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Genomic Revolution? A Scary Possibility

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posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 12:25 AM
This is old news, I know, but I just would like to share some thoughts. On that note, please continue reading.

Alright, so the human genome is being sequenced increasingly quickly and easily, and above all- with a price thats decreasing as time goes on.

Here is a link to genome sequencing for those who don't know what it is, and banter on the quick synopsis I provided above.

Now, why is this scary? We should be happy right? Find allergies early, find predisposed illnesses early, see if one is predisposed to addiction, and more! But has anyone thought of how terrible this could be in the wrong hands? What if the government begins doing genome sequencing of unborn fetuses as standard pregnancy procedure? What if abortion is based off of an "undesirable" child because he/she has qualities the parent doesn't like, and soon pregnancies become a hit or miss for a desired genome by the parents? Of course, this isn't that bad in the case of babies that will be born into a terrible life if their genome already indicates early illness and high possibility of death/suffering, in which case the choice is ethical/moral to abort or not. I mean what if parents start choosing to abort because they want a son with, say, blue eyes instead of brown? I'm sure its their choice, and I have no problem with abortion and moral choices belong to each and every individual to do with it what they want, but the world would seem much harsher should that option even become available.

But I'm not really scared of that. That choice is the parents', I'm not here to argue the ethical/moral sides of abortion. I'm scared of what the government could do. Look at China. Then think of a government sequencing the genomes of fetuses. Say a law is passed saying a fetus' genome indicating predisposed aggression or unruly behavior, etc etc, is by law required to be aborted. Soon, step-by-step, the government controls the natural selection of the state of its people through selective genome abortion. In the wrong hands, this can be bad. Let's hope the government isn't that crazy. Its far out to think about, unlikely, but still, just thinkā€¦

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 01:49 AM
Not to mention the horror that will occur if it can be determined that a foetis will be predisposed to certain disorders which will require the taxpayer to pay costly medical expenses over the lifetime of said being.
There will be enough lobby group and NGO pressure to whip the public into a frenzy and demand that these be aborted - for the good of the child and the tax base.
Once this meme is normalised, it is not a big stretch to imagine that the choice (if proven through testing) will not be available to the parents but instead will be dictated by statute.
To play devil's advocate - I've read Brave New World and I know where Aldous and Julian Huxley think it will end up.
I hope we're smarter than that

edit on 7-1-2012 by trouble_every_day because: spelling

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 01:58 AM
reply to post by Twelvemonkeyss

Yea that is one way to look at it, thats an outcome I highly doubt will ever come to pass in the west at least. Too many human rights watchdog groups. However, I think the more likely scenario is that parents will be able to choose all of those things before conceiving. The science is already there for that.

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 03:27 AM
The fear of aborting because of undesirable children well that defeats the whole purpose of the gene manipulation anyways. In fact you can already choose if you're baby is going to be a boy or girl and I wouldn't be surprised if choosing eye color wasn't to far off. However that comes with the price of money and thats a whole other dilemma on to itself.

Anyways the whole gene manipulation they are talking about isn't done to the fetus itself. Its done to the sperm and eggs. I think theirs a chart involved too, and test tubes I think you have to spin them. Oh and its done through artificial incrementation. Which would be an interesting course if humanity dropped the tried and true method of reproduction and opted in to something done through a lab, in order to insure a 100% chance of healthy offspring.

Anyways I doubt we'll see this stuff in our life times be fully utilized and commercialized.

posted on Jan, 7 2012 @ 07:13 AM
There is no point in the Genome sequence project, unless it can allow us to do MORE than merely select by genetic acceptability, those who are, and are not to be born.

The real benifits of this technology will come when mankind can remove or replace a faulty gene in an already forming fetus to PREVENT the onset of genetic hereditary disease. A friend of mine was born with her stomach inside out. As a baby she was born blue, and had to be revived, then put under and worked on by surgeons for a considerable time. They solved that problem after her birth, but what no one realised at the time, was that her heart is larger on one side than it ought to be. This she got from her father, who also has the problem and carries the gene which results in this issue.

Now, this problem can be solved or at least made less of a hassle by the application of medication to alter the consistency of the blood,to lessen the pressure differential effects, and careful check ups are made to ensure that the heart is continuing to function within acceptable tolerances. However, genome researches should have the end goal of doing more than deciding to abort a fetus that has these conditions, but entirely correct any and all hereditary malfunctions in an already existing fetus.

Its a bit like saying "I have the manufacturers manual for this vehicle, and I can see some problems with the design specification of the engine that will make the vehicle prone to catastrophic engine failiure. But screw it, lets roll these suckers out, and make it right later!" The best course of action, would be to examine the genome of a fetus, and CORRECT the damaged or prone to fail gene sequences. Until that happens, all that genome research will be pointless.

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