Medically good, forensically good, but where are we going...

vandana7 By vandana7, 19th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Fertility & Reproductive Health

Scientists have found a way to prevent some of the neonatal ailments. But any such manipulation may pave way for DNA manipulation too. This may not always be a good news.

Good news is.. reasons to abort the child would come down

Did unborn babies commit any crime to be killed? If having a flaw in genetic build up has so far been considered to be a good enough reason to kill the helpless ones, before they are born, then perhaps all of us who suffer with cancers, and other fatal or debilitating ailments too do not deserve to be alive.

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which is based in California, offers some hope to the would-be-parents of such babies, and spares their conscience from guilt.

Only for mitochondrial diseases?

For now, such gene editing technique is only availablefor mitochondrial diseases. Medically, these are referred to as mitochondrial myopathies. The group is large enough including several neuromuscular diseases such as myoclonus epilepsy, mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, and Kearne-Sayre Syndrome.

If those complex medical names confound you, it might be easier to think of them as non-specific health problems that lead to droopy eyelids, blindness, dementia, movement problems, and even strokes in babies.

More medical possibilities

Such genetic editing certainly opens the door for more manipulation of genes now that a breakthrough has been achieved. It tells the researchers that "it can be done". May be genes that cause Down's syndrome, and other problems too will soon be addressed. In addition, there may be studies on genes that lead to cancers later on, so their expression too will be down.

Medically too, the genes and their possible expressions may lead to better treatments based on genetic composition, rather than standard dosages.

For forensics too, this is a good news

DNA record of every child born in not so distant future would soon be available along with that of his or her parents. Therefore, tracing a person or criminal would become easier.

But it might lead to gene selection

Is it bad? Not really sure. Especially if it were possible to pull out gene from others chromosomes for replacing that in the baby. And especially if such manipulation of genes can create other personality disorders.


Recently, another study indicated that there is genetic inclination to commit some crimes in some people. Would that be a possibility then with such gene manipulation? Has nature been protecting us by doing its permutations and combinations in a way that very few of such people are born? And are we going to trigger those expressions when we change those genes? Would we see some freaks then, even after manipulating genes? Perhaps we need to understand the system better to implement such techniques.


Gene Editing, Gene Selection, Genetic Editing, Neonatal Ailments

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author avatar vandana7
Hi...I suddenly remember ABBA ..I am nothing special...hope you like what I write, and I like what you write.

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author avatar Ptrikha
20th May 2015 (#)

Technology is a tool, which can be used for both good and bad. It is up to Human beings as to how to use it- for good or for bad.

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author avatar snerfu
22nd May 2015 (#)

No answer your question, but since disease itself can be surmised an an interfering force, things should be easier at the DNA level. We need the complete picture of normal functioning and then those that interfere could easily be identified...I think.
More like police investigation. Nice article Vandana.

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