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Babies could be tested for 3,500 genetic faults

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Author Topic: Babies could be tested for 3,500 genetic faults  (Read 263 times)
Psalm 51:17
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« on: June 06, 2012, 08:13:18 pm »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9315265/Babies-could-be-tested-for-3500-genetic-faults.html

Scientists could soon be able to routinely screen unborn babies for thousands of genetic conditions, raising concerns the breakthrough could lead to more abortions.

6/6/12


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.
 
This is a large-scale genetic defect caused by having an extra copy of a bundle of DNA, called a chromosome.
 
Other such faults are sometimes tested for, but usually only when there is a risk of inheriting them from a parent.

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”.
 
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.
 
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.
 
The team also tested their approach on a woman who was earlier in her pregnancy than 18 weeks, and found it still worked.
 
Dr Jay Shendure, the lead scientist, said: "This work opens up the possibility that we will be able to scan the whole genome of the foetus for more than 3,000 single-gene disorders through a single, non-invasive test."
 
Jacob Kitzman, who worked on the project, added: “The improved resolution is like going from being able to see that two books are stuck together to being able to notice one word mis-spelled on a page.”
 
In future, a more refined and less costly version of the procedure could make pre-natal genetic testing far more comprehensive than it is now, the scientists say.
 
The research is reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The scientists said the test would be a considerable improvement on current techniques, which involve inserting a probe into the womb to take fluid from the foetal sac or placental samples. This can be dangerous for both mother and child.
 
Such existing methods only enable doctors to check for a relatively small number of genetic disorders.
 
These include 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.
 
As well as testing for thousands of genetic defects, the scientists said their test could give a wealth of information on the baby’s future health.
 
However, they warned: “The less tangible implication of incorporating this level of information into pre-natal decision-making raises many ethical questions that must be considered carefully within the scientific community and on a societal level.
 
“As in other areas of clinical genetics, our capacity to generate data is outstripping our ability to interpret it in ways that are useful to physicians and patients.”
 
Josephine Quintavalle, founder of the Pro-Life Alliance, put it more baldly.

She said: “One always hopes, vainly, that in utero testing will be for the benefit of the unborn child.
 
“But, whilst this new test may not itself be invasive, given our past track record, it is difficult to imagine that this new test will not lead to more abortions.”
 
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 07:06:49 am »

NBC: It’s ‘Pro-Science’ to Abort Children With Genetic Defects

On Friday’s NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman explained to viewers that it’s just good science to abort an unborn child that may have a genetic disorder, explaining that testing for such conditions, “gives parents a chance to decide whether they’re going to continue that pregnancy or not. This is the science of today.” [listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Snyderman then predicted: “I think the future will be such that you’ll find out that your child may have a genetic hit. You can fix that genetic problem, and improve your chance, a child’s chance…” When co-host Savannah Guthrie raised ethical questions about aborting children under such circumstances, Snyderman matter-of-factly replied: “Well, I’m pro-science, so I believe that this is a great way to prevent diseases.”

Earlier in the discussion, advertising executive Donny Deutsch raised the possibility of parents using the genetic information to abort children based on superficial preferences: “Look, I’m a pro-choice guy, but at the end of the day what’s stopping people, “Oh, my son is going to be blonde, I want…”

Snyderman largely dismissed such concerns: “I get the genetic engineering issue. But the reality is we’ve already jumped out of that with amniocentesis. So, the science is there. The problem is that science goes faster than we have these societal questions. And that’s exactly why we should have these societal questions now.”

While Snyderman sounded briefly open-minded on the issue, she soon made her “pro-science” declaration and later completely rejected any legal argument against selective abortions.

Attorney Star Jones raised the possibility: “…at what point will the courts step in and say, ‘No, this is too late in the gestation process’?” Snyderman asserted: “They won’t. They won’t. They won’t.” Jones responded: “Well, we’ll see what’s happening in the next presidential election.” Snyderman insisted: “Not if you can save a life and prevent a disease. You can’t make a case for that.”

Later on the show, Snyderman suggested Saudi Arabia had a better record on providing equal pay for working women than the United States.

video + transcript: http://www.lifenews.com/2012/06/12/nbc-its-pro-science-to-abort-children-with-genetic-defects/
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 07:38:45 am »

Brookings Institute Sees Gattaca-Like Genetically Engineered Homosexual Communities In The Very Near Future

Larry, a pediatrician, and David, a wills lawyer, meet in their late 20s, fall in love, and marry on June 15, 2025 in Indianapolis… Larry and David discuss with their doctors the feasibility of screening… embryos they create with (a surrogate’s] eggs for male genes linked to a homosexual orientation. The clinic doctors are experts in embryo screening and alteration, but cannot guarantee that the resulting embryos will in fact turn out to be homosexual. To increase the certainty, they will insert additional “gay gene” sequences in the embryos before they are placed in [the surrogate]…. so that the resulting child would be the genetic offspring of both Larry and David... The genetic code for nonmedical traits such as sexual orientation may be unlocked in coming years. Altering a person’s genes by inserting or deleting DNA sequences is [being studied in] animals.


full article: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/01/21-reproductive-technology-robertson


Gay Or Straight Baby - Use Genetics To Choose Says Expert

Parents-to-be may be able to have their unborn child screened for homosexuality within a matter of a few years, according to a visiting American expert in bioethics. Professor Robert Klitzman of Columbia University's Centre for Bioethics has told TV ONE's Close Up that genetic tests are now being developed to look for autism, alzheimers and various types of cancers. "We may find tests with homosexuality for instance," he said. This would mean people could decide they do not want a child because it is going be gay, or that they want a child that is gay. "So over the next few years as we develop more genetic testing, as the price goes down so it becomes very affordable to do this, these will be questions that millions of people will face," Klitzman said.

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/gay-straight-baby-choice-could-yours-says-expert-5011648
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 07:44:45 am »

what is this mysterious “gay gene”  Huh there is no such thing
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 06:07:36 pm »

 Cheesy These people crack me up! Gay gene? What a hoot!

In their unbelieving blindness, they have no clue that ALL people have the "gay gene"! It's called carnal human flesh! Everybody is techinically born gay and straight. It's called sexual preference!  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 11:02:31 am »

 Cheesy  Cheesy

Genetically engineering 'ethical' babies is a moral obligation, says Oxford professor
Genetically screening our offspring to make them better people is just 'responsible parenting', claims an eminent Oxford academic.


Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a "moral obligation" as it makes them grow up into "ethically better children".

The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to "harm themselves and others".

The academic, who is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, made his comments in an article in the latest edition of Reader's Digest.

He explained that we are now in the middle of a genetic revolution and that although screening, for all but a few conditions, remained illegal it should be welcomed.

He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality – with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics.

By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out.

In the end, he said that "rational design" would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.

"Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?" wrote Prof Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor in practical ethics.

"So where genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an individual and society, we should allow parents the choice.

"To do otherwise is to consign those who come after us to the ball and chain of our squeamishness and irrationality.

"Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children.

"They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others."

"If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring — rather than consigning them to the natural lottery — then we should."

He said that we already routinely screen embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and couples can test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes.

Rational design is just a natural extension of this, he said.

He said that unlike the eugenics movements, which fell out of favour when it was adopted by the Nazis, the system would be voluntary and allow parents to choose the characteristics of their children.

"We’re routinely screening embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome, and there’s little public outcry," he said.

"What’s more, few people protested at the decisions in the mid- 2000s to allow couples to test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes, and this pushes us a lot close to creating designer humans."

"Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now. Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance."

Full article appears in September issue of Reader’s Digest, out 21st August
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9480372/Genetically-engineering-ethical-babies-is-a-moral-obligation-says-Oxford-professor.html
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« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 02:41:10 pm »

Mitt Romney paid for son's surrogate 'abortion contract', right to kill fetus
September 22, 2012
By: Lou Colagiovanni


Mitt Romney's son, Tagg Romney, has been discovered to have engaged in a contract with a surrogate mother with the stipulations that if the child being carried was not up to the Romney's specifications, that the Romney family would have the final say if the child would be aborted or not.
 
In other words the Romney family used their money to buy the power to end a human life, something that Mitt Romney has spoken out against vehemently in the past.

Apparently money changes everything.
 
According to TMZ.com the leaked documents include a contract, known as a 'Gestational Carrier Agreement', which was signed between Tagg Romney, and an unnamed surrogate mother on July 28, 2011.
 
The section of the contract which gave the Romney's abortion power over the child reads as follows:
 
“In the event the child is determined to be physiologically, genetically or chromosomally abnormal, the decision to abort or not to abort is to be made by the intended parents. In such a case the surrogate agrees to abort, or not to abort, in accordance with the intended parents' decision."
 
The Romney campaign, naturally, has an explanation for this. It seems the family used this same surrogate in 2009, and in the previous contract the Romney family specifically wanted that part of the contract removed, and it was. This time however, Attorney Bill Handel, an expert on surrogacy law, said it was a simple oversight that the clause was left in the contract.
 
A lawyer for a family worth a quarter-of-a-billion dollars says it was an oversight? During an election year? Personally I find that to be a tough pill to swallow. Draw your own conclusions.
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« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 03:15:16 pm »

You might want to look a little closer at these political articles. It's easy to get taken in by their lies.

Consider the origin of the article...

http://www.examiner.com/article/mitt-romney-paid-for-son-s-surrogate-abortion-contract-right-to-kill-fetus

Then remember that a lawyer cannot talk about any legal stuff that involves his own client to the public without authorization. Attorney/client privilage. So what that guy Handel is saying, if true, is a breach of Romney's privacy rights. Is this Bill Handel retained by Romney? I HIGHLY doubt it, and in fact, after taking a look at his Wiki page, he's just a political attack dog...

You might want to reconsider the articles you post on politics. None of them can be trusted really. It's just soap opra drama and no truth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Handel
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