HuffPo on The British Embryo Authority and the Chamber of Eugenics

ChelseaGenetic Engineering1 Comment

A must-read at the Huffington Post:

Scene: A laboratory setting. A scientist begins constructing a new individual by combining parts from two different humans. A new part from one or two additional people is then added. At some point, an electric shock is administered. The scientist observes the composite for a few moments, looking for signs that it is on its way to becoming an autonomous being. It stirs. It’s alive.

If this sounds unsettlingly familiar, it should, but not because it is a replay of Frankenstein. The procedures described, currently under evaluation by the British Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HFEA) for the prevention of “mitochondrial diseases,” would carry profoundly negative implications for the future of the human species were they ever implemented, and thus warrant much wider concern than they have attracted up until now. In particular, they will facilitate a new form of eugenics, the improvement of humans by deliberately choosing their inherited traits.

Read the whole thing.

Then, of course, watch episode 2 of BioTalk in which we talk about 3-parent embryos and modifying future generations.

One Comment on “HuffPo on The British Embryo Authority and the Chamber of Eugenics

  1. Finally!!!! Some common sense. I believe there may still be hope for our species. I think the money quote is this: “Although rejection of the realities of evolution is generally considered to be a sign of scientific ignorance, it unfortunately characterizes the thinking of some professional biologists who are strongly influenced by engineering disciplines.”

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