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Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women, using a provocative technique that could someday be used to prevent babies from inheriting certain rare incurable diseases.

The researchers at Oregon Health & Sciences University said they are not using the embryos to produce children, and it is not clear when or even if this technique will be put to use. But it has already stirred a debate over its risks and ethics in Britain, where scientists did similar work a few years ago.

The British experiments, reported in 2008, led to headlines about the possibility someday of babies with three parents. But that's an overstatement. The DNA from the second woman amounts to less than 1 percent of the embryo's genes, and it isn't the sort that makes a child look like Mom or Dad. The procedure is simply a way of replacing some defective genes that sabotage the normal workings of cells.

The British government is asking for public comment on the technology before it decides whether to allow its use in the future. One concern it cites is whether such DNA alteration could be an early step down a slippery slope toward "designer babies"

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Posted

I don't see what would be so wrong with having "designer babies" -- seems like a good thing.

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Posted

[quote name='Hum' timestamp='1351352531' post='595276857']
I don't see what would be so wrong with having "designer babies" -- seems like a good thing.
[/quote]

untill you get defects from manupulation, lack of genetic variety causes the human race to lose immunitites we otherwise wouldn't have had, people who can't afford to #design" their babies, get lower class babies who won't be allowed to mingle with the "perfects", and so on and so on. the issues vary from purely sociopolitical to genuine genetic dangers.
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Posted

This is just the sort of scientific revolution that could renew interest in Mormonism and polygamy. Mitt Romney will be happy.
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/
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Posted

[quote name='HawkMan' timestamp='1351354112' post='595276909']
untill you get defects from manupulation, lack of genetic variety causes the human race to lose immunitites we otherwise wouldn't have had, people who can't afford to #design" their babies, get lower class babies who won't be allowed to mingle with the "perfects", and so on and so on. the issues vary from purely sociopolitical to genuine genetic dangers.
[/quote]

True but the cost for not doing this (preventable/genetic illness) could be even higher.

The universe isn't going to make this easy for us
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Posted

Why can't we just let humans be normal?...
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Posted

^ Cuz we must play god :shifty: ... and make sure no one wears glasses any more.

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Posted

[quote name='Hum' timestamp='1351355177' post='595276953']
^ Cuz we must play god :shifty:
[/quote]

The problem is that bad things tend to happen when we do that. 'Designer babies' will turn out like human designed software or machinery - full of bugs and problems no one anticipated, only this time they will be alive. When you start to treat people as something that can be designed, tinkered with and 'ordered,' you have completely lost all respect for human life.
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Posted

[quote name='HawkMan' timestamp='1351354112' post='595276909']
untill you get defects from manupulation, lack of genetic variety causes the human race to lose immunitites we otherwise wouldn't have had, people who can't afford to #design" their babies, get lower class babies who won't be allowed to mingle with the "perfects", and so on and so on. the issues vary from purely sociopolitical to genuine genetic dangers.
[/quote]

Sounds like something the Illusive Man would do.
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Posted

[quote name='THolman' timestamp='1351355375' post='595276969']
The problem is that bad things tend to happen when we do that. 'Designer babies' will turn out like human designed software or machinery - full of bugs and problems no one anticipated, only this time they will be alive. When you start to treat people as something that can be designed, tinkered with and 'ordered,' you have completely lost all respect for human life.
[/quote]

^ Look around at the many defective humans on Earth ... we're full of bugs [i]now[/i].

We allow many humans to starve, suffer with disease, kill them off in pointless wars --- where is the respect for life you speak of ?
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Posted

[quote name='THolman' timestamp='1351355046' post='595276943']Why can't we just let humans be normal?...[/quote]

We have people born with extra chromosomes, genetic predispositions to diseases, overcrowded teeth, dwarfism, the baldness gene, allergies, blindness, deafness, extra limbs, defective organs, etc - very undesirable qualities that often severely impact quality of life. If we can eliminate them and improve the health and well-being of the human race with minimal risk isn't that at least worth investigating? Obviously there needs to be regulatory oversight to prevent abuse and reckless behaviour but it should be based upon scientific merit, not religious "morality".
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Posted

All this is doing is taking an egg without any defective mitochondria, removing that egg's nucleus and replacing it with the actual parent's nucleus.
They are not modifying the human DNA, and just providing the baby with non-defective mitochondria.
I don't see why this is such an issue.

This doesn't even lead to a eugenics avenue of research because the technology to do that would be completely different (restriction enzymes vs replacing an entire nucleus).
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[quote name='TPreston' timestamp='1351354977' post='595276941']


True but the cost for not doing this (preventable/genetic illness) could be even higher.

The universe isn't going to make this easy for us
[/quote]

Well that's just BS. We're not have a flood a babies born with genetic defects that needs to be fixed. Yes, if we can fix something then we should. But we should look to perfect everything and remove everything bad or design the perfect astronaut, the perfect runner, the perfect soldier and so on, it's a bad idea and will end.

There is no worst evil dilemma here, if we start doing this, we will remove genetic diversity which will make us a weaker species and possibly have us all killed by a simple flu pandemic. We're already on this path n a bigger scale with germs, everyone is so afraid of dirt and germs that they're washing their hands and kids with antibac at every opportunity, kids aren't allowed to get dirty and play in the dirt. And we're seeing more and more kids because of this with asthma, allergies, weaker immune systems and so on.

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Posted

[quote name='Lant' timestamp='1351355928' post='595276991']
All this is doing is taking an egg without any defective mitochondria, removing that egg's nucleus and replacing it with the actual parent's nucleus.
They are not modifying the human DNA, and just providing the baby with non-defective mitochondria.
I don't see why this is such an issue.

This doesn't even lead to a eugenics avenue of research because the technology to do that would be completely different (restriction enzymes vs replacing an entire nucleus).
[/quote]

It is however much the same thing done during cloning though.

Never mind the fact that the whole procedure is quite pointless as you may as well just use all the genetic material(ie full egg) from the genetic donor in any case.

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Posted

[quote name='THolman' timestamp='1351355046' post='595276943']
Why can't we just let humans be normal?...
[/quote]
Because its time to improve upon the old design.
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Posted

[quote name='HawkMan' timestamp='1351354112' post='595276909']
untill you get defects from manupulation, lack of genetic variety causes the human race to lose immunitites we otherwise wouldn't have had, people who can't afford to #design" their babies, get lower class babies who won't be allowed to mingle with the "perfects", and so on and so on. the issues vary from purely sociopolitical to genuine genetic dangers.
[/quote]

wow one of the only posts I can agree with you on

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Posted

[quote name='qdave' timestamp='1351358208' post='595277063']
Because its time to improve upon the old design.
[/quote]
Yes because we understand the old design perfectly (if we were designed).
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Posted

are kids gonna start having live tiles?
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Posted

Live Nano tattoos is somethign I definitiely see happening at some point anyway. though that's neither here not there.

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This is progression, hopefully technology allows to start doing this soon. We are imperfect beings, if we can improve ourselves then we should definitely try. As with anything worth doing, it has risks. But we've been doing 'unnatural' things for many years, even medicine, the simple of act of using painkillers is unnatural. On a related note, this kind of thing reminds me of [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZppWok6SX88"]Gattaca[/url].

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Posted

[quote name='THolman' timestamp='1351355046' post='595276943']
Why can't we just let humans be normal?...
[/quote]

'Normal' changes every decade. This is the 'normal' of the future.
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[quote name='Richteralan' timestamp='1351359557' post='595277109']
Yes because we understand the old design perfectly (if we were designed).
[/quote]

But we weren't created. So its a good opportunity to learn about how we function, and eliminate certain diseases.
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Posted

[quote name='helios01' timestamp='1351366908' post='595277367']
This is progression, hopefully technology allows to start doing this soon. We are imperfect beings, if we can improve ourselves then we should definitely try. As with anything worth doing, it has risks. But we've been doing 'unnatural' things for many years, even medicine, the simple of act of using painkillers is unnatural. On a related note, this kind of thing reminds me of [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZppWok6SX88"]Gattaca[/url].
[/quote]
Actually painkillers aren't necessarily unnatural, our brian itself makes painkiller drugs and send through our system.
Still drugs and genetic manipulation on a designer "baby" level is not even remotely the same, again, look up the dangers of lack of genetic diversification. We can perec the human all we want and make the perfect human that's immunie to everything we know. Then one day, we run into a new virus, it's fairly harmless, but it changes and adapts. Unfortunately humans have perfected themselves and removed all randomness, so now everyone is affected by this virus that has not turned lethal, meanwhile, if we had let nature add in all the randomness, a fair percentage of the population would have had a "useseless" gene or somethign that made them immune to this virus or able to fight it off, at worst, these people would have survived the rest of humanity, at best their genes could have been used to create a cure and vaccine for the rest.

Remove natural diversity and randomness, and we don't just lose individualism, we lose the ability to fight the unknown.
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Posted

[quote name='theyarecomingforyou' timestamp='1351355761' post='595276983']
We have people born with extra chromosomes, genetic predispositions to diseases, overcrowded teeth, dwarfism, the baldness gene, allergies, blindness, deafness, extra limbs, defective organs, etc - very undesirable qualities that often severely impact quality of life. If we can eliminate them and improve the health and well-being of the human race with minimal risk isn't that at least worth investigating? Obviously there needs to be regulatory oversight to prevent abuse and reckless behaviour but it should be based upon scientific merit, not religious "morality".
[/quote]

I look at this like cloning, something that's probably never going to go anywhere. But entertaining the discussion, I'm definitely not against using science and technology to improve life and help people who need it. I'm just saying that I don't think we should mess with genetics 'just because' - if it can help someone live a better life without hurting anyone else, by all means, be my guest. But I don't think it's worth the risk of just trying out new stuff to see what happens, or to make sure people get a kid with a certain color of eyes. I think we have a higher error rate than nature itself, and there's a huge risk of screwing up someone's life when you start messing with this stuff.

I can't think of any example where having three parents offers an improvement for any of the issues you mentioned. I'd love to have no allergies and a better set of eyes, but I don't think having an extra mother is going to help that. And since humans are designed to have two parents, genetically speaking, I can't help but think that bad things could come of trying to change that. Even if it looks okay in a lab, who's to say what happens 50 years down the road? Again, there's a huge risk of ruining someone's life and absolutely no gain. Wake me up when you can grow someone a new liver :)

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