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Everything on bioinformatics, the science of information technology as applied to biological research.
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Gentetically Engineering our Children

Sun Mar 06, 2005 6:56 pm

Hello

I was wondering what peoples thoughts are on this issue on whether we should be allowed to genetically engineer our kids or if we shouldnt. I know this is a debated issue so if you are for the engineer explain why, and likewise for those against it.

And for those wondering, I am against it, if we do engineer our kids we are basically deciding their future for them, and America is all about independence, and this could lead to many discrimanation acts happening. Also if we create a "super race" we could have just another genicide, similar to Nazi Germany killing off all the Jews because they didnt meet their "standards"

Good luck with this debate everyone.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:28 pm

Interesting....but I pose a question to answer your question :
What if I said it this way, if a superior race of humans evolved and separated from Homo sapiens, would we live with them or would we kill them because we fear that they will kill us?
Secondly, aren't we already defining the future for our children? Did children have the choice to be born? Are our current activities going to lay burdens on our children? Who pays off the national debt, who lives in the world of tomorrow that we pollute today? Who suffers for the wars? Who benefits from the technologies?

Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:41 pm

haha, this is a very difficult ethnical issue to consider. Genetic engineering basically alters an organism's DNA (indirectly changing the gene) so the phenotypic will be to our desires. I think a lot of people underestimate the influence of the enviroment on the expression of genes. Genes do not determine everything about a person. For example, if a person is born with a gene that overproduces a chemical that makes a person aggressive, it doesn't ultimately means that the person will be very violent; although the person will be more likely to be aggressive, the enviroment may alter the expression of the gene so that the person may be more tamed (e.g. if the person is brought up in a happy family or attents anger management courses..etc). So when we think that we are determing the future of a child by altering its gene, we overestimate our power; to a certain degree we are affecting the child's future, but chance and enviroment will play its role too... so the child can still have some control over his/her own life.

Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:49 pm

It seems human life and individuality is becoming less and less precious. Someday we may even engineer people specifically to do certain jobs/functions in society, reminds me a bit of the TV show Futurama, where jobs are assigned to those most suited through scanning their genes. :roll:

Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:36 pm

I saw a movie once called "Gattica". In that movie people were geneticallyengeneering their children on a daily basis. The result, only these "valid people" as they called them could work in certain jobs. My opinion is that this will only lead to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer because it would a process that could cost a lot of money

Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:51 am

Gattaca is one of the reasons i brought this topic up

Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:25 pm

this is out of topic but I just wondered why did you post this to Bioinformatics board? What's the relation?

Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:38 pm

Bioinformatics or computational biology is the use of techniques from applied mathematics, informatics, statistics, and computer science to solve biological problems. Research in computational biology often overlaps with systems biology. Major research efforts in the field include sequence alignment, protein structure alignment, protein structure prediction, prediction of gene expression and protein-protein interactions, and the modeling of evolution. The terms bioinformatics and computational biology are often used interchangeably, although the latter typically focuses on algorithm development and specific computational methods. A common thread in projects in bioinformatics and computational biology is the use of mathematical tools to extract useful information from noisy data produced by high-throughput biological techniques. (The field of data mining overlaps with computational biology in this regard.) Representative problems in computational biology include the assembly of high-quality DNA sequences from fragmentary "shotgun" DNA sequencing, and the prediction of gene regulation with data from mRNA microarrays or mass spectrometry. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatic). This should give good reason for this topic to be presented here. By biologically engineering children, various amounts of bio-statistics, so to speak, could be done on this topic.

Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:21 pm

OK you convinced me. Thank you. The topic will stay here. :)
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