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andz
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"Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:37 am

A baby has been born in London after being genetically selected to be free of the breast cancer gene.

Personally I feel that if this is possible it should be done, it isn't genetic engineering of the horror movies and falls under "prevention is better than cure".
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
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nighthawk
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:54 am



Quoting Andz (Thread starter):
A baby has been born in London after being genetically selected to be free of the breast cancer gene.

Personally I feel that if this is possible it should be done, it isn't genetic engineering of the horror movies and falls under "prevention is better than cure".

While you may be right in this case, the problem is, where do you stop?

Next we select a baby that is free of heart disease, epilepsy etc etc. Then we select babies that are tall, blonde and have blue eyes.

Once you start the process, how do you stop it?
 
andz
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:15 am

I agree with your statement, it is a slippery slope and the simplistic answer is "nothing cosmetic" but I am sure there will still be a controversy over this.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
Gman94
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:18 am

Part of me thinks this is a good thing if you can eradicate disease but part me of can't helping thinking of the movie Gattaca and 'genetically pure' humans given all the advantages in life.
British Airways - The Way To Fly
 
Daleaholic
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:42 am

Obviously, preventing cancer is a massive thing. Where will this lead us though? Like others have said... Where does it stop? Parents being able to do a questionnaire with the options for their child?
Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
 
san747
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:24 pm

Well I think of it this way... this baby is only free from getting breast cancer. This kid could still potentially get any other disease though, any other type of cancer, etc. So it's really only a VERY minute advantage to have.

The only way we would start going down a slippery slope is if you can "free" a child genetically of a bunch of afflictions at once... but "freeing" a child of breast cancer alone doesn't make them invincible or significantly advantaged over "normal/regular" people.
Scotty doesn't know...
 
andz
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:01 pm

They were talking about an 85% chance of getting breast cancer without this procedure so the parents and doctors obviously felt it was worth it. They have been talking about it all day on Sky News and it sounds like the investigation before any such procedure is pretty exhaustive.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
KFLLCFII
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:04 pm



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 1):
Next we select a baby that is free of heart disease, epilepsy etc etc. Then we select babies that are tall, blonde and have blue eyes.

Once you start the process, how do you stop it?

Well...

Function over form?  Wink
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
flybyguy
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:55 am



Quoting Andz (Reply 2):
I agree with your statement, it is a slippery slope and the simplistic answer is "nothing cosmetic" but I am sure there will still be a controversy over this.

Nothing cosmetic? Entire races are more susceptible to certain diseases and disorders... this procedure is not a slippery slope but a walk off a cliff.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
 
Yellowstone
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:51 am



Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 8):
Nothing cosmetic? Entire races are more susceptible to certain diseases and disorders... this procedure is not a slippery slope but a walk off a cliff.

That doesn't pose a problem, however, if it is the parents making the choice to use embryo screening. The embryo the parents choose would still be of their race. Also, each racial group has its own medical conditions it is predisposed to, so you'd expect "inferior" embryos to crop up roughly evenly across racial lines.

I'd be much more concerned about issues of class - rich families being able to improve their genetic stock, while poor families must rely on the whims of nature.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
Continental
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:27 am

So they selected for one gene of thousands that can cause cancer? Sounds pretty lame. You can still get breast cancer without mutated BRCA genes.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:13 am



Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 1):

While you may be right in this case, the problem is, where do you stop?

This can be asked of any invention. It is a valid question. But all of our tools, from fire to hammers to computers can be used for good or evil, altruism or greed.

It falls to us as a society to police those who abuse the great powers that we have.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:19 am

GATTACA, anyone?

Quoting Message too short:
The message you were about to post is too short and probably not of any higher value to the topic at hand. You should think long and hard before posting a message in this forum and make it detailed and a valuable addition to the topic discussed.

WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
canuckpaxguy
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:47 am



Quoting Andz (Thread starter):
selected to be free of the breast cancer gene

I wonder if, however remote, there was a chance that this gene actually does something good that we don't know about yet. Is it possible that the removal of the breast cancer gene could actually cause new problems by making a person vulnerable to something else?

Just a thought.
G
 
Continental
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:25 am



Quoting Canuckpaxguy (Reply 13):
Is it possible that the removal of the breast cancer gene could actually cause new problems by making a person vulnerable to something else?

That's what I was confused about. The BRCA genes are actually tumor suppressor genes, whose proteins help fix DNA mutations and prevent uncontrolled cell proliferation. Wouldn't the complete loss of these genes have adverse effects?
 
Yellowstone
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:51 am



Quoting Continental (Reply 14):
That's what I was confused about. The BRCA genes are actually tumor suppressor genes, whose proteins help fix DNA mutations and prevent uncontrolled cell proliferation. Wouldn't the complete loss of these genes have adverse effects?

It would, but that's not what's at issue here. What they were screening out were embryos with a particular mutated form of the BRCA gene.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
Continental
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:38 pm



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 15):
It would, but that's not what's at issue here. What they were screening out were embryos with a particular mutated form of the BRCA gene.

Oh I see. I didn't read any articles, so I guess I was confused by the OP's statement of the baby being free of the breast cancer gene.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:45 pm



Quoting Continental (Reply 14):

That's what I was confused about. The BRCA genes are actually tumor suppressor genes, whose proteins help fix DNA mutations and prevent uncontrolled cell proliferation. Wouldn't the complete loss of these genes have adverse effects?

No. Because we ALL have the BRCA genes.

The problem is that some people have MUTANT BRCA genes that don't work. This baby was given a working copy.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: "Genetically Cancer Free" Baby Born

Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:05 pm

Yet again the antis have been leaping up and down over this latest medical breakthrough.

Quite simply this involved a family that had a terrible history of breast cancer due to a genetic problem.

After the use of normal IVF techniques, the embryos were screened for the defective gene. I believe 2 out of approx 10 were ok, and thus were implanted.

There's no funny cloning or anything else going on, just good use of medical advances.

The consultant involved Paul Serhal of University College Hospital London, leads one of the UK's top IVF clinics. he is a wonderful doctor, whose dedication to his specialisation has enabled 1000's of people to become parents, when it would not otherwise have been possible.

I feel privileged to have known him, and will always praise him for the gift of my daughter, who would not have ever been conceived without the help of him and his team.

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