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What do you think about genetically engineered people?

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  • Aaron_K123Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,060Member Member Posts: 7,060Member Member
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »

    Bob accidentally leaves his new iPhone10 on the subway. The end result is that Bob no longer has his iPhone10 by "luck of the draw"....he didn't choose it. Joe steals Bob's new iPhone10 on the subway when Bob isn't looking. The end result is that Bob no longer has his iPhone10 by Joe's input. In both situations the end result for Bob is the same, so are these two events morally equivalent or is one more wrong than the other? In my opinion in one situation it was happenstance, no moral issue, while in the other situation Joe wronged Bob...doesn't matter that the end result was the same.

    If parents decide to make their kids eyes blue and then later in life, in a society that chooses eye colors, blue eyes are considered a sign of vanity and the now adult suffers societal consequences for their blue eyes as a result...that is not happenstance, that is a choice that person had no voice in made to them by someone else. That isn't right. Even if it is reversible it isn't right, same way that in the above example Joe could feel guilty later and buy Bob a new iPhone10....doesn't make his original choice any more right.

    To me there is a big difference being nature and random chance doing something to you you didn't want and another person doing something to you you didn't want.

    If a parent tattooing a baby makes you uncomfortable I'm not sure why them using genetic engineering tech to change that babies physical appearance wouldn't also make you uncomfortable.

    Here are the flaws with this analogy.

    First, stealing an iPhone was wrong BEFORE it happened in the story. In the eye-color story, the cultural decision about blue-eyes happened after the parents made their choice. That's blaming them for things outside their set of available knowledge at the time of the decision. And what about the people who got blue-eyes by chance? Aren't they also being discriminated against? So wouldn't that be genetics fault if it was the parents fault for the chosen kid?

    Second, the embryo doesn't have ANY rights. It isn't a person yet. The only reason it would exist is because Person A & B decided to combine genetic material. If if develops into a person (survives the dangers of pregnancy) it is born with limited rights. The parents have the right to make the majority of decisions for the child as long as basic needs (food, shelter, heat, education) are met, and the child isn't put into danger. As a parent, one gets to decide everything else.

    It is actually completely irrelevant to my point whether the culture has a problem or not with a particular eye color or whether the child themselves ever becomes or upset with having blue eyes as a result of their parents decision. The issue is again with consent...it is still a problem that the parents made a choice that really wasn't their choice to make. My fault for giving that example, it muddled my point.

    The way you are arguing suggests that you would think it would be perfectly fine for parents to decide to tattoo their baby because after all the parents have the right to make decisions for their child as long as they manage to keep them alive. If actually parents tattooing their infant seems a bit wrong to you what about it is wrong given your logic here?

    I mean if you really commit to what you are saying it would be okay for a parent to decide to have their child's left hand surgically removed because they don't like their child being left handed. Lets at least agree that there is a line here you shouldn't be crossing..then we can disagree on where that line is.

    Yes, children are immature and parents need to make decisions for them (like they need to go to school) even if the child doesn't want to. But there are societal guidelines in place here...the parents can't just do anything they want to their child as long as the child survives. Why? because they don't OWN their child. Their child isn't somehow their property. Their child is a human being that is part of a larger society and should have rights and autonomy that are not wholly dependent on their parents.
    Second, the embryo doesn't have ANY rights. It isn't a person yet. The only reason it would exist is because Person A & B decided to combine genetic material.

    So what then...parents could do literally anything they wanted with genetic engineering as long as they contributed the sperm and egg? Is that what you are saying? You would have no problem with whatever experimentation two adults wanted to do in forming an offspring regardless of the extent of it. Or would you at least admit there should be at least some lines drawn...you just disagree the lines should be drawn with things like eye color. You honestly can't think of any example that you would consider unethical?
    edited December 2018
  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 16,358Member Member Posts: 16,358Member Member
    I still think your tattoo example is pretty irrelevant as well, not everyone has or will get a tattoo. I totally agree lines need to be drawn somewhere. I disagree with what some people choose to name their poor kids, so I can imagine genetic engineering being some crazy extension of that if left uncontrolled.

    [without going into anomalies] Everyone has eyes, so is it so horrible for a parent to choose blue vs brown? [If we were in a world where the technology were developed and safe] I don't take issue with parents being able to choose among features within the range of what already exists among normal humans. I am not sure if it would ever really get more extensive than hair and eye color, those seem like they would be fairly easy genes to target. I am not sure how complicated things like height and body type would be. Realistically, I don't think building every feature of your kid would ever be possible, supply vs demand and cost would probably minimize the ability to include unique things like "that dimple that runs in the family".

    I also don't think everyone would do it. Technically, we can already sex sperm and choose the sex of a child. I don't know anyone who has done it though. Plenty of people say they want a specific gender kid, but not nearly as many will ensure (or at least improve the odds since I am pretty methods still are not fullproof) with science.
    edited December 2018
  • Aaron_K123Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,060Member Member Posts: 7,060Member Member
    I still think your tattoo example is pretty irrelevant as well, not everyone has or will get a tattoo. I totally agree lines need to be drawn somewhere. I disagree with what some people choose to name their poor kids, so I can imagine genetic engineering being some crazy extension of that if left uncontrolled.

    [without going into anomalies] Everyone has eyes, so is it so horrible for a parent to choose blue vs brown? [If we were in a world where the technology were developed and safe] I don't take issue with parents being able to choose among features within the range of what already exists among normal humans. I am not sure if it would ever really get more extensive than hair and eye color, those seem like they would be fairly easy genes to target. I am not sure how complicated things like height and body type would be. Realistically, I don't think building every feature of your kid would ever be possible, supply vs demand and cost would probably minimize the ability to include unique things like "that dimple that runs in the family".

    I also don't think everyone would do it. Technically, we can already sex sperm and choose the sex of a child. I don't know anyone who has done it though. Plenty of people say they want a specific gender kid, but not nearly as many will ensure (or at least improve the odds since I am pretty methods still are not fullproof) with science.

    All fair points, as I said the eye color thing just makes me "uncomfortable" not really up in arms or anything....kind of like your example of a parent giving a kid a goofy name. Partly it is just that I feel like it is a rather frivolous use of a potentially life-saving technology that could end up giving it a bad rep that could harm the further development of the tech in ways that can save lives.

    Really its a poor example in general as genetically speaking eye color is actually very complex being very polygenic and hasn't been fully understood yet so I don't think we will be using this tech to be choosing eye color. The genetics of hair color isn't understood at all. It is actually unlikely that the tech will be even capable of choosing specific physical traits at all so it is all a hypothetical anyways.

    What is more realistic in the near term is using CRISPR based germ line editing to correct genetic errors in egg and sperm taken for the purpose of IVF. This would be doing something like taking the egg and sperm from mother and father who have known genetic defects (such as CFGR mutation) and checking that region and then correcting the mutation. Even that though not sure CRISPR is the practical response, would probably just be easier to select a different sperm or egg that doesn't have the mutation in the first place. In terms of the idea of using the tech to alter a fetus already in development to select a specific physical trait we are no where near that level of tech if that is even possible.
    edited December 2018
  • 4legsRbetterthan24legsRbetterthan2 Posts: 16,358Member Member Posts: 16,358Member Member
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    There are still bacteria, viruses, and any variety of injuries they can deal with :)
  • Aaron_K123Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,060Member Member Posts: 7,060Member Member
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    There are still bacteria, viruses, and any variety of injuries they can deal with :)

    Yeah the number of diseases that could be addressed directly by genetic engineering would be extremely limited. Also if history tells us anything here "big pharma" will likely be the prime developer of the tech for any therapeutic use anyways. I mean current therapeutics that were developed utilizing genetic engineering were almost all due to r and d at large pharmaceutical companies. Insulin at Eli Lilly for example.
    edited December 2018
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,802Member Member Posts: 5,802Member Member
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    If you can manipulate human DNA at this level and impact aesthetics...you can manipulate DNA and program viruses to combat other viruses, bacteria, etc.
  • NewLIFEstyle4MENewLIFEstyle4ME Posts: 3,813Member Member Posts: 3,813Member Member
    JetJaguar wrote: »
    I, for one, welcome our new mutant overlords. I'd like to remind them that I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar mines.

    :D
  • FireOpalCOFireOpalCO Posts: 641Member, Premium Member Posts: 641Member, Premium Member
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    FireOpalCO wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »

    Bob accidentally leaves his new iPhone10 on the subway. The end result is that Bob no longer has his iPhone10 by "luck of the draw"....he didn't choose it. Joe steals Bob's new iPhone10 on the subway when Bob isn't looking. The end result is that Bob no longer has his iPhone10 by Joe's input. In both situations the end result for Bob is the same, so are these two events morally equivalent or is one more wrong than the other? In my opinion in one situation it was happenstance, no moral issue, while in the other situation Joe wronged Bob...doesn't matter that the end result was the same.

    If parents decide to make their kids eyes blue and then later in life, in a society that chooses eye colors, blue eyes are considered a sign of vanity and the now adult suffers societal consequences for their blue eyes as a result...that is not happenstance, that is a choice that person had no voice in made to them by someone else. That isn't right. Even if it is reversible it isn't right, same way that in the above example Joe could feel guilty later and buy Bob a new iPhone10....doesn't make his original choice any more right.

    To me there is a big difference being nature and random chance doing something to you you didn't want and another person doing something to you you didn't want.

    If a parent tattooing a baby makes you uncomfortable I'm not sure why them using genetic engineering tech to change that babies physical appearance wouldn't also make you uncomfortable.

    Here are the flaws with this analogy.

    First, stealing an iPhone was wrong BEFORE it happened in the story. In the eye-color story, the cultural decision about blue-eyes happened after the parents made their choice. That's blaming them for things outside their set of available knowledge at the time of the decision. And what about the people who got blue-eyes by chance? Aren't they also being discriminated against? So wouldn't that be genetics fault if it was the parents fault for the chosen kid?

    Second, the embryo doesn't have ANY rights. It isn't a person yet. The only reason it would exist is because Person A & B decided to combine genetic material. If if develops into a person (survives the dangers of pregnancy) it is born with limited rights. The parents have the right to make the majority of decisions for the child as long as basic needs (food, shelter, heat, education) are met, and the child isn't put into danger. As a parent, one gets to decide everything else.

    It is actually completely irrelevant to my point whether the culture has a problem or not with a particular eye color or whether the child themselves ever becomes or upset with having blue eyes as a result of their parents decision. The issue is again with consent...it is still a problem that the parents made a choice that really wasn't their choice to make. My fault for giving that example, it muddled my point.

    The way you are arguing suggests that you would think it would be perfectly fine for parents to decide to tattoo their baby because after all the parents have the right to make decisions for their child as long as they manage to keep them alive. If actually parents tattooing their infant seems a bit wrong to you what about it is wrong given your logic here?

    I mean if you really commit to what you are saying it would be okay for a parent to decide to have their child's left hand surgically removed because they don't like their child being left handed. Lets at least agree that there is a line here you shouldn't be crossing..then we can disagree on where that line is.

    Yes, children are immature and parents need to make decisions for them (like they need to go to school) even if the child doesn't want to. But there are societal guidelines in place here...the parents can't just do anything they want to their child as long as the child survives. Why? because they don't OWN their child. Their child isn't somehow their property. Their child is a human being that is part of a larger society and should have rights and autonomy that are not wholly dependent on their parents.
    Second, the embryo doesn't have ANY rights. It isn't a person yet. The only reason it would exist is because Person A & B decided to combine genetic material.

    So what then...parents could do literally anything they wanted with genetic engineering as long as they contributed the sperm and egg? Is that what you are saying? You would have no problem with whatever experimentation two adults wanted to do in forming an offspring regardless of the extent of it. Or would you at least admit there should be at least some lines drawn...you just disagree the lines should be drawn with things like eye color. You honestly can't think of any example that you would consider unethical?

    For the embryo, if there was a line, it would be "does this change prevent the child from living a full life/relatively normal life?". If the change is something that would cause serious impact on the future child's life (intentionally having a kid without legs or sex organs) or causes pain on purpose. I also don't see those changes being done independently and there being laws about going through a licensed clinic and that clinic having restrictions on what they will perform (malpractice liability would be a consideration).
  • Aaron_K123Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,060Member Member Posts: 7,060Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    If you can manipulate human DNA at this level and impact aesthetics...you can manipulate DNA and program viruses to combat other viruses, bacteria, etc.

    That is a vaaaast overgeneralization of what the tech is capable of and although there are some example of modified adenoviral vectors being used for things like suicide gene therapy at specific cancer types I would not at all go as far as to suggest that approach is somehow generalizable to a large number of diseases. Hell, my work creating a genetically modified thermostable yeast cytosine deaminase enzyme to improve its thermostabliity for use in gene therapy ended up getting picked up by a company called Tocagen and developed into a adenoviral directed suicide gene therapy packet for treatment of glioblastoma so I do have some experience in this area.

    Also it is important to note that we have had the tech to manipulate the genetic codes of bacteria and viruses for 50 years now....the recent tech is just allowing it to be done direct in humans. So not sure why you would expect a sudden increase in the amount of therapeutics based on genetic manipulation of viruses or bacteria.
    edited December 2018
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,802Member Member Posts: 5,802Member Member
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    If you can manipulate human DNA at this level and impact aesthetics...you can manipulate DNA and program viruses to combat other viruses, bacteria, etc.

    That is a vaaaast overgeneralization of what the tech is capable of and although there are some example of modified adenoviral vectors being used for things like suicide gene therapy at specific cancer types I would not at all go as far as to suggest that approach is somehow generalizable to a large number of diseases. Hell, my work creating a genetically modified thermostable yeast cytosine deaminase enzyme to improve its thermostabliity for use in gene therapy ended up getting picked up by a company called Tocagen and developed into a adenoviral directed suicide gene therapy packet for treatment of glioblastoma so I do have some experience in this area.

    Also it is important to note that we have had the tech to manipulate the genetic codes of bacteria and viruses for 50 years now....the recent tech is just allowing it to be done direct in humans. So not sure why you would expect a sudden increase in the amount of therapeutics based on genetic manipulation of viruses or bacteria.

    Major miscommunication on my part. I was deliberately general and referring more to future state in reviewing the rate of advancement in technology.

    Oh you'd have fun collaborating with my wife. She's in a similar vein, but with MCAs and pancreatic cancer currently. My last project along this line was with a recombinant rabies virus expressing ebola virus glycoproteins.

    We are not currently capable of manipulation at this level, but our knowledge of viral and bacterial DNA exceeds our knowledge of human DNA and its impact. My concern is that an increasing amount of research is being dedicated to our wants over our needs, consider those in the Western world have all their needs met.

    I think this is more a philosophical dilemma. One of the qualities holding dramatic impact on income is aesthetics, so if this is leveled what will we move onto next? Also concerning how short sighted humans are and that this would end up continually chasing new aesthetic standards.
  • Aaron_K123Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,060Member Member Posts: 7,060Member Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    If you can manipulate human DNA at this level and impact aesthetics...you can manipulate DNA and program viruses to combat other viruses, bacteria, etc.

    That is a vaaaast overgeneralization of what the tech is capable of and although there are some example of modified adenoviral vectors being used for things like suicide gene therapy at specific cancer types I would not at all go as far as to suggest that approach is somehow generalizable to a large number of diseases. Hell, my work creating a genetically modified thermostable yeast cytosine deaminase enzyme to improve its thermostabliity for use in gene therapy ended up getting picked up by a company called Tocagen and developed into a adenoviral directed suicide gene therapy packet for treatment of glioblastoma so I do have some experience in this area.

    Also it is important to note that we have had the tech to manipulate the genetic codes of bacteria and viruses for 50 years now....the recent tech is just allowing it to be done direct in humans. So not sure why you would expect a sudden increase in the amount of therapeutics based on genetic manipulation of viruses or bacteria.

    Major miscommunication on my part. I was deliberately general and referring more to future state in reviewing the rate of advancement in technology.

    Oh you'd have fun collaborating with my wife. She's in a similar vein, but with MCAs and pancreatic cancer currently. My last project along this line was with a recombinant rabies virus expressing ebola virus glycoproteins.

    We are not currently capable of manipulation at this level, but our knowledge of viral and bacterial DNA exceeds our knowledge of human DNA and its impact. My concern is that an increasing amount of research is being dedicated to our wants over our needs, consider those in the Western world have all their needs met.

    I think this is more a philosophical dilemma. One of the qualities holding dramatic impact on income is aesthetics, so if this is leveled what will we move onto next? Also concerning how short sighted humans are and that this would end up continually chasing new aesthetic standards.

    Yeah I agree with you there, we are definitely putting the wants of the developing world before the needs of humanity as a whole...it is in our nature and is unlikely to change. Best we can do, practically, is siphon off some of the wealth generated for charity works or non-profit based therapeutical developments to help general global health and help raise up the rest of the world in a way that will benefit us all.
  • dimitriusgladidimitriusgladi Posts: 13Member Member Posts: 13Member Member
    I'm not seeing any serious debate on the ethical consequences of GMB (Genetically Engineered Babies). When a news article like this appears in the media, saddly it's always a matter of evolution of technology. At this level, technology is often used to facilitate dark purposes instead of promoting well beeing. So my position is against it.

    Remember the movie Gattaca back in 1997 which raised some serious questions about eugenics and selective breeding.
    edited December 2018
  • Keto_VampireKeto_Vampire Posts: 1,535Member Member Posts: 1,535Member Member
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    I hope you do realize that purely genetic diseases are quite rare

    The overwhelming volume of drugs used are for chronic diseases (GERD, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, asthma, various mood disorders, etc.) which can often be managed/minimize drug use with lifestyle modifications; reality is many people just choose not to implement change & rely more heavily on drugs.
  • MotorsheenMotorsheen Posts: 13,880Member Member Posts: 13,880Member Member
    What would Big Pharma do if we were all cure of our diseases by Genetically Modifying our DNA?

    Sell Funyons ?


    and yeah, that's not going to happen anytime soon

    (the DNA thing, not the Funyons).
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 1,564Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,564Member, Premium Member
    I can see getting veggies out of a crisper, but not children. 😔
  • RachelElserRachelElser Posts: 1,024Member Member Posts: 1,024Member Member
    Gene editing, which is what the Chinese doc did, is extremely difficult and the majority of animal species who try it die. We don't understand how all our genes are linked together, and what will happen to B-Z if we poke at A. The only species who I can think of that are successful are squid.

    If we were to go a head with this, who would we use as specimens?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,802Member Member Posts: 5,802Member Member
    As first reported by Antonio Regalado at MIT Technology Review, Chinese scientist He Jiankui claims to have made the first crispr-edited babies. “Two beautiful little Chinese girls, Lulu and Nana, came crying into the world as healthy as any other babies a few weeks ago,” He said in the first of five videos, posted yesterday to YouTube. “The girls are home now with their mom, Grace, and dad, Mark.” The claim has yet to be formally verified, but if true, it represents a landmark in the continuing ethical and scientific debate around gene-editing.

    Late last year, He reportedly enrolled seven couples in a clinical trial, and used their eggs and sperm to create embryos through in vitro fertilization. His team then used crispr to deactivate a single gene called CCR5 in the embryos, six of which they then implanted into mothers. CCR5 is a protein that the HIV virus uses to gain entry into human cells; by deactivating it, the team could theoretically reduce the risk of infection. Indeed, the fathers in all eight couples were HIV-positive.

    Whether the experiment was successful or not, it’s intensely controversial. Scientists have already begun using crispr and other gene-editing technologies to alter human cells, in attempts to treat cancers, genetic disorders, and more. But in these cases, the affected cells stay within a person’s body. Editing an embryo is very different: It changes every cell in the body of the resulting person, including the sperm or eggs that would pass those changes to future generations. Such work is banned in many European countries, and prohibited in the United States. “I understand my work will be controversial but I believe families need this technology and I’m willing to take the criticism for them,” He said.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/first-gene-edited-babies-have-allegedly-been-born-in-china/576661/

    If ancient history from the middle East concerning genetic engineering of humans thousand of years ago can be trusted more health issues maybe created than fixed. Then there is epigenetics to get the a handle on as well plus any impact of the gut microbiome.

    Let's not overlook the value of astrology and aura readings.
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