Genetic Engineering - Kelly Inglis's Weblog

Genetic Engineering - Kelly Inglis's Weblog

Genetic Engineering Kinds of genetic manipulation Breeding Pre-implantation selection of embryos Direct gene manipulation recombinant DNA technology genetic modification/manipulation (GM) gene splicing

Somatic vs. Germline Engineering Somatic genetic engineering Gene therapy Affects adult cells Not inheritable Germline genetic engineering Changing genes in eggs, sperm or early embryos Affects unborn baby

Inheritable Negative vs. Positive Engineering Negative engineering (cures and treatment) Cystic fibrosis Diabetes Autism Spinabifida Etc.

Positive engineering (enhancement) Intelligence Health Strength Appearance Longevity Non-human Genetic Engineering Benefits: Medical: engineering beneficial bacteria/viruses

engineering better animal test subjects better vaccines Agricultural: plants/animals with better disease resistance plants/animals that grow bigger, faster or more efficiently Other: animals that are faster, fish that are prettier, that smell sweeter, etc. roses

Non-human genetic engineering (cont.) Concerns: Messing with nature Permanently changing genomes Loss of diversity Fear of unexpected consequences Human genetic engineering Benefits

Selecting against genetic diseases and disorders Making people healthier, stronger, smarter, more attractive, etc. Giving parents choices Human genetic engineering Concerns: Same as for non-human genetic engineering plus: Altering the history of the human race Reducing human diversity

Playing God Choosing among possible people Treating people as means, not ends Treating children as commodities Slippery slope Division of society into haves and have nots The naturals and the GenRich Cloning Creating an exact genetic replica

Natural cloning Asexual reproduction Identical twins Identical genes identical organism Artificial cloning 1952: first cloned vertebrate -- frog

1986: first cloned mammal mouse (from embryonic cells) 1996: first cloned mammal from an adult cell -- Dolly the Sheep Since 1996: cow, cat, dog, horse, water buffalo, camel Human reproductive cloning Creating a baby that is genetically identical to an adult human Benefits:

Treatment for infertility Creating a child for the medical benefit of another, e.g. a bone marrow donor for a sick sibling Parental choice? Human reproductive cloning Objections: 1) Safety concerns 2) Human individuality and autonomy 3) Complex family relationships

4) Undermining human diversity 5) Human dignity (using a person as a means) Readings Required: G. Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243-1248, available at: http://dieoff.org/page95.htm Guha, Ramachandra, Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique in Environmental Ethics, Vol. 11, No.1 (Spring 1989), pp. 71-83 , available at:

http://research.rem.sfu.ca/downloads/REM-656/Guha_1989.pdf Optional: Goodpaster, Kenneth, On Being Morally Considerable, in Environmental Philosophy, pp. 49-65, available on reserve at the Philosophy Office

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