to play God by changing a person's genes? Is the science of genetics moral and ethical? Will our genetic information be used fairly to avoid genetic discrimination?
Human Genome Project | June 16, 2000 | Religion & …
In recent years scientists have developed powerful tools to createspecific breaks in DNA sequences. They can then either repair thosebreaks or introduce new DNA into the sequence at the site of thebreak. These are called genome editing techniques. Two main techniquesat present are the CRISPR-Cas9 system and zinc-finger nucleases. Inprinciple, researchers can modify any part of the genome. They haveachieved intended modifications in experiments with human and animalcells and also with mouse embryos. But the specific alterations do notalways occur and there are also unintended effects.
Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome
There is growing enthusiasm in the scientific community about the prospect of mapping and sequencing the human genome, a monumental project that will have far-reaching consequences for medicine, biology, technology, and other fields. But how will such an effort be organized and funded? How will we develop the new technologies that are needed? What new legal, social, and ethical questions will be raised?