Where should DNA modifications stop?

in life •  last year  (edited)

Good morning guys!

There are some conversations, people or even movies that force us to think about issues that normally skip our reality. Some are too busy with their day to day life, others prefer to pretend that some topics do not concern them. Fortunately people’s awareness is raising. Example? Nowadays even meat-eaters/lovers do acknowledge that vast majority of farm animals are treated in a terrible “inhuman” conditions.

This weekend I watched some interesting documentaries on Netflix. I don’t own it at my place so I decided to check it out while I was babysitting, or should I be more precise, dogsitting at my friend’s flat. She went to Malta so I promised to move to her for 3 days in order to look after beautiful Golden retriever.
I already recommended the 8 episode series - “Abstract: The Art of Design.”.

Today I would like to switch our focus from design to more controversial or “complex” issues. The series is titled “Explained” and consists of short, not even 20 minutes long, documentaries.

Why is “Explained” interesting?

I saw three first episodes so I will concentrate on them.

True, nothing I have heard and/or seen in “Explained” was new to me. But I enjoyed the way it was presented.

The episodes are short (20 minutes max), and therefore do not intend to give the ultimate, black and white set of answers. Nonetheless, they raise a problem and give a relevant background and context. To me, this is essential in order to start thinking seriously about any given topic. People way too often forget about the importance of context, as well as about the cause-result chain.

We start to be accustomed to the fast way of learning, googling out everything we need without verifying the results. We don’t use our brain to be curious, to ask questions, to understand. We want to have a quick, not too complex and profound answer.

I believe the episodes can be stimulating because, in the end, it is your job to form an opinion.

Episode 2. “Designer DNA”

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I think this is the episode that stayed with me the most. I acquired a perspective that I didn’t have before, a perspective of a woman who suffers from Dwarfism, and for this alone it was definitely worth my time.

The documentary is focused on the issues of DNA modifications and how far people should be able to push the science. Those are not new questions and I guess we will remain challenged by them for some more years. Yet, the reality changes at a fast pace. Choosing your baby’s color of eyes or hair seems absurd, but there will be those in favor and happy to use an opportunity to “design” their baby.

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Are we willing to allow DNA modification in order to avoid incurable diseases? I imagine most of us would answer “Yes”. But here comes a tricky issue. The woman I mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph said one important thing. She is happy who she is. She does not wish to be “normal”. If we take her perspective for a brief moment we’ll see how difficult it must be to see and feel that the societies want your annihilation. That people think there is no place for you and those who are like you.

Thank you for being here with me. I hope until next time!
Pura Vida and enjoy your journey! 💛

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The first designed children will not be much different from us. Most likely, their genes will be changed to get rid of deadly hereditary diseases. With the development of technology, more and more people begin to think that the non-use of genetic modification are unethical because it dooms children for suffering and death, which can be prevented. As soon as the first such child is born, the door will open, which will not be able to close. At first, no one will touch some features, but as the approval of the technology and our knowledge of the genetic code grows, the temptation will grow. If you make your offspring immune to Alzheimer's, why not give them an improved metabolism? Why pile up not to reward their excellent eyesight? What about height or muscle? Lush hair? What about the gift of exceptional intelligence for your child? Huge changes will come as a result of the accumulation of personal decisions of millions of people. It's a slippery slope, and modified humans can become the new norm. As genetic engineering becomes more and more familiar and our knowledge improves, we can tackle the main cause of death - SENESCENCE.

Whatever it is, what used to be science fiction will soon become our new reality. A reality full of opportunities and obstacles.

  ·  last year (edited)

I highly appreciate your comment, thank you! The additional problem is money - just like
roger-that wrote- some predict that only wealthy people will be able to "design" their babies, which will lead to even greater inequality. I can only hope, as a little too naive person, that the moral use of technology will prevail.

Thanks @k-a-s-i-a for your insteresting post. If we consider ethics, modifying or selecting human DNA can be also an economic problem, where we will have "perfect" rich individuals and "not perfect" poor people. So changing nature can be good for giving as more chance of survival but also will have other consequences.
What is an allowed selection? color of hair or eyes? good memory? athletic disposition? what is allowed and what not?

On the other hand humans already play with DNA many centuries ago, breeding different species (plants and animals) through human guided selection. Also we as indivituals select sexual reproducing peers - these may be different, "natural" selections, but in the end in the fight for survival of a species as a whole, believe we might want playing all cards that we have. Fascinating subject.

Some great points, thank you very much roger-that! the subject is fascinating, but to me is mostly scary i guess.

wow i think this DNA modification is a step forward to the eradication of alot of diseases, and this should be where me and my team be investing our time. thank you for this reminder

Thank you for your comment:)

  ·  last year (edited)

Are you for real!?

First and foremost, dwarfism isn't a disease.

Second, please learn how Netflix works. It's not the television thats called netflix. Pay 10 bucks a month and watch whatever you want wherever you want.

Babysitting, precisely dogsitting?! I don't have words for that.

I doubt you saw the documentary, i think you just read the title and synopsis. It's like people who read the summary and say they've read the book.

Last but not the least, this post is absolute BS!

Your comment is rude, isn't constructive and adds nothing to the topic. Please be assured that i do know how Netflix works and i did watch the documentary. In the episode I am talking about the authors are using dwarfism as an example of what DNA modifications want to eliminate.
I wish you a nice day.