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Babies could be tested for 3,500 genetic faults

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:28 PM
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Okay, when I first read this, I was like, okay, that's great....right? But after I finished the article now I'm not so sure.

On the one hand, I understand checking an unborn for birth defects, which they do already for Down's syndrome and cystic fibrosis - which are both large-scale genetic defects - as well as muscular dystrophy and spina bifada, which can have hereditary elements.

But as I read, I was wondering two things:

1) Will unnecessary abortions be performed
2) Is Man playing at God once again



A team has been able to predict the whole genetic code of a foetus by taking a blood sample from a woman who was 18 weeks pregnant, and a swab of saliva from the father. They believe that, in time, the test will become widely available, enabling doctors to screen unborn babies for some 3,500 genetic disorders. At the moment the only genetic disorder routinely tested for on the NHS is Down’s syndrome.


So far, that doesn't sound to bad...yet.



By contrast, the scientists say their new test would identify far more conditions, caused by genetic errors.

However, they warned it raised “many ethical questions” because the results could be used as a basis for abortion.

These concerns were last night amplified by pro-life campaigners, who said widespread use of such a test would “inevitably lead to more abortions”.


This sorta explains rather simply the process of it:


The American scientists were able to map the baby’s genetic code principally from tiny traces free-floating DNA, which makes its way into the mother’s blood. Blood sample DNA from the mother was also studied as well as DNA extracted from the father's saliva.


However, this is what bothered me most and made me wonder if in the future, they would be tempted to alter the DNA:


Fitting pieces of the genetic jigsaw together, scientists in the US were able to reconstruct the entire genetic code of an unborn baby boy.

They were then able to see what spontaneous genetic mutations had arisen.

Such natural mutations - called ‘de novo’ mutations - are responsible for the majority of genetic defects.

By checking their prediction of the baby’s genetic code with actual DNA taken after the birth, the team from the University of Washington in Seattle, found they were able to identify 39 of 44 such mutations in the child.



De novo mutations are thought to play a role in a number of complex conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.


www.telegraph.co.uk...


I understand the need to know before hand whether or not a child will have health issues, however, at what cost? Will there be more abortions, which may or may not bother some people, or will it lead to further tampering of the DNA to get the perfect child?

It's weird but I feel both good to hear about this and yet a little apprehensive also. What starts out as a good idea now, always gets abused later on.




posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:31 PM
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Abortion is one thing, but being linked to your genetic code before you are even born is another. This information could be associated with your social security number or other identifying information in some sort of database and then used for various things later on (like determining health insurance or life insurance rates). It's pretty bad, especially given that just because you have a certain sequence for an allele does not mean the allele will be expressed.

It's called epigenetics and ontogeny, folks.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:36 PM
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Yes, there will be more abortions. Just like there's kids not adopted due to not being perfect. Throw away society, and all.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by snarky412
 


Well if that information was kept private I'd be all for it. Who wants to bring a child into this world when they will only suffer?



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by BigBruddah
 


This dilemma that is presented to parents is extremely tough, and I for one can not judge them regardless of their decision. It's tough either way for new parents......



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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All part of the total control over humanity that those with real power in this world seek and aim to create. Don't let it happen.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by snarky412
 


YEAH who doesnt want to be born with a horrible birth defect?

Right?!?!?! i mean getting to live for a few years and then dying a horrible death is the kind of thing everyone wants...

I know what.. we will keep track of all the birth defects weeded out by artifical genetic selection.. and then we can give them all to you... so you can enjoy them,



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:30 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
Abortion is one thing, but being linked to your genetic code before you are even born is another. This information could be associated with your social security number or other identifying information in some sort of database and then used for various things later on (like determining health insurance or life insurance rates). It's pretty bad, especially given that just because you have a certain sequence for an allele does not mean the allele will be expressed.

It's called epigenetics and ontogeny, folks.



Last year in Texas, there were a few families where their child was removed from the Insurance Plan due to being overweight. So, like you said, if they kept track of any possible future health problems, then that could cause havoc on the family's health insurance for that child.....



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by snarky412
 


YEAH who doesnt want to be born with a horrible birth defect?

Right?!?!?! i mean getting to live for a few years and then dying a horrible death is the kind of thing everyone wants...

I know what.. we will keep track of all the birth defects weeded out by artifical genetic selection.. and then we can give them all to you... so you can enjoy them,


There's no need to be hostile. I just said that I don't judge what parents decide to do.... it's their choice. I don't blame any one who may choose to abort. That is a mighty big burden if they have to have constant medical help. And the ones that decide to keep them, my prayers are with them. But like I said, it's their choice and I'm for them regardless of their decisions.

What I worry about is the need for Man to play God, or like another poster just commented, if they were to track any health info and turn it over to the Insurance Co., then it could affect whether or not the child would be covered under the plan. And what if the illness never showed up, but it would still be a mark against the kid in the future...



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