Would you have your sperm genetically modified?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Carcano, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. original sine Registered Senior Member

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    924
    The only option I would choose without serious consideration and education would be number one, the option for "the removal of genetically caused disease patterns and abnormalities."
     
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  3. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    There was an interesting story in the news about a child born in Germany who's myostatin gene was mutated in such a way that he became twice as muscular as average for his age.

    IF this mutation has no negative side effects I dont see why it shouldnt become a option for genetic modification.

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2004/06/23/muscles040623.html

    "A genetic mutation in "mighty mice" is also found in a German boy with unusually large muscles, scientist say.

    The four-year-old's muscles are roughly twice as large as other children his age. Researchers found he has an inherited mutation in the myostatin gene, boosting muscle growth and reducing fat.

    "This is the first evidence that myostatin regulates muscle mass in people as it does in other animals," said Dr. Se-Jin Lee, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a co-author of the study.

    Naturally bulky cattle such as Belgian Blues also lack myostatin, the researchers have found.

    Lee's team wants to explore if interfering with myostatin can slow down muscle loss in muscle wasting diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. About 850 males in Canada have the disease.

    Seven years ago, Lee's team created mice that are twice as brawny as normal by blocking the mysotatin gene. Both Lee and his university would share in royalties if the research results in any commercial therapies.

    The researchers sequenced the myostatin gene from the boy and his mother, a former professional sprinter. They found he had two mutant copies and she had one. Other members of her family are reportedly strong.

    The boy, whose identity hasn't been revealed, is healthy. Doctors worry he could suffer heart or other health problems in the future.

    The study appears in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Other researchers agreed blocking myostatin has therapeutic potential for muscle disorders, but warned of the potential for abuse by athletes.

    "Although these pathways hold great promise for the treatment of muscle-degenerative disorders, the potential for abuse outside of the medical arena is substantial," Dr. Elizabeth McNally of the University of Chicago said in a Journal commentary.

    "Further studies of the safety, efficacy, and long-term consequences of manipulating muscle growth are needed"
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Since only the sperm is being modified what about the egg from the woman?

    I would think if they are modifying only the sperm there still will be problems with the egg doner that could lead to many genetic problems.

    that being said if they could reduce dseases and other abnormalities I think it would be a great advancement for humanity as long as EVERYONE can have it done.
     
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  7. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    I totally believe in genetic modification. We stopped evolving when we grew morality which prevented us from slaughtering and/or starving those "weaker" / "lesser" than us. It's a good thing we did... but now we finally have the ability to grasp evolution by the balls and direct it where we will.

    Yay humanity!

    ~String
     
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    6,865
    I believe homo sapiens are currently evolving much faster than say, homo erectus or homo habilis.

    Sapiens have the capacity for greater morality and altruism, but also greater evil.

    For example, one never sees any species of great apes slaughtering large numbers of their own species, like modern humans do quite often.

    Primates also dont throw members of their own genepool in the slammer...where they cannot procreate.
     
  9. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    But a lot of what you say is based upon the very technicality of the human brain.

    And, there are species of apes that do kill other apes.

    By the very nature of evolution (that is: one species becoming dominant and subplanting another through it's destruction by way of murder or starvation) breads violent tendencies into that dominant species.

    No matter where you go, on whatever planet may have life-- if it evolves, then at some time it was the very violent nature of of the supreme lifeform that got it to where it was.

    The devil is in the details-- in in our case, we can no longer "kill off" our weaker members... therefore, we have two options: selective breeding (licensing of the right to procreate) or the genetic modification of our genome. Either way a change will be made to us either by US or by mother nature. We took mother nature out of the question when we became civilized.

    Nature is brutal and grotesque. Most human beings cannot stand watching an Orca kill a young Humpback just to eat it's tongue... or watch an Orangutan chace down a spider monkey and rip it to pieces just to get to its tasty parts. We are the pinnacle of that destruction, for better or worse.

    Now we just need to find a way to get over the hump of our own technology killing us...

    And OH if we do!

    ~String
     
  10. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,865
    I'm in favour of both.

    The positive eugenics envisioned by Sir Francis Galton (who coined the word), and the negative eugenics (sterilization) as practised by several US states for decades, and also by the nazis.

    Modern civilized humans are far more violent and destructive to their own species than any uncivilized animal I can think of.

    And also more altruistic.

    How many people have been killed in wars over the past 100 years...as compared to how many white tail deer meeting the same fate?
     
  11. peta9 Registered Senior Member

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    2,326
    The common mistake is to assume evolution is perfect. It's a rough approximation with one blind eye. Evolution hasn't stopped, that's why we put people in prison because what they are doing is a product of evolution too but that doesn't make them superior. They are effectively trying to *kill* you off as well. Who is superior or inferior, who is worthy or unworthy? According to nature, whoever uses the best agression. Living beings don't look at themself and do an honest assessment of thier worth versus pure aggression for survival and passing on other inferior traits and present society is just as much a product of that as well. Do you see?? So an extremely aggressive individual which has that arsenal in it's backpocket yet is a pedophile, drug addict, etc could theoretically kill off less aggressive but more intelligent people. Nature doesn't care. As well, only superior genes don't always dominate, inferior genes can as well. When we are talking about conceptual quality versus what nature breeds and wins out is a different issue. It is just as likely that there were those who were *weak* that were killed off that had superior attributes in other ways than the ones who dominated or killed them. Sharks dominate other fish, yet they are not the most intelligent aquatic life. Does it mean that sharks should kill off all other living beings in the ocean and they are all inferior just because it dominates? Inferior or superior in what way? in what attribute? Of course the answer is no. If humans were so perfectly superior, aggression would not be the defining trait. Aggression isn't a superior trait, it's just a tool and otherwise tacitly worthless.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2007
  12. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    I won't disagree here, and I think what I was saying jives with what you are.

    But the shark annalogy is flawed. Sharks are indeed "stronger" than their cohabitants. So are Polar Bears and Lions... who all share their parcels of land (at times) with human beings. The superior aggression is one thing-- and it can lead to direct dominance. But somwhere along the line "intelligence" permits other species to dominate its cohabitants through cooperation and innovation. The sark and lion may well be able to kill the individual human being... but human beings aren't in any REAL danger-- human being have powerful weapons and collectives that could wipe ALL of them out in an instant. Is that "superiority"? From a certain point of view... yes. Especially what those two things represent: cooperation of an intelligence, and the engineering ability of an intelligence.

    As individuals we are at the whim of many "more powerful" forces: volcanos, weather, animal attacks, earthquakes. But we are the only one capable of creating socieities and technologies that overcome them.

    And that does make use superior by all definitions of the word.

    Which is why, I am passionately in favor of human controlled evolution. Compassion was our greatest achievement and it is THE thing that will save us from ourselvs and our own "cooperation and innovation"... but it is also the very thing that halted our evolution. And thus, we still need to evolve but by our own means and through our own design.

    ~String
     
  13. srikar Registered Senior Member

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    Observing, analyzing, self study---Intelligence comes by this way, not by altering genes.

    Taking good food,hard work ---muscles comes by this way, Not by altering genes.

    we will become superman by service to mankind, not by altering genes
     
  14. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    6,221
    I suspect that you are only saying that because you don't have any really serious defects. It's one thing to say that your child (or grandchild) might have to wear glasses or go bald by the age of 30. But it's a whole different thing when you're talking about progeria, sickle cell anemia, or cystic fibrosis.
     
  15. s0meguy Worship me or suffer eternally Valued Senior Member

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    1,635
    Would you still not alter the sperm if it was predicted that your child would die of some nasty form of cancer at early age?
     
  16. Enmos Staff Member

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    43,184
    Well, yes it has.
     
  17. Enmos Staff Member

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    43,184
    Not the same person as who ? The 'unchanged one' never existed..
    Nobody will be replaced.
     
  18. allisone417 i'll be in my room Registered Senior Member

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  19. s0meguy Worship me or suffer eternally Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,635
    a question for all those who would not do it:

    Would you still not alter the sperm if it was predicted that your child would die of some nasty form of cancer at early age?
     
  20. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

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    1,516
    Are there any studies thus far on wether or not modifying these kinds of attributes will lower one's life span? As in Blade Runner, "a candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long".
     

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