Download Wondergenes: Genetic Enhancement and the Future of Society by Maxwell J. Mehlman PDF

By Maxwell J. Mehlman

Wondergenes not just imagines a destiny global within which genetic enhancement is the norm, yet asserts that this destiny has already began. Genetically engineered ingredients are already in use via athletes, in vitro fertilization already presents the primitive capacity during which mom and dad can ''select'' an embryo, and the facility to create new sorts of genetically engineered humans isn't really faraway. What occurs while gene remedy turns into gene enhancement? Who will gain and who may be left at the back of? What are the prices to our values and ideology, and to the way forward for our society? to respond to those questions, Maxwell J. Mehlman presents an outline of the clinical advances that experience resulted in the current country of genetic enhancement and explains how those advances may be utilized in the long run to redefine what we predict of as a standard person. He explores the moral dilemmas already dealing with researchers and scientific practitioners, and the dilemmas we'll all be anticipated to stand. In his forecast of the hazards inherent during this know-how, he's rather all for the emergence of a ''genobility'' made of these in a position to find the money for more and more dear enhancement.

Wondergenes is a significant, obtainable advent to the social and private implications of genetic engineering. Mehlman weighs the social and fiscal charges of the various proposals to control or restrict genetic engineering and gives six concrete coverage recommendations—from specialist licensing to a ban on germ-line enhancement—that suggest to make the way forward for genetic enhancement extra equitable and secure.

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Take genetic testing to detect the risk of breast cancer. In the mid-1990s, researchers studying the DNA data bank that the NIH maintained on Ashkenazic Jews discovered mutations in two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that were associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer in women in that population. Commercial tests were quickly developed. Some women with a positive test result have undergone a procedure called prophylactic radical mastectomy, in which their breasts are surgically removed in an attempt to eliminate the starting point of the disease.

33 This time, the correctly functioning genes were inserted into the babies’ bone marrow, where they can replicate, eliminating the need for repeat infusions. The researchers claimed that the babies’ immune systems became normal and that they have stayed that way without traditional drug therapy, although two children appear to have developed cancer as a result of the treatment. These efforts mark the beginning of a new era in medicine in which diseases will be treated by inserting genes into the patients’ bodies.

Moreover, as noted earlier, scientists are developing faster and faster ways to decode DNA. It is entirely possible that within the next few decades, geneticists will be able to take a sample of DNA and deliver to the person a complete list of the person’s genetic illnesses and susceptibilities. One question is: Who will have access to this information and what use they will make of it? Individuals have an interest in obtaining their genetic profile. But not everyone may want the infor- Four Revolutions mation.

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