THE HUMAN GENOME:

POEMS ON THE BOOK OF LIFE

GILLIAN K FERGUSON

Eugenics/Designer Children


‘When parents can make conscious choices about their children’s character and temperament, and even weigh possibilities of human enhancement, human reproduction will have fundamentally shifted. But speaking about people one day giving their kids genes to enhance intelligence, beauty, health, or athletic ability is one thing; actually doing it is another. Such interventions will require selecting multiple genes in human embryos, and perhaps even modifying them. Genetic selection of embryos already occurs today, at a rudimentary level. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) - where a single cell of an embryo conceived during IVF is removed and genetically tested before the parents decide whether to implant or discard the embryo - is commonplace. Since the procedure’s arrival in Britain in 1991, it has been used by thousands of couples at high risk of bearing a child with cystic fibrosis or other genetic diseases. Current PGD is not sophisticated enough to look for more than a handful of well-characterised illnesses, so it is hardly enough to inspire most couples to use the technology. Much more will soon be possible. As researchers uncover the associations between constellations of gene variants and various human attributes, the steps from screening for diseases, to screening for vulnerabilities to conditions such as manic depression, to seeking genetic predispositions for personality traits and temperaments we like or think will give our child advantages may be rapid. Some maintain that our genomes will prove too complex for this, but it is much more likely that although some of the relationships between our genes and who we are will be too complicated to fathom, others will merely be difficult, and still others will be quite simple. After all, changing a single fruit fly gene can double the insect’s life expectancy, a very complex biological attribute. Such parental choices stray far from traditional medicine and many people will try to block them, but international polls have shown that a larger fraction of the population are quite willing to use such technology for enhancement. The numbers vary from a low of 24% in Japan to a high of about 80% in Thailand. Procedures like advanced embryo selection will soon be feasible in thousands of laboratories throughout the world and nearly impossible to regulate. Bans will not stop them and will merely drive them underground, move them elsewhere, and reserve them for the affluent who can afford to travel to permissive climates or otherwise circumvent such restrictions. Gregory Stock, Director, Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society, UCLA School of Medicine, US


Nature’s Software


On her switching, sparkling templates,

fantastic patterns - Nature embroiders


a fiery tiger texture,

owl-eyed butterflies,


creamy magnolia flowers;

swan and kingfisher wing -


but loaded with Nature’s own patent software

under my dexterous, newly electrified fingers,


I would not re-design a single gold thread

of your shimmering hair; not one petal of


your eye’s blue iris flower - snowy sliver

of invisible bone, would I think to change;


even each sickle moon of your nail -

the tiny mole like the head of a bird,


childish lisp on the sound ‘wh’,

is irreplaceably precious to me.



‘News articles about cloning and designer children lead us to wonder how couples of the future will make babies. Will they rely on sex as our parents and grandparents did, or will some suite of science-fiction technologies supplant what we think of as “natural” human reproduction, largely moving it out of the bedroom and into the laboratory? Public interest in this possibility is entirely justified. Couples will be able to make ever more meaningful choices about the genetic constitutions of the children they bear. Over the next few generations the way we conceive our children may shift dramatically enough to bring into question even what it means to be human. Humanity has begun to seize control of its evolutionary future. Where this will ultimately carry us is unclear, but within a decade, screening to avoid most genetic diseases may be commonplace, and genetic selection of embryos for various non-disease traits - not just gender - may have begun. In two decades, selection for non-disease traits may be common, and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) could become a more routine form of conception, even for those not suffering from infertility. In three or four decades, direct genetic manipulation of human embryos for select qualities may begin greatly to extend the power of genetic screening. Thus, within a matter of a few generations, we may come to view a child’s conception as simply too important to leave to random, unmonitored meetings of sperm and egg.’ Gregory Stock, Director, Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society, UCLA’s School of Medicine, US


‘But, according to Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Bio-tech Century, the greatest threat comes from prospective parents rather than tyrannical or misguided governments. "Every parent wants the best for their child," said Rifkin. "In the future, the parent could become an architect and each child the ultimate shopping experience. "In the next 10 or 20 years we could have eugenics with a smiling face. We will no longer require the lower classes to have fewer babies; we will just have them have better babies as we learn to do gene therapy." Professor Plomin believes that nightmare scenarios will only come to pass if research is suppressed or banned. "Some people say this kind of research should not be done because of the questions it raises and the difficulties it raises are not worth having to deal with," he said. "You could continue with the comfortable view that assumes people are blank slates on which the environment writes. But surely it is better to know the truth”.’ BBC News


Genetically manipulating evolutionary shortcuts


Genetically manipulating fake evolutionary shortcuts -

God-in-the-hands, Creation’s techniques, bawdlerised;

viral defence into longer fingers, straight hair, hallowed

predisposition to be thin cultivated as a biological grail - 

doughnuts and sugar, chocolate now stripped of all power.


Plumpness mutated to punch-lipped pouters; fish women

reproducing, trouting into thin futures - skeletal, starving,

organic mannequins for perverted fashion – men; dictates

of manipulated society, female minds - as the plump, ugly,

call the tunes behind the scenes - while enslaving big-skull


ladies, creepy bodies teetering on stick shoes; beating

the body’s natural systems into submission - physical

beauty is now slavery; perverse, mutated, without light,

illumination, pleasure - when Marilyn Monroe ate food,

verily shone with sexiness. Spectres, ghouls - skeletons


already showing pelvis, rising in slight fabric slips - life’s

good urge for food contaminated, spoiled - will daughters

be genetically adapted never to feel acidic hunger nibbles 

in skinny guts, instead of sent to Italy to learn good hunger.

Heavenly food to enjoy is one of life’s major rich treasures,


pleasures, privileges; grossness not of flesh but despotic minds,

driving bodies to pitiful extremes, in perverting nature’s hunger

mechanism - Machiavellian fashion creating inferiority feelings

in all women not seriously underweight who love clothes; most,

unless bloodless, weak, crushed - emaciated into submission on


heron-legs, where curves were once painted by the artistic Genome -

teetering like reeds; you could blow their hair off like dandelion seed,

their joints are grasshoppers’ - crackly, frail. Imagine them - in charge

of their daughters’ bodies, physical future, when they will be plasticine,

soft, organic, maleable, and they, Acolytes of Starvation, so neurotically


controlled - tyrants, dictators - insane with food-lust, feverish with thinness,

bright-eyed with size-gold; size ‘zero’ as pitiful life goal - who’d give them

genetic weapons, tools for destroying the physical peace - daughters’ bodies

to come; that’s if they even choose girls over boys for the sex of skeletal pet

creatures - who can maybe even eat packets of bisuits without ever vomitting.



‘But will this mean medical developments to help people with learning difficulties and "smart drugs" to boost IQ, or will it create a new form of discrimination - an intellectual elitist culture where embryos which lack these smart genes are aborted and people of low intellect are shunned. The social and educational implications are enormous. The threat of eugenics, like the Nazi search to produce a superior human race, looms closer.’ BBC


‘Even though we may not know for some time what each gene does, let alone how it does it, the development of what are being called DNA-chips will help to identify which genes are associated with which traits. In order to find the genes linked to hyper intelligence, it will be possible, for example, to compare the DNA map of a genius, with that of a person of normal IQ. Any genes unique to the genius could then be flagged up as those possibly responsible for that person's high intelligence. Parents who can afford it will at some point in the future be offered the power to choose the physical, psychological and intellectual attributes of their offspring, predict geneticists interviewed by Horizon. Parents will be able to reject their own genetic heritage, and instead plump for beautiful, clever or sporty genes to be implanted into their embryonic children. As one geneticist puts it, if parents are willing to pay $100,000 a year to put their children through Princetown University, there will probably be parents willing to pay $20,000 to ensure that their children have the optimum predisposition to intelligence. But gene manipulation is not without its drawbacks - or its dubious echoes of eugenics and death camps - says the programme. The potential problems posed in designing a super-human are myriad. For a start, the technology would have to be tested on animals, probably chimpanzees, whose genetic make-up is almost identical to our own. And if the tests were carried out on, for example, intelligence genes, they stand a real possibility n resulting in chimpanzees with a greater intellectual capacity than human beings. And scientists admit they only have a limited understanding of what each gene does. Horizon looks at an experiment carried out on pigs to make them bigger and leaner, which involved the introduction of a gene which encouraged the production of human growth hormone. But the uncontrolled hormone crippled the pigs, gave them stomach ulcers and caused their internal organs to fail. Identical twins - with identical genes - often have very different personalities. And what if those who could afford to did all have disease-free super children? The genetic disorders could bottom out at the base of the social pyramid.’ Horizon, BBC


Poor Applications of Genomic Knowledge


Will still-existing strawberry birthmarks -

hare lips, thistle-hair, rabbit teeth, big ears,


be consiged with polio limps - rickety

knees and pre-Harry Potter bottle-end


glasses - to history; with wirelesses,

ration books, war fathers, bloomers.


If everything the gene genie brings

is good, we could smash the bottle,


having remoulded the glass, blown

new human creatures full of grace -


but beauty’s nature is itself constructed

partly from the human present - tastes -


her burning core is unaffected by the currents,

passing fluctuations at the surface; or fashion


flames playing over fundamental truths.

If uncomeliness is more clearly drawn -


still charcoal, silverpoint, cross-hatching -

chiaroscuro illustrations of undersireability


perisist into the modern age - beauty’s physical

illustrations rub and shift, plump and thin, alter,


dicate; and those prepared to freeze, slice

their faces, pull and tug - erase the stories


written round the eyes, nose and mouth,

print of every smile of every happiness -


then will they even hesitate to guddle

in the unseen genes, the magic bullets,


treasure houses, seeds; and what flowers

might come that will not die - like weeds.


*


Will the poor come limping, hare-lipped,

crippled, fat - big-nosed, hairy or stupid -


caught in a physical social trap, deadly

to success or acceptance. When beauty


equals money, every year cheaper;

as surgery now. And does surgery


bring happiness, the proper shine of youth,

security - even in beauty they try to lassoo,


genetic wet paint will be seen,

picking out features, attributes


with spectacular short sight, an infant

perspective; in nano-seconds altering


what Nature tentatively shuffled,

brushstroke by stroke - pigment


by paint molecule; all her testing,

animals - part of one great dance.


Now come thugs - crashing the party -

drunkenly chucking drinks, such crazy


moves on the dancefloor; warning words,

written in red as wild as blood, ignored -


hurling their partners, smashing glasses,

sending the elephants on to test the ice -


will the transparent floor bear their weight;

will we all come crashing down, so altered.


‘Controversy arises because opponents fear that methods used only in tests for grave conditions might be modified to produce so-called 'designer babies'. Characteristics that are genetically determined (at least in part) might be used to select embryos for their 'superior' genetic profile and parents might given the opportunity to select children on the basis of more trivial attributes, such as hair colour or height. Currently, preimplantation genetic diagnosis can only be used to diagnose serious disorders. However, this is also entrenched in ambiguity as individuals ask to what extent can serious be defined and who should have the right to define it. From a principle of being an equitable society we might ask how we decide who is 'unfit' to exist? How should we balance that against wishes of parents to raise a child only if they can devote the resources to provide a fulfilling environment? Some argue that all have a 'right to be born': that we as a society should put in place the measures to help provide for an enriching life and that our perception of 'disability' leads us to make poor decisions. Others argue that no child should be born that is not 'wanted'. Some point out that such considerations are a luxury of a developed, first-world society.’ YourGenome.org


‘Man can act only on external and visible characters: Nature cares nothing for appearancs, except in so far as they may be useful to any being. She can act on every internal organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on this whole machinery of life. Man selects only for his own good; Nature only for that of the being which she tends.’ Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859


‘Will future humans have animal genes added to them to give them superhuman abilities? It could happen. Human genes have been engineered into animals for years.’ BBC Science Online


There is much smug snickering at any downfalls

caused by vanity; ‘trout pout’of inflated fish lips,

mutant boobs, lumpy thighs, droopy eyes - early

rigor mortis of the living with their ironed masks

where twinkling faces used to be, star tails traced

around the eyes; rabbit-startled, wind-sucked skin,

lifelessness; dettached dead animal-pelt appearance

of re-rooted hair, exploding bum implants on a plane;

all manner of bodily mishaps. Imagine then – hilarity,

opprobrium at parents forking out for eugenic children

who come last - fail; are unnacountably thick and ugly,

unsporty, fat, unstable - born unloving, greedy, selfish.

This muddling in magic genes still being caveman art -

nurture subtly, mysteriously interacting with the genes;

who will wring some sympathy then - with no giggling.



A perfect population


A perfect population,

all physically similar.


The women, whippet-thin,

with symmetrical features;


regular, bony, pinched noses -

blubber-lips like lipsticked fish;


skinny wee skin-sticking pelvis, hips -

an apple-bum, hard as a Granny Smith.


Inverted concave stomach,

keyboard of countable ribs;


perfectly spherical, tennis-ball boobs,

perched just under the suctioned chin.


Can eat tons of chocolate -

fried food and refined fats;


sugar, fizzy drinks and burgers,

with no weight consequences -


the Olympics has now been abandoned

because everybody could win the races.


Or mentally re-engineered -

all talented, arty; implanted


with genius – Aristotle, Einstein cells;

injected with Mozart - or James Clerk


Maxwell, Shakespeare DNA -

Stephen Hawking, Van Gogh


altered. Genes washed, sorted,

for erradication of weaknesses;


incapable of mistakes, addictions,

laziness - never wild, intemperate,


but entirely docile and hard-working,

rebelliousness bred out, obedience in;


God, wouldn’t Earth become the most

bloody boring planet in the Universe.



‘If I were to tell you that there are a bunch of people who want to turn you into a machine, you'd probably think I was crazy. But if you don't believe me, read the report published this month by Demos and the Wellcome Trust, ominously titled Better Humans?. The authors of this collection of essays wax lyrical about the imminent arrival of a range of technologies that they claim will change human nature itself, and for the better. Memory-enhancing drugs, genetic selection of children, neural implants and dramatic increases in life expectancy are not only genuine possibilities, they argue, but possibilities we should pursue and embrace. These ideas are no longer mere thought-experiments. Some of these technologies already exist, while others are perhaps less than a decade away. Demos and the Wellcome Trust are right to call for a public debate about these developments before the genie is completely out of the bottle; but the air of technological utopianism that pervades the report is not a good basis for a balanced discussion. Several contributors to the report are no better than the bioconservative extremists they criticise. In the past few years pundits such as Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, and Bill McKibben have argued for global bans on new human-enhancement technologies. The techno-utopians are right to criticise the authoritarian nature of such restrictions, but they often fail to see how their calls for individual choice on such matters might pose equal risks for freedom…It is all very well to argue that people should have broad discretion over which technologies to apply to themselves, and that parents should decide which reproductive technologies to use when having children. But this ignores the phenomenon of technological drift. What starts out as a luxury often ends up becoming a necessity. We saw this process occur over and over again, and at an ever increasing rate, during the past century. Cars, computers and mobile phones were, when first introduced, optional extras; now many people could not manage without them. There is no reason to expect that smart drugs, genetic selection of children and neural implants will be any different….Bioconservatives and technophiles are united in their distaste for the future society imagined by Aldous Huxley in Brace New World, but they both ignore the one redeeming feature of that nightmare vision - the savage reservations. Here, in the remote wilderness, an ancient society has been allowed to live according to its own rules. Freed from the oppressive technologies that regulate life in the World State, the inhabitants develop individuality, independent thinking and initiative. If we do not allow such refuges from modern technology to persist, we are in danger of creating a society even less tolerant than that envisaged by Huxley.’ Dylan Evans, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of England, Guardian newspaper, 2006


Men will always go to extremes


Men will always go to extremes; their brains

seem somehow wired not to see - understand


easily the glorious big mess of things; perspective.

The only truly black and white things in nature are


creatures like the zebra - even the lemur, with her

striped, mixed tail, smudgy mascara eyes, grey fur,


is more model for how things are; occasionally

at extremities of circumstanc – society - come


black and white certainties - crows and swans -

angels and demons, God and Devil; but mostly


it’s shambolic, mixed, shifting – always we must

discuss, look from all angles, consider, take time,


discover, apply our brains; not jump hastily before

angels would even dip toes, test air with quivering


wings, break out the harps. Always men want

to be right, others wrong - to them the victory,


spoils of life, when outcome is usually imprecise -

shuffling, shifting, right general direction sketched


by our effort, emotion, a guiding sense of principle.

Motivation to positively enhance society’s genome,


as change, movement, but maintenance of the good,

is intrinsic to the Genome’s soul - her genes react -


adapt - are encouraged - or soothed to sleep by the right

external music; such simplistic thinking, battles, conflict


at extreme positions, is the same cast of male mind

that brought, bring us, wars, violence, domineering


patriarchy; refusal to knead, weigh new facts, information,

knowledge - open the eye fully, letting in light to the brain.


‘My daughter is 10. Fast forward 25 years, and she is having her first child - early by the standards of all her friends, but she's keen on "natural". Of course, she did pre-implementation genetic diagnosis, and she and her husband (yes, very old fashioned, they married) had some agonising days deciding on whether to modify a genetic predisposition to depression and whether to splice in a gene for enhanced intelligence. In the end, they felt they had no option but to give their baby the best possible start in life…The other thing that concerns us is that many of the children in my grandchild's school have had much better enhancement programmes. The cleverest went to China for the latest technology. I can see that my grand-child is never going to keep up. At the moment, she doesn't mind that she's bottom of her class, but she'll be lucky to get to a good university. The one hope I've got is that they might introduce quotas for "naturals" or "near-naturals" like her...Sound far-fetched? It's anything but. This is the most conservative of a range of scenarios about the possibilities of "human enhancement" that have prompted fierce debate in the US and are exercising many a scientist's mind around the world. The pace of development in four distinct disciplines - neuroscience, biotechnology such as genetics, computing and nanoscience - is such that many envisage dramatic breakthroughs in how we can modify ourselves, our physical and mental capabilities. We could live much longer and be much stronger and cleverer - even be much happier. A whole new meaning to "Be all you can be". The Washington Post journalist and author of Radical Evolution, Joel Garreau, argues that we are at a pivotal point in human development. Having directed our technological ingenuity on the world around us, human beings are now turning it on to their own bodies and minds. From here on in, we will have the tools to engineer our own evolution.’ Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian, 2006


‘Embryo selection may have significant impacts on our population during coming decades. Direct manipulation of an embryo’s genes will ultimately prove even more powerful. Germline engineering - the name for such manipulation - is routinely done on laboratory animals today, but the technique is usually dismissed as too dangerous and morally problematic for human use. Critics often think in terms of existing technology, however, rather than the more sophisticated types of embryo manipulation likely to be feasible a few decades hence. Such possibilities will not depend on research specifically directed towards human germline manipulation either; it will be a spinoff of mainstream biomedical research virtually everyone supports. As we unravel the workings of human biology and genetics, we will be unable to restrict the knowledge to traditional medical uses.’ Gregory Stock, Director, Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society, UCLA’s School of Medicine, US


‘Will future humans have animal genes added to them to give them superhuman abilities? It could happen. Human genes have been engineered into animals for years. We already have some control over the genetic make up of our children. There is fierce debate over the moral issues surrounding genetic screening and genetic modification in humans. Where should we draw the line?’ BBC Science online


The child slunk through the whispering field


The child slunk through the whispering field -

‘Tiddles’ they called him, padded feet placed,


shoulders hunched. His hands reach down -

flowers shut their black eyes, crows startle;


lambs which were rushing for milk

suddenly turn, stop springing; tails


unwind, bleating now with terrible infant

voices - like time-lapse clouds dispersing.


His parents were athletes, just misssed the Gold,

performance enhancing genes were all the rage -


the last sun catches his speed, red teeth;

gorgeous striped orange pelt of his hair.



‘What if we could add new genetic characteristics to our children instead of screening embryos to eliminate embryos with “bad” genes? This could become possible. Germline engineering involves the manipulation of DNA in a sperm or egg of a future embryo. This could be to add or take away the sequence of a gene, or to add an entire artificial chromosome. Intervention at the egg or sperm stage means that every cell of the resulting embryo would contain the genetic alteration. This genetic change is permanent and would be passed on from generation to generation. Germline engineering is already used in animals and bacteria for research purposes and more recently to create drugs. The human growth hormone gene has been engineered into bacteria. Human growth hormone is harvested from these bacteria, providing a regular supply of the hormone for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions. Animal studies have shown that germline genetic engineering is unpredictable, however some scientists think it will become possible to be completely certain about how a gene would act if it was engineered into an animal or a person. In April 2001, the first genetically modified primate was born. Andi the monkey was made from an egg that had been modified to include a simple jellyfish gene. This breakthrough proved that it is possible to genetically engineer primates. Andi is the closest relative of a human to be genetically engineered. While the technology of human germline engineering may be years away, human application cannot be ruled out.’ BBC Science Online


Arguments for genetic screening - PGD offers us the chance to eradicate genetic illnesses from our world. Surely it would be wrong not to use this technology. Parents fiercely defend the right to give their kids the best start in life. We have the technology. It’s inevitable that it will be used to create ‘designer babies’.


Arguments against genetic screening - Playing God – we should leave it up to nature to decide what is best for our children. Who are we to value what a life is worth with or without a particular genetic defect? Are we at risk of creating a genetic underclass?’ BBC Science online


‘In the UK, gene therapy is considered to be a valuable possible means of treating some genetic disorders, but is still at the research stage. At present, gene therapy in which the 'new' gene is passed on to children (germline therapy) is not allowed. Consequently, we will not see new generations of children carrying modified genes. Each year, many millions of people will succumb to infectious disease. Our battles against disease - in which we try to reduce the numbers of disease-causing organisms - always mean we are 'altering' natural selection, but we can't walk through life without doing so.’ YourGenome.org


New genetic technologies - principle, consultation, discussion


Principle, consultation – discussion - new technologies

must not escape into the marketplace alone; stowaways,


escapees from examination, ramification. Money is no

judge of rectitude, criteria for application - healing can


never be susceptible to bribery - progress should not be

an absolute purpose, free, unfettered by moral compass,


trailing doubts, ribbons of uncertainty - amid grey sludges

of difficult decisions, challenges, perversion of such goals


as made it possible, desireable, so worthy of funding.

Should the atom then have stayed reduced - spherical,


indivisible, impenetrable; the absolute primary reduction

of matter - if known one day it would be split for bombs?


Does the beautiful elucidation, annotation of its structure,

bear any responsibility for all these deaths; bearers of life,


miraculous expressions of the sanctified Genome, Creation’s

creatures every one. Is the virus fixed to vaccinate the world,


stolen into weapon of mass destruction, implicated

in the suffering - the scientist who made it happen?


If genetic help for the Alzheimer’s patient is used for a high,

assistance for cystic fibrosis gives the side effect of thinness,


sells to the West on the black market - for more money

than is needed to help all the children in Africa affected


by AIDS - should development of that drug stop?

Who weighs the scales but us – there is no ‘them’


unless we allow it, abdicate responsibility - shrug

off our duty as citizens to care; for this technology


is not take it or leave it, but fundamental change,

alteration to the human state, ancient structures;


promising the most wondrous possibilites doctors

of the past could not have dreamt, imagined; wild


hopes realised, hideousness of Parkinson’s relieved,

the very cripples will take up their beds and walk -


but vultures already hunch, hungry in the background,

inevitably waiting to take the whole thing far too far -


trivial use of fabulous breakthrough; hijacking, misuse

of expensive treatments that will never reach the needy


poor, impoverished suffering; magpies already assemble

in the trees, seeing the glint of treasures in the Genome -


so many shiny things - so many baubles made from jewels;

covetous, bright-eyed, already giddy with greed, monetary


potential. How quickly can Shakespeare be converted into cash -

blockbuster, bonkbuster, best-seller based on the same characters.


Medicine, research, progress, cannot exist outwith a moral dimension;

produced by humans, requiring our proper human guidance, direction.


Is not the brain the compensation for its capabilites; match for match,

our brilliance should match our brilliance, especially where decisions


are hardest - so blurred as to be virtually indistinguisable - these signs

saying: Yes, No, Perhaps, or Cannot be Decided as principle, but only


one by one, one-off decision by one - and all we can do is stay involved,

reminding ourselves of our civilising impulse; worship of love, talisman


always protecting highest purpose possible, humbly reminding,

showing us our best side; our encompassing sense of goodness.


*


Playing God we understand; an homage

to the deity most have now abandoned -


throwing the baby out with the bathwater

of church and men who wear His name -


claim him, mutate what His message means;

steal the gift of holiness and grace, freedom


given to the world, all people. Love is prime,

guiding gene of God - unphysical first root -


as the Genome sleeps in possibility, darkness,

but will come forth at the right time - express.


We already play God in good ways; helping

our global neighbours, in supporting peace -


making babies; learning His holy trick of

creating life - using only ourselves, script.



‘…for example, there are so many genetic and social factors that work together to create a person’s intelligence, that the addition of a new gene to increase a child’s intelligence is likely to have no effect at all. In the science fiction movie GATACA those people that were genetically engineered were seen to be a superior race lauding it over the ‘underclass’ of conventionally bred humans. Would this happen if human germline genetic engineering became commonplace? What right have parents got to choose what genetic characteristics are best for their children, their children’s children, and their children’s, children’s children? Alterations made by germline genetic engineering would be passed on from one generation to the next. Will children react against the genetic choices their parents did or did not make for them? Who is responsible for the genetic modification of a child: parents, doctor, courts or government?’ BBC Science online
Stigma.html


 
Home
Note from the author
exploring the project
quotes

INTRODUCTION
CONTENTS
SEQUENCE ONE
SEQUENCE TWO
SEQUENCE THREE
SEQUENCE FOUR
    Ethics
    The Human Genome Project
    – Public versus private
    Gene Patenting
        Money
        Eugenics/
        Designer Children
        Stigma
        Discrimination/Work/
        Insurance
        Opinion Polls/Public
        Perception/Power
    Blood Poems
    Holy-Moley-More God!

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