T°EURO Forum: The Idea of Progress: Designer Babies 08/04

Créé par DIANE JEFFREY le mercredi 8 avril 2020 - Mis à jour le mercredi 8 avril 2020 10:49

Watch both of the videos (links below) and leave a comment. Say if there are points you agree / disagree with, what you found frightening / striking etc or simply what you understood.





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  • Both videos deal with genetic engineering and particularly genetically engineering babies: designer babies. The debate and concern surrounding designer babies are expressed in both videos, which are concluded by an open question: What do we personally think of designer babies?

    I think that the advances in genetics are great because the perspective of being able to cure or eliminate a disease thanks to this type of technology is amazing, it could save so many people. However, it is said that we don’t know what effects it could have in the future, which is why I personally don’t agree with designer babies, first of all, because we don’t know for sure if it won’t have bad effects later on, and because I believe that you shouldn’t want to change the appearance or the intelligence of your child. But I do think that, if it becomes safe, using genetic engineering to prevent diseases is a good thing.

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  • Both videos deal with the positive and negative effects of genetic engineering. We learn about different techniques such as CRISPR and germline modification's process. There is no doubt that these techniques will allow people to be cured of some diseases but I think they're too unpredictable. Moreover, the consequences in the long term are still unknown so for me, it will be too risky to alter our genes or babies' genes.

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  • This video is really interesting. Eugenics and deisgner babies are very controversial in today's world. The presenter's ironic tone shows us that he is doubtful about these evolutions. I think personally that eugenics represent a real danger for our society. We all know that trying to control something that shouldn't be controlled will surely lead to a negative end. Let nature do it :! However, these advances shows us that our technology sector is improving faster than ever and I think that's a great thing. 

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  • Both documents are interesting in their own way. The first video gives us pros and cons about designer babies, then we can build our opinion. The second video makes us learn more about the judicial side of designer babies. 

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  • The genetic engineering is really interesting because it could allow of decrease the risks to contract a disease, potentially lethal. The scientist use a technique, CRISPR, it’s a genetic scissors which allows modifying the DNA. If this technology is promising, to a treatment against HIV for example, we don’t know the consequences, on a short term and a long term. This technique is not sure; many mistakes are possible, with dramatic consequences, like diffusion of a gene which causes problems on a long-term, or simply a bad manipulation which causes malformation.

    I think that we can’t register a patent for a thing that all of us have in our body, the DNA. It’s the case of 23andme, they registered a patent for a find of a genetic mutation which could treat Parkinson. We can’t privatise the DNA. Furthermore, I think 23andme is dangerous because they collect lot of data and could use them with a bad intention, and in the event of a theft of these, the data can fall into the wrong hands.

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  • I-Should We Make Designer Babies ?

    The first video presents a new effective technique for creating genetically engineered babies : the CRISPR. This technique may enable scientists to choose certain physical traits of the future child. It can also help to prevent certain hereditary diseases. However, this new science frightens many people for several reasons. Indeed, by modifying the DNA, certain physiological characteristics risk being changed such as the length of the fingers, which is not advisable. Moreover, the effects of the modifications made are not known until the person is born. Finally, we don’t know the effects of this changes after several generations. Therefore, we understand that this technique is very promising but that it is raising many debates.

    II-Design Your Own Baby: Patent Granted

    The second video presents the company 23andme. This company offers to analyze your DNA to show you different statistics such as your origins. This company recently registered a patent on a system allowing to choose different characteristics for newborns. We can for example choose a long longevity or a lower risk of catching diseases. This patent is problematic because it prevents other companies from developing the technology and it creates a monopoly.

    OBST Julien

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  • I disagree with designer babies because I'm afraid that in the end, every baby will look alike. 

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  • The videos were great and allows us to have a better understanding of the subject. I agree on the point that it is awesome to control our future generation, as we know that mankind tend to have a huge need to control everything. 

    On the contrary, I also understand all the risks that we take designing babies with the patent and the uncertainty  of altering the wrong gene. Without talking of the ethical issues we already saw.

    Besides, I am surprised that, as scientist or popular scientist, they don't insist all that much on the alteration of the generations to come. Altering the genome has to change the future of our species. The fact that we come closer to all have the same human genome will weakened humanity, as the history of different species has proven.

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  • I foud these videos very interesting and especially easy to understand. Their way of asking a question and aswering to it with many explanations, photos and short videos is particularly fun. The format of the video itself (about 3 minutes) is also interesting in the sense that they explain very well without being boring. They popularize scientific subjects so that we almost want to watch others !

    I prefered the one called "Should we make designer babies ?" because it boraches the problem more generally, the advantages and disadvantages of eugenics, ethical questions, ... The second video, on the other hand, deals more specifically with how to conceive a designer baby, and why do it, with the "23andme" service. I agree with almost everything in these videos except with this service, because genetic tests are not always reliable and they pose ethical problems, but also because the inheritance of a gene can be influenced by many factors, such as the environment in which the pregnant mother will live, for example. I find that they mislead people a bit since it's impossible to reliably predict the genes of a future child.

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  • I agree with the fact that designing babies is dangerous and unethical: we shouldn’t start chosing the appareance of babies, or simply the way they should be. First of all because it means chosing the best features so that the baby fit perfectly the beauty standards of the society : by doing that, we erase all sign of uniqueness. Moreover, it is said that this procedure is uncertain and really expensive, which means that not everyone can afford it and so that it can create, or reinforce, disparities. I think that the only real positive side in designing babies is that you can chose whether or not the baby is pre-disposed to genetic disease, and that it is studied as a treatment for HIV, and potentially mitochondrial diseases.

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