Thursday, September 10, 2015

Unborn Must Die so Others Can Live, Scientists Say

An international group of scientists, ethicists and policy experts claim it is "essential" that experimentation on human beings, using "genetic modified (GM) embryos," be legalized to cure diseases and improve IVF and human reproduction.  However, critics say that too little is understood about the process, and furthermore, it will eventually lead to "designer babies."
“Restricting research because of concerns that reproductive application is premature and unsafe will ensure that it remains forever premature and risky, for want of better knowledge.”
-- Sarah Chan, Hinxton Group Steering Committee, University of Edinburgh
For background, read Secret Designer Babies via Gene-editing Science

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

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-- From "Genetic Modification of Human Embryos of 'Tremendous Value,' Say Scientists" by Conor Gaffey, Newsweek 9/10/15

The Hinxton Group, which describes itself as an international consortium on stem cells and bioethics, also said in a statement released on Wednesday that the engineering of GM babies—a concept commonly called designer babies—could be "morally acceptable" in the future, although it said it was not in favour of the procedure at present.

Modern gene-editing tools such as CRISPR/Cas9—a technique which can reportedly edit the genomic sequence in a highly targeted way—are "not only very precise, but also easy, inexpensive, and, critically, very efficient," the group said.

Earlier this year, Chinese scientists reportedly edited the genomes of human embryos in what was described as "a world first" by the journal Nature.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Call for research into genetically modified human embryos" by Newsmedia posted at Dispatch Times 9/10/15

However, Debra Mathews, assistant director of science programs at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and a member of the Hinxton Group, said, in the statement, that despite “controversy and deep moral disagreement” over the issue, the solution was “not to stop all discussion, debate and research, but rather to engage with the public, policymakers and the broader scientific community”.

A group of experts on Wednesday said that human embryo genetic modification should be allowed, as it will help in understanding early embryos’ biology. However they said they would not support the birth of genetically modified human babies, for the time being.

Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier is of opinion that the human germline should not be manipulated just with the objective of changing some of the genetic traits.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "GM embryos 'essential', says report" by James Gallagher, Health editor, BBC News 9/10/15

A meeting of the influential Hinxton Group, in Manchester, acknowledged that the rate of progress meant there was a "pressure to make decisions" and argued embryo editing should be allowed.

In a statement, it said: "We believe that while this technology has tremendous value to basic research and enormous potential... it is not sufficiently developed to consider human genome editing for clinical reproductive purposes at this time."

This is in stark contrast to the US National Institutes of Health, which has already refused to fund any gene editing of embryos.

Its director, Dr Francis Collins, who was also a key player in the Human Genome Project, said: "The concept of altering the human germline [inherited DNA] in embryos for clinical purposes has been debated over many years from many different perspectives, and has been viewed almost universally as a line that should not be crossed."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Research on gene editing in embryos is justified, group says" by Gretchen Vogel, Science Magazine (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 9/10/15

At a meeting on 3 and 4 September, 22 Hinxton Group members from Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Israel, and the Netherlands met to discuss the scientific and ethical issues surrounding the use of gene-editing techniques in human cells, especially embryos, stem cells, and cells that can give rise to sperm or eggs. They concluded in a consensus statement released today that any use of the technologies for reproduction is premature. But scientists will need to test them on human embryos in the lab to find out whether the techniques ever could be safe and effective enough to use, they say. Lab-based experiments can also help answer important questions about early human development and the development of sperm and eggs cells, says Robin Lovell-Badge, a developmental biologist at the Francis Crick Institute in London and a member of the Hinxton Group steering committee.

The statement urges scientists who want to use genome editing in human embryos to “consider carefully the category of embryo used.” Using embryos left over from in vitro fertilization treatments might not provide the best data, the statement says, since those embryos already contain multiple cells. The editing techniques would likely affect each cell differently, so that the resulting embryo would be a mosaic of cells with different genetic alterations. The statement concludes that certain experiments will require researchers to create new embryos specifically for research, a practice that is controversial and prohibited in some countries.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Scientists push for serious debates over 'essential' human embryo testing" posted at Irish Examiner 9/10/15

Genetic modification of human embryos has officially been deemed as “essential” and should be allowed so scientists can better understand basic biology, according to a report.

However, scientists can’t get too excited yet as the group added that the technology is not yet advanced enough to be used in the reproduction process, and there is still the ongoing issue that some find the concept of genetically modified babies “morally troubling”.

But the group warns it would be “dangerous” to prevent research in the area, and member and academic Sarah Chan said: “Genome editing technologies hold huge potential for advancing basic research and improving human health. The prospect that genome editing may one day be used to create genetically modified humans should not in itself be cause for concern, particularly where what is at stake is curing or preventing serious disease.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Donor Eggs & IVF 'Creates' Life, but Causes More Death as Scientists Create Artificial Human Eggs and Sperm, whereas Human Eggs are Best When Fresh, NOT Frozen - DAH!

And read Toddler to 'Own' 11 Future Children: An IVF Wonder