I can’t help but feel like these types of experiments are mischaracterized as attempting to “play God” in the laboratory. There is usually a teleological motive behind medical experimentation aside from the naturally curious mind. This is one of those issues where we have to derive an “ought” from an “is”. We ought to pursue genetic experimentation because at the bottom of our intent is our drive to discover more efficient ways of improving quality of life. Personally, I believe the only ethical constraint here would be informed consent. Samples of tissues and DNA are proprietary. To the degree that our scientists are properly acquiring consent and informing donors can we build a foundation of trust. That might not stop private companies from plucking strands of hair from random people but we have to start somewhere. Furthermore, science is very complex and difficult for the general public to apprehend. I believe when it comes to genetic research, the public has no dog in that fight by virtue of pure ignorance
Read a while back about a little boy with a very rare genetic skin disease, causing his skin to fall off. He had very little skin left on his body and was dying.
They took a sample of the remaining skin on his thigh, and modified the genetics of it. Grew more skin in the lab from that modified bit, and grafted it onto the boy. Continued the process until he is now covered in new, genetically modified skin that behaves as normal skin. It heals from small injuries, sheds normally and reproduces itself. The boy is healthy and now playing sports instead of lying in bed, mostly flesh without any skin covering, waiting to die. He is, in a very real sense, GMO.
Not possible without genetic testing and experimentation, and I believe we're going to see a lot more of this kind of thing. The human body very often has genetic "problems" that could be corrected if we only knew exactly what the problem was and how to go about fixing the right genes.
That's quite a remarkable story. One of the issues I might foresee is certain procedures and/or products only becoming available to those in higher income brackets. If drug companies can mark up prices by 1000%, they won't hesitate to do so with a longevity drug or gene correcting technology.
I agree with your perspective Jessie. I also think genetic research cannot be stopped. The rewards are too great. I think that even if it were made illegal, then it would just continue 'underground'. It would be much better if it were supported, rather than inhibited.
I don't think your point about privacy concerns are a stumbling block, (I also agree with your "informed consent" ethics bar). I see religious-thought based opposition as the biggest danger.
Yeah, exactly. We inevitably fall into an infinite regress of trying to define the parameters of human life and it's boundaries. People often assume that science is amoral when, in fact, scientists are driven by the same moral convictions.
At this juncture, I reckon there's no looking back. It would only get more intrinsic and more advanced. Even if governments around the world tighten the noose, research and experimentation will still be pursued.
I agree to ethics bit and the whole patent thing, but then eventually it's all meant to come down on the table for businesses. There's always gonna be a price tag. As it is, this science or the advances it ought to achieve wouldn't be for philanthrophy. Humans have become guinea pigs way back and whether we like it or not, whether it is for greater good or not, it is gonna continue!!
I think its time for the governments to make some new rules about practicing and the benificial use of this technology
Neglecting the importance of thid feild will cause the cease in progress of this technology.
This branch of biology in its most advanced form is capable of providing great benifits to this world and also is capable of generating horrific circumstances. But if proper channels will be drawn for proper administration of this branch then it can create marvelous wonders for the benigits of life and living.
I am sold on stem cells research. Much of it is illegal in the US. I will go to a country like Panama to get fix up when I have a serious problem. For now healthy eating and drinking is doing the trick. They can take cells from yourself or a younger person and rapidly reproduce it.
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