Designer Babies?

Wasn’t there a movie back in the 80’s about a world that was disease free? I can’t remember the name of it, I only ever saw part of the film. The part I saw troubled me as in this world no child was allowed to be born who was not “perfect”. Of course “perfect” was already pre-defined by a set of very specific criteria that allowed no room for the slightest imperfection.

I’ve often said that IF it can be thought of for a book, movie, etc…..then the possibility of the ‘it could never happen’ or ‘outrageous’ could indeed be brought to life.

It appears that scientists are no longer content to research, understand and find treatments or cures, they aim to eliminate all they feel is bad by playing God/Goddess.

Check out this story out of the UK:

LONDON (AP) — British scientists say they have created human embryos containing DNA from two women and a man in a procedure that researchers hope might be use

d one day to produce embryos free of inherited diseases.

Though the preliminary research has raised concerns about the possibility of genetically modified babies, the scientists say that the embryos are still only primarily the product of one man and one woman.

“We are not trying to alter genes, we’re just trying to swap a small proportion of the bad ones for some good ones,” said Patrick Chinnery, a professor of neurogenetics at Newcastle University involved in the research.

The research was presented at a scientific conference recently, but has not been published in a scientific journal.

The process aims to create healthy embryos for couples to avoid passing on genes carrying diseases.

The genes being replaced are the mitochondria, a cell’s energy source, which are contained outside the nucleus in a normal female egg. Mistakes in the mitochondria’s genetic code can result in serious diseases like muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, strokes and mental retardation.

In their research, Chinnery and colleagues used normal embryos created from one man and one woman that had defective mitochondria in the woman’s egg. They then transplanted that embryo into an emptied egg donated from a second woman who had healthy mitochondria.

The research is being funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, a British charity.

Only trace amounts of a person’s genes come from the mitochondria, and experts said it would be incorrect to say that the embryos have three parents.

“Most of the genes that make you who you are are inside the nucleus,” Chinnery said. “We’re not going anywhere near that.”

So far, 10 such embryos have been created, though they have not been allowed to develop for more than five days. Chinnery hoped that after further experiments in the next few years the process might be available to parents undergoing in-vitro fertilization.

“If successful, this research could give families who might otherwise have a bleak future a chance to avoid some very grave diseases,” said Francoise Shenfield, a fertility expert with the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Shenfield was not connected to the Newcastle University research.

Similar experiments have been conducted in animals in Japan, and has already led to the birth of healthy mice who had their mitochondria genes corrected.

Shenfield said that further tests to assess the safety and efficacy of the process were necessary before it could be offered as a potential treatment.

A bill to allow the procedure to be regulated as a therapy for couples — once it is proven to work — is expected to be discussed in Britain’s House of Commons in March.

No one wishes ill health or disease on others, we all hope and pray for the baby we carry to be complete, healthy, problem free. But is it really within our rights to tamper with Mother Nature?

Better yet, who are any of us to decide what is or isn’t right for another? I’m a firm believer that we all come here, into situations, bodies, etc for a reason….mostly for the experience of that kind of life.

As a mother, I cannot imagine having to be in a position of knowing beforehand that the child I carried had a problem. I can see the benefit of this, and yet, I cannot imagine the torment of being in that position either.

As the mother of a child with a severe physical birth defect, I am grateful I didn’t have to be in such a situation. I personally don’t view my life or my child’s life as having been “bleak”. In looking back, I learned so much about myself in having this child. In looking back, we were happy as a family with lots of love and laughter. The things my child showed me, in particular the fact that people really do under estimate children and their ability to think. I wouldn’t trade any of that for some “perfect”child.

This is one of those things that can be argued, quite logically too, from both sides of the issue and I don’t think either side would ever come out the winner. I just find the whole concept of “designer” babies – because that is what this feels like – to be really creepy.

But that’s just me.


~ by swfreedomlover on February 7, 2008.

One Response to “Designer Babies?”

  1. The file was Gattica and I too was horrified by the implications of the movie. Now it seems like scientists just cannot help themselves. Goddess help us when the Earth and God/dess decide enough is enough!

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