Pros and Cons of Gene Patenting - Vision Launch

Yet the concept of gene patenting does have some ..

The pros and cons of gene patenting show ..

one. Those Greeks were humble farmers, able to use partially regenerated forests for a self-sufficient lifestyle that could later be seen in the Protestant work ethic and the pioneering spirit. The poet hectored his farmer audience with that could have been uttered by Ben Franklin’s . Athens was established before 1400 BCE and became an important Mycenaean city. It began its resurgence in the late years of Greece’s Dark Age, and between 900 BCE and 300 BCE it became one of the more remarkable experiments in the human journey. By 600 BCE, the reviving civilization had once more eroded the Greek countryside, and , also known as the Tyrant of Athens, , as it was about the only crop that could grow on the badly eroded hills, and farming them did not increase erosion. Greek cities never became very large because the environment could not support large cities. When Greek cities reached about 20,000-to-30,000 people, new colonies were established. That practice led to the Greek colonies that dotted the Mediterranean’s periphery. Also, those colonies founded during the Greek classic era became a hinterland that helped support Athens. There is still debate whether commercial, military, or Malthusian incentives/pressures led to Greek colonization, but with the obvious environmental degradation of Greece, I lean toward Malthusian dynamics being the impetus, and the other factors were making the best of the situation. People rarely leave their homelands if they do not have to.

Should companies be allowed to patent genes? | Debate…

Although Enlightenment philosophers acknowledged their debt to Newton (the world’s most towering intellectual of his time and one of history’s greatest scientists and mathematicians), he saw nothing improper with the slave trade and in 1720. When machines began reproducing human labor, the abolition of slavery also began, as it made unskilled labor uneconomical. Slavery, particularly the genocidal forms inflicted by Europe, were viable only for situations in which little professional skill was needed. Slavery worked best in mine and plantation work that used illiterate and often-expendable people. What became the USA was unique in the European age of slavery, in that tobacco operations, unlike sugar plantations, had more seasonal labor demands. Moreover, the environment of southeast North America was conducive to long-lived and fertile slaves, so that they could reproduce. Consequently, what became the USA was a , with its large slave population largely bred, not captured. People born into slavery are easier to keep enslaved than those born free, but they had to be kept illiterate and at low skill levels, or else they might desire freedom and obtain it. Late in the American era of slavery, some slaves were taught to read, but generally only one book, which justified slavery: the Bible. All the way to , apologists for slavery used Biblical passages to justify it. Many also justified antebellum slavery with economic arguments, stating that people took better care of something they owned rather than something they rented.

Around 10.5 mya, after Eurasian forests began thinning out, African rainforests began losing their continuity, broke up into isolated patches, and woodlands and grasslands appeared along rainforest edges. Whether the around 9-10 mya as the Miocene cooling progressed, or , is currently controversial. However, by seven mya the evolutionary line to humans was firmly established in Africa, as the forests that could support apes in near-African Eurasia disappeared, and the last of those lines went extinct about eight mya. The from the human line about seven mya, but . Whatever the timing really was, there is little scientific debate whether humans and gorillas descended from the same line and that that ancestor lived in Africa. The show that great ape DNA and human DNA are very similar. Chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest surviving cousins, share more than 98% of their genes with humans. About . in common with humans, and . Humans also that other great apes retained.

Canada has joined the gene patenting debate

Further, most of what is known of gene transfer using traditional and rDNA techniques illustrates the profound manner in which they differ. Traditional crossing involves the movement of clusters of functionally linked genes, primarily between homologous chromosomes, and including the relevant promoters, regulatory sequences and associated genes involved in the coordinated expression of the character of interest in the plant. The molecular regulation of this process and the biochemical and evolutionary significance of these controls is poorly understood.

Patenting of Human Genes: Moral and Ethical Issues

There has not been adequate study of ongoing transposition in GM crops, all of which have been produced by embryo culture. Somaclonal variation has been patented in some crops as a means of producing genetic variability for selection, and it was assumed that the crops were genetically stable once established. But that assumption was not tested in most instances. Certainly, there has been inadequate study of the factors reactivating dormant transposons following plant embryo culture. The threat of extinction mutagenesis has never been discussed in governmental reviews that led to the deregulation of experimental GM crops, nor has there been effort to examine the factors leading to subtle yield-depression in GM crops. It may be only a question of time until GM crops dramatically decrease yield and become extinct. Finally, little or no thought seems to have been given to the havoc that could be wreaked upon the human genome by GM crop retrotransposon running amok within humans and farm animals.

Patenting of Human Genes: Moral and Ethical Issues ..

At present, the mood in society is fairly positive towards gene therapy, at its current, limited and largely experimental level, provided strict safeguards are kept and its effects are carefully monitored. This contrasts with generally negative attitudes to eugenics, and ambivalence about other potential human applications of genetics such as transplanting genetically modified pig hearts and lungs to help make up the serious shortage of suitable human donor organs, or foodstuffs which involve a genetic modification stage. It is hazardous to predict how such attitudes might change, either with time, or if more general applications of gene therapy are envisaged. Sometimes a new generation wonders what its parents were so worried about, concerning a technology which has since become routine (e.g. the unheard of speed of train travel). Sometimes it will marvel at their failure to anticipate and address the many problems the technology turned out to have (e.g. thalidomide).
Potentially, the Church has a special and independent role to play in forming society’s attitudes to genetic engineering. As Christians we can take a wider persepctive on the issues than either the advocates or detractors of genetic technologies. We are able both to expose pretensious claims and unethical inititatives, and to challenge ill-founded fears and specious objections. Through its normal teaching, the Church of Scotland can act as an informed and perceptive educator to a significant slice of the population. Through its reports, working groups and bodies such as the SRT Project, it can also act as a catalyst for balanced debate and decision making in official circles. Finally, each individual member can play a role in discussing these issues from the point of view of the love of God and of our neighbour.