Designer Babies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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The hypothesis of this paper is whether or not genetically engineered babies are acceptable for todays world and how they'll act on the baby. The first artificial human chromosome was created last year. The thought is that by 2003 the human Genome Project will have decoded all 3 billion of the chemical letters that are involved to form our 70,000 genes (Designer Babies 1998). With all human genes known it' only one more step until scientists can safely begin altering the genes of babies.

At first, when the scientists of gene therapy first began their experiments in 1987, it was understood that their findings would not pursue them to working on genetically altering babies. Since then, things have changed and approval was asked to be able to use gene therapy on a fetus that had been diagnosed with a deadly inherited disease. It was thought that gene therapy would be all right to use on fetus' to alter the cells that would effect future growths of cancer.

In able to alter cells, doctors would fertilize a few of the woman's eggs with he husbands sperm, just like in IVF clinics today. After this the egg is injected with an artificial human chromosome, which would carry the desired genes on it. One of the genes on this chromosome will carry orders to destroy the undesired cells (the ones to cause cancer). The only problem is that when this person grows and has their own child, the same genes will be carried on to their offspring causing the order to destroy the same undesired cells. Yet this is all still hypothetical.

This topic is incredibly interesting to me. The hypothetical data provided from the paper seams great if the gene therapy could be used to eliminate cancers and other deadly diseases.