Designer Babies Elena Kruse and Anjali Vettom Period 9
Basic Principles of Genetics <ul><li> Dominant alleles always show up in the organism when the dominant allele is present. When a recessive allele is present, it becomes masked, or covered up, by the dominant allele. </li></ul><ul><li> In co- dominance, the alleles are neither dominant or recessive. As a result, neither allele is masked so both are shown in the offspring. </li></ul><ul><li> Dominant alleles are always shown up in the organism when the dominant allele is present. When a recessive allele is present, it becomes masked, or covered up, by the dominant allele. </li></ul><ul><li>In co- dominance, the alleles are neither dominant nor recessive. As a result, neither allele is masked so both are shown in the offspring. A way to find out how to find out the traits in an offspring is by using a Punnett square. Geneticists use Punnett squares to show all the possible outcomes of a genetic cross and to determine the probability of a particular outcome. In a Punnett square there are different letters to represent whether the trait is dominant or recessive. Dominant alleles are represented with two capital letters or one capital letter and one lower case letter because if you have a lower case letter (a recessive allele) it will be masked by the capital letter (the dominant allele). You can show Recessive alleles by writing ww- two lower case letters. </li></ul>
Human Genome Project <ul><li>The Human Genome Project started in October of 1990. The goals in the beginning of this project were to: </li></ul><ul><li>Identify all the genes in human DNA (there are about 20,000-25,000) </li></ul><ul><li>Discover the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA </li></ul><ul><li>Store the information in databases </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the tools used for data analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that the project might cause </li></ul><ul><li>A) It is unethical to judge someone because of their DNA, and to treat them differently because of it. For example, if two parents wanted to adopt a child but saw that the child had bad eyesight, it would be unethical to not adopt the child just because it has bad eyesight. B) On May 21st, President Bush made the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) a law, which forbids U.S. insurance companies and employers from discriminating against people because of their DNA. GINA passed in both houses of Congress with easily. This law protects Americans from discrimination based on information that comes from genetic tests. The law also states that insurers and employers are not allowed to ask for or demand a genetic test from anyone. C) People should not be excluded from groups and society just because of their genes. It is just like how African American people should not be treated any differently than Caucasian people. </li></ul><ul><li>3. The completion of the Human Genome Project led the way for the availability of genetic testing. The availability of genetic testing led to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. GINA protects people who want to undergo genetic testing. </li></ul>
Genetic Disorders <ul><li>Single Gene Disorder- A disease caused by abnormality in one gene. </li></ul><ul><li>Chromosome Abnormality- When a chromosome is missing or there is an extra chromosome. </li></ul><ul><li>Multifactorial Disorder- Caused by mutations in multiple genes, which may interact with environmental factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Multifactorial Disorder and Single Gene Disorder are the same because they both have to do with genes. Although, single gene disorder is an abnormality in only one gene while multifactorial disorder is abnormalities in multiple genes. Chromosome abnormality is about chromosomes so it is different than both. </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic counseling is the process of gene disorder carriers getting tested to see if they can pass their disorder to their offspring. If the parents are capable of passing the disorder down, then they could look into other options for children or they could be prepared for what might happen to their future children. It might help prevent the kids from getting the disease because the doctors will be prepared too </li></ul><ul><li>3. Karyotypes are the appearance of the chromosomal makeup of a cell in an individual or in species. People who are born with an abnormal number of chromosomes usually have a genetic disorder because their do not have the average amount of genetic information. Scientists can predict these genetic disorders by looking for a extra or missing chromosome in a karyotype. </li></ul>
Argument 1 <ul><li>A designer baby is 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. One way to make a designer baby starts with an embryo that is created by in vitro fertilization (IVF). Then genetic engineers change the embryo’s DNA according to what the parents want and then they put the embryo into a womb. Cloning might be another way to select what the children look and act like. Scientists would use a body cell from the person who will be cloned, the nucleus of that cell is put into an egg cell whose own nucleus has been taken out, and then the reconstructed embryo is put into the mother's womb. Although, with all of that work, all you get is a baby who will be just a little bit different from what it would end up like without all of that. Although, the cell that the embryo is being mixed with can be from anyone, including celebrities if some one could get a hold of their cells somehow. Parents should be happy that they can have a healthy and happy child, so they shouldn't be picky and want to choose the traits. Having a baby is called the miracle of life, and if you genetically changed what the baby looks like, its not much of a miracle anymore because scientists made it in a lab. It shouldn't matter what a child ends up looking like when it is born because the parents should love it no matter what it looks like. Geneticist William Kearns, who is a long time user of PGD, says, “I’m totally against this. My goal is to screen embryos to help couples have healthy babies free of genetic diseases. Traits are not diseases.” </li></ul>
Argument 2 <ul><li>Creating designer babies is dangerous and unreliable too. All pregnancies have a risk of complications but when the baby has been genetically modified, there is an even higher risk of having complications. Having multiple births can cause more of these complications. If the mother is due to have twins, the babies are more likely to be premature and below normal birth weight. Another complication caused by having designer babies is the embryos failing in the womb. One of these reasons is if the embryos placed inside the mother are poor quality. For example, the egg did not mature properly, or did not divide like it should after fertilization. There is also the chance that blood flow to the womb can be bad. If the that happens, there is less of a chance of getting pregnant, and a more of a chance of having a miscarriage. Problems with the chromosomes can also occur. This could happen even if the embryo looks healthy and fine on the outside. The inside of it could still have defective chromosomes. Getting a new pre-implantation genetic screening can be used by doctors to choose healthy embryos to be put back inside the womb if the first one is unhealthy. Stephen Fong, Assistant Professor for Virginia Commonwealth University says, “…to me there are too many risks and/or consequences to justify designer babies. As a baseline, we still do not understand enough about how human genetics work to give confidence in genetic intervention.” </li></ul>
Argument 3 <ul><li>Designer babies are bad because if we have too many in this world, then they can create their own race of super humans. If you got a designer baby, you would be can choose whether you want it to have more intelligence, more strength, any thing really, so with that they can become more superior than the original human race. Also if there were designer babies, then they would look down on those without genetic enhancements and think they're better. Also, if they do think they're better than us, they might try to get rid of us. “When genetic engineers disregard the reproductive boundaries set in place by natural law, they run the risk of destroying our genetic encyclopedia, compromising the richness of our natural biodiversity and creating ‘genetic soup.’ What this means for the future of our ecosystem, no one knows." said Dr. John S. Hagelin, who also doesn’t support genetic engineering. So if you ever get a designer baby, remember about this slide and them taking over. </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. John S. Hagelin is a Professor of Physics at Maharishi University of Management and a Presidential Candidate, The Natural Law Party </li></ul>
Argument 4 <ul><li>Designer Babies are very expensive to get, we are not quite sure about the price range but we know its a lot so mostly only the rich could technically pay to have a designer baby. If only the rich can have them, why can’t the rest of the world. Also, if they do get the genetic techniques, is it fair for the rest of the world if the get to have more advanced babies than average people? </li></ul><ul><li>If every rich person had a child like that, then the world would have major balancing issues. For example, if all the rich made there kids all very intelligent, and the rest of the world had average smartness, then the rich would have much more of advantage and could do anything. "What this means for the future of our ecosystem, no one knows.” says Dr. John S. Hagelin, who also agrees with us. This is why we are con for this type of genetic engineering for the world. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>Overall, creating designer babies is a bad idea for many reasons. There is really no need to pick the eye color for your baby because you should be happy with whatever you get. If a disease is in a person’s pedigree and they don’t want their child to have that disease, I understand that they might want their child genetically modified so that they do not get the disease. Although, for a person to change a baby’s looks just “for fun” is ridiculous. </li></ul>
Works Cited <ul><li>Agar, Nicholas. "Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations (ActionBioscience)." ActionBioscience - Promoting Bioscience Literacy . Apr. 2006. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/agar.html>. </li></ul><ul><li>Bjerklie, David, Alice Park, and Dick Thompson. "Designer Babies - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - TIME.com . 11 Jan. 1999. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989987-2,00.html>. </li></ul><ul><li>"Genetic Discrimination: The Fisher Center For Familial Cancer Research." The Fisher Center For Familial Cancer Research: Georgetown University . Jan. 2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://fishercenter.georgetown.edu/genetic/discrimination/>. </li></ul><ul><li>Https://pantherfile.uwm.edu . 12 July 2005. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/andereg2/www/problems01.htm>. </li></ul><ul><li>Keim, Brandon. "Designer Babies: A Right to Choose? | Wired Science | Wired.com." Wired.com . 9 Mar. 2009. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/03/designerdebate/>. </li></ul><ul><li>"Rights and Wrongs." Bionet - New Discoveries in Life Sciences - Explore the Science and Debate the Issues . 2002. Web. 24 Mar. 2011. <http://www.bionetonline.org/english/content/db_eth.htm>. </li></ul>
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