Nov 21, 2019 03:58 AM EST
Designer Babies: Genetically-Edited Human is Now a Thing
Scientists stated their side against the viewpoint of producing engineered embryos or simply known as "designer babies".
The leaders of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy wrote a letter to Alex Azar on April 24. The scientist asked from the secretary of health and human services to hear their request of delaying the experiments as it could change the DNA passed down to future generations.
The concern is considering the ethical virtuosity. In reality, biologists couldn't produce designer babies even if the need to do it for personal reasons or even they just want to.
It was initially concluded that reengineering the genes for desirable traits, abilities, intelligence, and beauty are very complicated.
When Gregor Medel, the monk who reformed the traits of the pea plants in his garden way back 19th century, concluded that this traits or now known as "genes" seems were based on simple elements.
John Cleese, a British comedian, once poked fun at this idea in a video skit. He pointed out on a sample chart specific gene which makes as eat coconut ice cream after a fish dinner.
While there are many genes found that are associated with Schizophrenia, there are also many genes that can't be defined like ones connected with Alzheimer's and breast cancer.
Instead, scientists found that thousands upon thousands of genes are linked with common diseases and common traits. And only small percentage of these genes can influence the risk of diseases.
Jonathan Pritchard, a Howard Hughes investigator at Stanford University, has looked into the genetics of height. This is globally known as one of the most thoroughly studied traits. It quickly became clear to him that there's huge numbers of variants that affect height. There is an estimate of 100,000 variants across the genome and most of them affect height by small amount.
He then suggested that height and probably same case like other common traits are ""omnigenetic", meaning they include all of our genes.
If that's the connection, each gene is linked and must influence many different traits. So there is no assurance that editing one gene may not affect the other or it is the other way around.
Nobody knows what might be the end result of this experiment about designer babies. Others take this issue about genetics as an opportunity to advance humanity and life on Earth. But many people believed that the natural way of life and the future living of the next generation might be changed. And when they say changed, it is like making every human nearly perfect. Even many scientists believe that this is already unethical. Research and development are usually done to provide solution to an existing problem or prevention from something that might happen that is already proven by today's events.
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