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Thread: School Project on Designer Babies - Help/Discussion needed!

  1. #1 School Project on Designer Babies - Help/Discussion needed! 
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    Hello Science Forum,

    We are 4 students from the town of Maastricht in the Netherlands, and we're currently
    4th-years student 'Communication and Multimedia Design'.

    We are working on a project called 'Designer Babies', and we need the help of a community to back-up any thoughts/opinions or statements. That's why we went here!

    We'll shortly explain where the project is about, followed by some statements and questions. We'd appreciate your time in answering these, or expressing your opinion in this topic. It is of vital importance to our research!

    The project is about the possibility of customizing your own baby to your own desires, needs and 'taste'. Think about parts of the body that can be modified by meddling in the DNA. Think of body weight, intelligence, eyes, nose, lips, length, etc.

    Ofcourse, this modification comes with a nifty price tag. If this was possible in the future, do you think it would make the distinction between Poor and Rich even larger? The Rich can 'change' the children they get, for example pay a large sum of money for their child to be intelligent and handsome, thus increasing the chance of success of that child. The poor still have to do it 'the normal way', and hoping for the best.

    What do you think about this possible future feature of changing DNA to make custom 'Designer Babies'? Do you think it's good to use a technique like this, or are you against meddling what nature normally does? What are the moral complaints, and what can be benefits?

    We like to thank you in advance for your time, again; it means a lot for our research!

    This discussion is now opened!


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    I think we modify ourselves and our bodies and our food and our pets and our ... everything... all of the time. This is just one more thing, and I have no problem with it. Like with everything else, there are both risks and benefits, but progress happens whether we want it to or not. My stance is that it's best to explore it deeply and learn it fully instead of pretending to be ostriches and burying our heads in the sand as if the possibility did not exist. If we don't use it, someone else will.

    Those are just a few ideas off the top of my head. It will be interesting to see what others may think. Good luck with your work. :-)


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    We see your point. But don't you think it will be too late to repair anything when it gets out of hand? In our idea, the richer get 'richer' by getting ideal babies while the poor stay poor because they can't afford the 'customization'.
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    Apart from religious objections (meddling with god and such...), designer baby objections would probably be similar to eugenics objections - essentially they're the same thing, the former just being more selective.

    As for the rich getter richer and the poor poorer - that'll happen regardless.
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    We see your point. But don't you think it will be too late to repair anything when it gets out of hand?
    You could say the same thing about cars when they first came out, or about heart transplants, or about just about any major technological advancement which has a real impact on people's lives. I'm not ready to use that as a reason to run away from it. Saying, "We can't risk this, so we should not do it" will not prevent others from doing it anyway. Better to think it through and manage specific risks than to (as I mentioned above) try burying your head in the sand.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    In our idea, the richer get 'richer' by getting ideal babies while the poor stay poor because they can't afford the 'customization'.
    Couldn't this potentiality be controlled for via alternative avenues for access? Make it cheap and easy? Fund it from other sources? This is only an issue if you work from the premise that "only the rich can do this." While that's an incredibly valid point, the affordability issue is separate, and can be addressed and mitigated.

    Also, to be clear... These responses are just off the top of my head as I clear my mind between my meetings. I haven't really put much thought or cogitated deeply on the matter, so welcome feedback and corrections when appropriate. Cheers. 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    You could say the same thing about cars when they first came out, or about heart transplants, or about just about any major technological advancement which has a real impact on people's lives. I'm not ready to use that as a reason to run away from it. Saying, "We can't risk this, so we should not do it" will not prevent others from doing it anyway. Better to think it through and manage specific risks than to (as I mentioned above) try burying your head in the sand.
    That's true, but this is still a major step. Yes, Cars were also, back in the day, but that was life enhancement outside of our very own Biology/DNA, and in this case we're talking about changing and adapting our very own genes. And 'it will prevent others from doing it anyway', maybe that's true, but there's no reason why this can't be prohibited by government rules and laws, like with other medical things.

    It's not like the random guy next door can just edit the DNA of babies if they wanted to, it would take a highly-secured building with strict rules and a team of professionals with it to even pull it off.

    --
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Couldn't this potentiality be controlled for via alternative avenues for access? Make it cheap and easy? Fund it from other sources? This is only an issue if you work from the premise that "only the rich can do this." While that's an incredibly valid point, the affordability issue is separate, and can be addressed and mitigated.

    Also, to be clear... These responses are just off the top of my head as I clear my mind between my meetings. I haven't really put much thought or cogitated deeply on the matter, so welcome feedback and corrections when appropriate. Cheers. 8)
    This could be a evolvement on later phases, but at the start, the fact is simply that it is too expensive (material and working personal wise) to fund it from other resources. When the technique gets improved, we can look at other ways of funding. If this would be affordable for the majority of the people, where do you draw the line? Who gets to edit the DNA and who doesn't? So for now, money is the only distinguive thing. Being rich would just have benefits, like it is in today's world anyway.

    Thanks for your responses so far, keep it up
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    I don't think such technology will be possible (unless you want to consider the remote future). Making such changes is not as simple as making a minor adjustment to the genome. The sorts of changes you have mentioned so far are all likely very polygenic in nature with a major component being environmental. Who'd be willing to be the first guinea pigs? When such technology does become availalble, the social structure of society will probably be very different from what it is today.

    If you want your offspring to be intelligent then good education and mental stimulation from an early age would seem to far more fruitful than fixing a gene and sitting back waiting for something to happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    I don't think such technology will be possible (unless you want to consider the remote future). Making such changes is not as simple as making a minor adjustment to the genome. The sorts of changes you have mentioned so far are all likely very polygenic in nature with a major component being environmental. Who'd be willing to be the first guinea pigs? When such technology does become availalble, the social structure of society will probably be very different from what it is today.

    If you want your offspring to be intelligent then good education and mental stimulation from an early age would seem to far more fruitful than fixing a gene and sitting back waiting for something to happen.
    This topic is indeed about the considering of such a possibility in the remote future. This is not about 'Hey in 2012 we can adjust our babies '. It's mainly about the large variety of different problems and possibilities that such a technique would bring up. Problems being the morality, interfering with God, anti-Biology. Possibilties of creating smarter and healthier children as ever before.

    The first guinea pigs isn't really a problem factor, as far as we are concerned. In every human invention there have always been people willing to be test subject. Think about rocket and space, a astronaut volunteered to be shot with a rocket on a rails with 900 km/h just to test the ffects on the human body. He didn't know if he would survive, but that's what they refer to as 'in the name of science'

    We agree with you on mentual stimulation and good education, but we would like to hear your opinion if you are in the position where you are able to use it yourself. If your wife had a misbirth, for example, and you were both devastated by the loss of that child, and a doctor would come up to you and say that the next baby you will have will have a 100 % surviving chance by changing the DNA codes, to your own personal liking even (psychical and mental), would you grab the chance? What's your stance when it comes to this evolvement? Is it negative (we should never use something like that) or mainly positive (it will lead to a better world). Thanks in advance for your reply
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    You're asking the wrong person since I'm not particularly squeamish when it comes to ethics. If the ins and outs of the technology were known inside out and back to font then I wouldn't have a problem with it at all. It would be doubts about the efficacy and safety of the technology that would concern me, rather than offending the religious sensibilities of my neighbours or feeling a need to let nature take its course. I'm the sort of person who thinks it'd be cool to abandon most of our biology and become 95% machine, so my views are maybe not representative.

    The sorts of attributes I'd be primarily interested in would be immunity to virus X, reduced chance of cancer Z and so on.

    Then there's the problem of transferring our morals, ethics and values on to future generations. We can't do their thinking for them - especially for those in the "remote" future. I'm sure ancient Egyptians, for example, would have been horrified at the idea of heart transplants.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    You're asking the wrong person since I'm not particularly squeamish when it comes to ethics.
    ....

    I'm the sort of person who thinks it'd be cool to abandon most of our biology and become 95% machine, so my views are maybe not representative.

    .
    It would be nice to have some other points of view from other members Anyone?
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    I worded my previous comment carefully because I suspected that you are guilty of a little bit of confirmation bias. For some people "interfering with God, anti-Biology" are not issues. There are other areas of ethics that are not so easily dismissed; for example, would it be immoral NOT to carry out such modifications? How do you test the technology first? (the unborn child is the guinea pig, not the parents, and so can't have a say).

    Could you perhaps tell us your thoughts on this topic? It would make things easier for everybody to discuss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwirko
    I worded my previous comment carefully because I suspected that you are guilty of a little bit of confirmation bias. For some people "interfering with God, anti-Biology" are not issues. There are other areas of ethics that are not so easily dismissed; for example, would it be immoral NOT to carry out such modifications? How do you test the technology first? (the unborn child is the guinea pig, not the parents, and so can't have a say).

    Could you perhaps tell us your thoughts on this topic? It would make things easier for everybody to discuss.
    It might help if I put down the short version of the script here, for the movie that we're making regarding this subject. It also explains our point of view.

    The Nightmare Scene
    There's a ladder going up to the sky. The camera zooms in on the ladder and goes up (in the direction of heaven). There's a transition to blue sky with a baby, and sort of a application where you can see an illusion of composing/adapting a baby, sort of a game (this also explains our point of view, it's a heavy subject but we like to bring it out with a humurous twist, sorta like 'Pimp My Baby'. The baby explodes, and the man wakes up. It was all a nightmare of the man.

    The man then sits up and looks at the side where his wife is sleeping, he looks at her belly and places his hand on there.

    Bathroom sceneThe woman is in the bathroom, looking at herself in the mirror. She clearly just woke up and hasn't done her hair. She sighs, gets a strip that is right next to her. The woman has clearly done a pregnancy test. She sees that it's negative. The woman screams/starts to cry. The man comforts her.

    Doctor scene.Man and woman at the doctor. Woman is crying, man is comforting her. The doctor looks serious. He then starts to show possibilties for artificial insemination (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3-Cx...eature=related). Woman smiles, doctor shows possibilties to determinte what the baby will look like and how to adapt this (the application). The man clearly doesn't agree (flashback of his nightmare). Man stands up, wants to leave, but the woman stops him.
    *Fade to Black*..

    3 months later.

    Man and woman arrive at the doctor. Woman is now pregnant. She gets an echo.

    At the very last second of that echo, we see a small robot arm move.
    *movie end*

    It explains our point of view about the dangers of meddling with DNA. The baby will not turn out the way she planned it. On the contrary, it might be the worst thing that ever happened to her.
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    And it might be the best thing to ever happen to her, too. Why is your personal interpretation of "best and worst" at all relevant to her and the rest of us?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And it might be the best thing to ever happen to her, too. Why is your personal interpretation of "best and worst" at all relevant to her and the rest of us?
    Hmm never mind that I said that last part I just wanted to give you an idea of the things we are working on. Like I said in our first post, we need a community and other people's opinions on the subject. It's obligatory. Maybe it's better if we ask you now: What would you like to know from US? :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    Maybe it's better if we ask you now: What would you like to know from US? :wink:
    Everything you've done from your movie plot is about invoking fear in an attempt to skew your audience to the belief that such GM should be avoided. Why do you assume it's going to be harmful as your starting premise?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    It explains our point of view about the dangers of meddling with DNA. The baby will not turn out the way she planned it. On the contrary, it might be the worst thing that ever happened to her.
    Meddling. Like playing, right? Is that what you think GM is really about? A bunch of boffins playing god for a quick buck? Or throwing caution to the wind in the name of inexorable progress? When you make statements like this, some might worry that you've already assumed a fairly solid position...

    Do you consider the Frankenstein trope above to be an accurate representation of reality? If so, why? Have you made any direct observations of scientists working in basic GM research or in GM trials? Have you read the primary literature? Have you read any texts on the ethics of GM, or spoken to any experts in the field?
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    I think you should peruse the abundant philosophical literature that exist on the subject.

    Major critics would be some Liberal and Libertarian philosophers like Fukuyama, while on the other side many utilitarian philosophers have actually argued that transhumanism is a necessary moral imperative. That is, if you can make children smarter with genetics is that any different from making a child smarter through education, if it is wrong to deny a child education than it should also be wrong to deny them genetic improvement.

    Although, on the critical side I tend to agree with post-modernist views that this would lead to "coercive eugenics." In that it would by its very nature lead to the purposeful destruction of swaths of certain types of people on the basis of a subjective view of what is desirable in a human being. Moreover, whoever are the powers that be are likely to determine what it is that is desirable.
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  19. #18 Horrible Idea 
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    In the process of meddling with genes that we do not completely understand we can undermine the entire future of the human race. That is say i delete a gene that would make a child short. I could inadvertently be deleting a gene for immunity against some disease that could come about. she spreads and her progeny spread these genes throughout humanity and when this theoretical disease strikes no one is immune. thereby ending the human race (worst case scenario. I know I'm a pessimist.). Also how would you react if your parents told you that you were genetically modified? i personally would not like it. Also the genes that are thought to make a person intelligent for example can also make a person too intelligent at the cost of the ability to function socially and self sufficiently. genes depend on one another and making your baby strong may also make your baby purple. Its highly unpredictable and could even vary from person to person depending on the gene. All this to say the cons outweigh the pros. It is a very novel thought, but not at all practical. It would be much better to just be a good parent and teach them how to learn and work out.
    Nothing is certain, but uncertainty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    Maybe it's better if we ask you now: What would you like to know from US? :wink:
    Everything you've done from your movie plot is about invoking fear in an attempt to skew your audience to the belief that such GM should be avoided. Why do you assume it's going to be harmful as your starting premise?
    This is because the teachers said that we had to pick a side. Eitehr you were pro for the change, or against it. That's why we made the movie in a way to 'warn' people. This was part of the assignement.

    Also, we thought the negative would provoke more reactions and opinions. Maybe we were wrong but I hope this explains it. :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    It explains our point of view about the dangers of meddling with DNA. The baby will not turn out the way she planned it. On the contrary, it might be the worst thing that ever happened to her.
    Meddling. Like playing, right? Is that what you think GM is really about? A bunch of boffins playing god for a quick buck? Or throwing caution to the wind in the name of inexorable progress? When you make statements like this, some might worry that you've already assumed a fairly solid position...

    Do you consider the Frankenstein trope above to be an accurate representation of reality? If so, why? Have you made any direct observations of scientists working in basic GM research or in GM trials? Have you read the primary literature? Have you read any texts on the ethics of GM, or spoken to any experts in the field?
    First of, thanks you for finding the time to reply to this as a Moderator. Sorry for our English, I think you have a wrong interpretation of what we mean. Meddling might not be the right word when I think of it. Interfering with nature is a better use I think.

    Your text also has some hard words in it for us, so we do not totally understand what you mean Please realize that, even though this is a very very heavy subject, our goal of the video is to make the subject lighter, with a ironic (hell, maybe even satiric) touch to it. We realize that GM is a very serious and large subject, but for this school project it's not about reflecting our own ideas, but rather, as a group, take a poitn of view and work it out by those rules.

    The reason we have not spoken or researched any scientists regarding this subject, is because we had to find an online community, where both experts (moderators, scientists etc) come together with other people to discuss. That's why we thought Biology on the Science Forum was a good way of testing out the opinions you. :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    This is because the teachers said that we had to pick a side. Eitehr you were pro for the change, or against it. That's why we made the movie in a way to 'warn' people. This was part of the assignement.

    Also, we thought the negative would provoke more reactions and opinions. Maybe we were wrong but I hope this explains it.
    Yes, that clarifies. Thanks. :wink:


    As for Biologista's post where you had uncertainty... My sense is that he is trying to remind you that most of this work will be precisely planned and coordinated. The scientists who do this activity will begin with very very small tests in very controlled conditions, and they will only proceed and move on as they learn and understand more about each intermediate step. They will not be putting someone's DNA and a few enzymes into a martini shaker and stirring them randomly to see what comes out when done, yet that is the impression you are giving with your words... That we will use uninformed and remedial practices... some sort of trial and error on real human babies until we sheepishly stumble upon one method which happens to work (yet we don't understand how), and that is both silly and inaccurate.

    Small tiny specific changes for very precise purposes is how this will happen. We won't be sewing on random limbs and brazenly putting car batteries where hearts should be (like in Frankenstein). ... I hope I haven't misrepresented Biologista here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    This is because the teachers said that we had to pick a side. Eitehr you were pro for the change, or against it. That's why we made the movie in a way to 'warn' people. This was part of the assignement.

    Also, we thought the negative would provoke more reactions and opinions. Maybe we were wrong but I hope this explains it.
    Yes, that clarifies. Thanks. :wink:


    As for Biologista's post where you had uncertainty... My sense is that he is trying to remind you that most of this work will be precisely planned and coordinated. The scientists who do this activity will begin with very very small tests in very controlled conditions, and they will only proceed and move on as they learn and understand more about each intermediate step. They will not be putting someone's DNA and a few enzymes into a martini shaker and stirring them randomly to see what comes out when done, yet that is the impression you are giving with your words... That we will use uninformed and remedial practices... some sort of trial and error on real human babies until we sheepishly stumble upon one method which happens to work (yet we don't understand how), and that is both silly and inaccurate.

    Small tiny specific changes for very precise purposes is how this will happen. We won't be sewing on random limbs and brazenly putting car batteries where hearts should be (like in Frankenstein). ... I hope I haven't misrepresented Biologista here.
    That certainly sounds logic Let's wait for a confirmation from Biologista!
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    Any user wants to share their opinion before we make up the results ?
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    Why does "Hollywood" always have to make science the bad guy?
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    Thanks for all the replies so far. They've been really helpful!

    We've been planning to make the movie from 'the other side of the medaillon', the opposite (changing genes can and will be a good thing for mankind).

    Reason for this change is because of the many replies in the last days, it got us thinking!

    We are still looking for some answers on those things that you users stated earlier on in this topic, though. We were hoping you members can shed some light on this! :wink:

    - When will it be possible to completely adapt people to the wishes of their parents, you think?

    - Will it be possible to make the most optimal combination between both parents in the future, or will genes influence each other no matter what? (so that nature eventually makes the most efficient choices?)

    - In a previous post, there has been said that such a change would change the way society works. How do you think society will change then? What will be different? Especially since poor-rich is left out of this..

    - Can you have a high IQ and EQ at the same time, even far in the future? Or are they genes that simply influence each other too much? (aka you can't have a very high number of both if you wanted to)

    And the answer to the most important question of all:

    What are the greatest objections in genetics (GM)?Thanks in advance for answering, next monday we will have our presentation, so far you've helped us a lot!

    p.s. When the movie is done, we'll be glad to share it!
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    Why not try to get out of the 'good/bad' dichotomy? Such an intervention is likely to have both 'good' and 'bad' repurcussions (remembering good and bad are likely subjective). The best films i see have 'badies' with feelings and flawed 'goodies'. Maybe the 'bad' thing would be everyone elses reaction to the designer babies who go on to recieve heavy prejudice in their lives which outweighs their genetic advantage?

    P.S. Why did the baby have a robot arm, no amount of GM will give you that.

    Look forward to the movie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Why not try to get out of the 'good/bad' dichotomy? Such an intervention is likely to have both 'good' and 'bad' repurcussions (remembering good and bad are likely subjective). The best films i see have 'badies' with feelings and flawed 'goodies'. Maybe the 'bad' thing would be everyone elses reaction to the designer babies who go on to recieve heavy prejudice in their lives which outweighs their genetic advantage?

    P.S. Why did the baby have a robot arm, no amount of GM will give you that.

    Look forward to the movie.
    Forget about the robot arm Taht was our first idea, but we will think of something more subtle to get the message through. :wink:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    - When will it be possible to completely adapt people to the wishes of their parents, you think?
    I don't think we will ever "completely" be able to adapt people to the wishes of the parents, as we tend to always want more... always better... and my sense is that we'll be able to do quite a lot with genes, but I'm not sure the technology will ever surpass our imaginations.

    With that said, I suspect we'll be able to do quite a lot within the next century, and even within the next 50 years... at least for things like diabetes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    - Will it be possible to make the most optimal combination between both parents in the future, or will genes influence each other no matter what? (so that nature eventually makes the most efficient choices?)
    Tough to answer. "Most optimal" is a value judgment, and one entirely dependent upon the circumstances. If you live underwater, gills are "most optimal," but if you live in the desert, being able to survive without water is "most optimal."

    I think that where we'll run into the biggest challenges is with the expression of genes. The genes themselves can be altered. What will be a serious obstacle is in how those genes get expressed later in life as a result of the environment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    - Can you have a high IQ and EQ at the same time, even far in the future?
    Yes, I believe so. These are arbitrary measurements rooted in similar neurophysiology. If we adapt that physiology, then certainly both measures could be positively impacted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    What are the greatest objections in genetics (GM)?
    I think the risk comes from peoples motivations... Are we trying to breed super killers who are immune to bullets and disease... are we trying to breed peaceful people who improve society... are we trying to breed some sort of spiderman? All of that plays a role, and will vary depending upon who you ask.

    I also suspect objections from the religious who feel "gods work" is being interfered with and other such crap. Along similar lines, there may be fear from people less educated on the topic, such as that we see today when discussing genetically modified crops like corn.

    Finally, during the tests, we'd need to be careful to avoid needless suffering. If we play around with genes, we could create animals with very disturbing features that make its existence quite miserable. We will find a lot of objection if we don't take very well thought out steps to avoid unnecessary misery and suffering from mistakes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    Forget about the robot arm Taht was our first idea, but we will think of something more subtle to get the message through.
    Maybe wings and octopus arms. Is that subtle? 8)



    Btw... This has been an interesting topic. You have a good attitude about it, and seem open to feedback, and it's been fun. Thanks for creating the thread.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    - When will it be possible to completely adapt people to the wishes of their parents, you think?
    I don't think we will ever "completely" be able to adapt people to the wishes of the parents, as we tend to always want more... always better... and my sense is that we'll be able to do quite a lot with genes, but I'm not sure the technology will ever surpass our imaginations.

    With that said, I suspect we'll be able to do quite a lot within the next century, and even within the next 50 years... at least for things like diabetes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    - Will it be possible to make the most optimal combination between both parents in the future, or will genes influence each other no matter what? (so that nature eventually makes the most efficient choices?)
    Tough to answer. "Most optimal" is a value judgment, and one entirely dependent upon the circumstances. If you live underwater, gills are "most optimal," but if you live in the desert, being able to survive without water is "most optimal."

    I think that where we'll run into the biggest challenges is with the expression of genes. The genes themselves can be altered. What will be a serious obstacle is in how those genes get expressed later in life as a result of the environment.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    - Can you have a high IQ and EQ at the same time, even far in the future?
    Yes, I believe so. These are arbitrary measurements rooted in similar neurophysiology. If we adapt that physiology, then certainly both measures could be positively impacted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    What are the greatest objections in genetics (GM)?
    I think the risk comes from peoples motivations... Are we trying to breed super killers who are immune to bullets and disease... are we trying to breed peaceful people who improve society... are we trying to breed some sort of spiderman? All of that plays a role, and will vary depending upon who you ask.

    I also suspect objections from the religious who feel "gods work" is being interfered with and other such crap. Along similar lines, there may be fear from people less educated on the topic, such as that we see today when discussing genetically modified crops like corn.

    Finally, during the tests, we'd need to be careful to avoid needless suffering. If we play around with genes, we could create animals with very disturbing features that make its existence quite miserable. We will find a lot of objection if we don't take very well thought out steps to avoid unnecessary misery and suffering from mistakes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    Forget about the robot arm Taht was our first idea, but we will think of something more subtle to get the message through.
    Maybe wings and octopus arms. Is that subtle? 8)
    Wow, thanks for all the answers! And so fast!

    Btw... This has been an interesting topic. You have a good attitude about it, and seem open to feedback, and it's been fun. Thanks for creating the thread.
    Thanks But the one that should be thanked are you guys, the ones that replied in this thread so far, without you no discussion would be possible :wink:

    Let's hope some other people find time to answer the questions, so we will have several opinions and statements to use! The more, the better :-D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    Why not try to get out of the 'good/bad' dichotomy? Such an intervention is likely to have both 'good' and 'bad' repurcussions (remembering good and bad are likely subjective).
    .
    Maybe it's better if we just react and keep the discussion going instead of taking a side

    Look forward to the movie.
    It's gonna be nice!
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    It explains our point of view about the dangers of meddling with DNA. The baby will not turn out the way she planned it. On the contrary, it might be the worst thing that ever happened to her.
    Meddling. Like playing, right? Is that what you think GM is really about? A bunch of boffins playing god for a quick buck? Or throwing caution to the wind in the name of inexorable progress? When you make statements like this, some might worry that you've already assumed a fairly solid position...

    Do you consider the Frankenstein trope above to be an accurate representation of reality? If so, why? Have you made any direct observations of scientists working in basic GM research or in GM trials? Have you read the primary literature? Have you read any texts on the ethics of GM, or spoken to any experts in the field?
    First of, thanks you for finding the time to reply to this as a Moderator. Sorry for our English, I think you have a wrong interpretation of what we mean. Meddling might not be the right word when I think of it. Interfering with nature is a better use I think.
    I don't. It's a word with a specific slant to it. It has negative connotations. We don't say that a builder has interfered with our home unless we feel he has done a bad job. The word we use in clinical research is 'intervention'. It's a neutral word that could imply either a positive or negative influence.

    It seems to me that there is most often a correlation between how negatively an intervention is portrayed and how new it is. That suggests to me that some significant chunk of such bias arises more from fear of the unknown than from a rational assessment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    What are the greatest objections in genetics (GM)?
    With plants this is the case: Seeds are produced which are genetic modified and can't reproduce themselves. The seeds are sold and 'copyright' protected by big companies.

    Instead of solving food problems third world countries are exploited by those seeds. (but that's another discussion)

    What if we should buy our babies this way?

    Are there people in this world who - once they got the ability - will not misuse it?



    Dear moderator, instead of discussing words, you probably will be able to help those guys finding an answer? I guess they chose a pro-GM approach now so I guess that they aren't afraid of new scientific GM stuff.
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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Designbyerror
    Quote Originally Posted by Custom Baby Research Proj
    What are the greatest objections in genetics (GM)?
    With plants this is the case: Seeds are produced which are genetic modified and can't reproduce themselves. The seeds are sold and 'copyright' protected by big companies.
    This isn't a problem with GM itself though, is it? I mean, being able to change the genome of an organism is not what confers the intellectual property right claimed by some companies. It may be a tool used to enforce that perceived right, but it isn't the source of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Designbyerror
    Dear moderator, instead of discussing words, you probably will be able to help those guys finding an answer?
    Can we not do both? Is that okay with you?
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    This isn't a problem with GM itself though, is it? I mean, being able to change the genome of an organism is not what confers the intellectual property right claimed by some companies. It may be a tool used to enforce that perceived right, but it isn't the source of it.
    True.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Can we not do both? Is that okay with you?
    If you mean that we both are going to try to answer these questions - both with our knowledge about this subject - then I'm fine
    I'll start thinking
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  36. #35  
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    I want to thank all the members here for contributing Tomorrow's the deadline, and today we're processing the results of this topic! :-D
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