Great Design on Human: Designer Babies

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Twin girls were born in Germany in June, while a boy was born in Italy in September , the Europian Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) said. “All babies and their mothers are doing very well in terms of weight and overall developmental performance ,” said Cristina Magli, an embryologist at the Simser Centre in Bologna which took part in the trial.

It is the first controlled trial of a technique called microarray comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH), which aims at boosting success in assisted reproduction . The first birth using CGH occurred in Britain last year: a baby called oliver, who was born to a 41-yearold woman.

In 2004 the term “designer baby” made the transition from sci-fi movies and weblogs into the Oxford English Dictionary, where it is defined as “a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering combined with in vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics.”

The fear is that in the future we may be able to use genetic technologies to modify embryos and choose desirable or cosmetic characteristics.Designer babiesis a term used by journalists to describe this frightening scenario. It is not a term used by scientists.

 

 

Today it is possible to choose the sex of the embryo using advanced reproductive techniques duringIVF. Doctors can do this using one of two methods. The first method is to sort out a sample of the father’s sperm and only fertilise the egg with either ‘male’ sperm or ‘female’ sperm. The second method isPre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis(PGD), which is used to screen-out embryos likely to have a genetic disease.

 

 

Nicholas Agar, Ph.D., is senior lecturer in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science, and International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His main research interests are in the ethics of the new genetics. He has published on personal identity, environmental ethics, and the philosophy of mind, in the books Life’s Intrinsic Value (2001), Perfect Copy (2002), andLiberal Eugenics (2004).

 

Nicholas Agar SAYS—-Farmers in many parts of the world now plant crops with genomes altered to make them resistant to pests or herbicides. Recent discoveries about the influence of genes on human traits such as susceptibility to disease, shyness, and athletic ability open the possibility of transferring these techniques to human beings. 

 

We should expand on the dictionary definition to consider other ways of selecting our children’s characteristics. These ways of making designer babies will avoid some of the risks inherent in the genetic modification of human embryos while introducing others. One technology is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), currently used by some people at risk of passing serious genetic disorders on to their children.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is already used to screen for genetic defects.

  • People who use preimplantation genetic diagnosis to avoid passing on a disease to their child have a collection of embryos created for them by IVF.
  • These embryos are grown to the eight-cell stage, at which point one or two cells are removed and checked for genetic variants associated with the disease.
  • Only embryos lacking these variants are introduced into the womb.

PGD is an expensive procedure currently offered only to couples at risk of having a child suffering from a serious genetic disease. But there is nothing inherent in the technology that limits it to such uses. For example, Dean Hamer presents evidence that the gene for a vesicular monoamine transporter, VMAT2, influences a trait labelled self-transcendence, that is, the “capacity to reach out beyond themselves, to see everything as part of one great totality.” He proposes that different versions of VMAT2 lead to different degrees of self-transcendence and, therefore, to different propensities for religious or spiritual belief.
 

Another biotechnology—cloning—may enable the selection of children’s characteristics.

Cloning is an alternative method.

  • Cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer uses a somatic, or body, cell from the person to be cloned.
  • The nucleus of this cell is introduced into an egg cell whose own nucleus has been removed.
  • The resulting reconstructed embryo is introduced into a womb.

Another biotechnology—cloning—may enable the selection of children’s characteristics.

Cloning is an alternative method.

  • Cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer uses a somatic, or body, cell from the person to be cloned.
  • The nucleus of this cell is introduced into an egg cell whose own nucleus has been removed.
  • The resulting reconstructed embryo is introduced into a womb.

When a Los Angeles fertility clinic offered last year tolet parents choose their kids’ hair and eye color, public outrage followed. On March 2, 2010 the clinicshut the program down— and that, says transhumanist author James Hughes, is a shame.

According to Hughes, using reproductive technologies — in this case, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), in which doctors screen embryos before implanting them — for cosmetic purposes is just an old-fashioned parental impulse, translated into 21st century technology.

If nobody gets hurt and everybody has access, says Hughes, then genetic modification is perfectly fine, and restricting it is an assault on reproductive freedom. “It’s in the same category as abortion. If you think women have the right to control their own bodies, then they should be able to make this choice,” he said. “There should be no law restricting the kind of kids people have, unless there’s gross evidence that they’re going to harm that kid, or harm society.”

Designer Babies, ethical or unethical, particularly in Indian context where female infanticide is a major issue,and rightly so, seems a far stretched issue today. There are fewer guidelines and legislation to control research over genetic engineering.

But in the past we were number one to produce Designer babies .

Just go through our Holy [puranic]literature .

Parasher, Mehrishi Vyas, Bhishma, Dhritrastra, Pandu, karn, Five pandavas, Dronacharya, Dropadi, Vishwamitra , Parsuram and Pradhyumn all were genetically modified  to have predetermined characters. All the hundred Kauravs were taken out of uterus of Gandhari and developed out side probably in different artificial uterus.

Avtars of Lord Vishnu can be very well defined as Clones of Bhagwan Vishnu .

Bhagwan Ganesh was developed by the ear wax of Ma Parwati. Don’t forget that ear wax contain epithelial cells by which theoretically clones can be developed.

We were pioneers in genetic engineering and must again be pioneers provided we overcome our reservations about this field of science by promptly constituting the strict regulatory laws and guidelines and permitting and encouraging necessary research.  

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