Bio-ethics - Bioinformatics Research


22 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

110 εμφανίσεις

The Bio

In this presentation……

Part 1

ethical Issues

Part 2

chemical Warfare

Part 3

Patenting Problems

Part 4

sciences & IPR

Part 5


Dark or Bright



ethical Issues

Genetics and ethics

The release of individual genomic
sequences could raise a number of
ethical issues such as

Maintaining the confidentiality of genetic

Insurance of individuals may be difficult

Employment avenues could get bleak

Selecting a life partner could be

Problems with introduction of
new technologies


Intellectual property rights

Human psychology

To do or not to do??…

One nucleotide mistake in the 8000 pairs in a gene can
cause cancer such as BRCA1

plantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a technique
wherein the genetic disease acquired from either
parent could be detected much before the embryonic
development takes place in the mother’s womb

Whether to permit such diagnosis in future or not
remains a big question as this could lead to production
of test tube babies and clones in mass scale

People are divided on many issues

Right to screen the embryo


Genetics should be only for medical

When fertilization is done on petri dish
through IVF then why not cloning?

Should stem cell research that provides lot
of relief to patients (but can be catalytic for
artificial organ development) be banned?

Designer babies and architect parents

Does the concept of designer babies seems logical?

This could lead to designer babies and instantly
parents would become architects

Producing kids would become a commercial activity
having more of “engineered” processes

Presently, people strongly disagree to this

Should we design children just as we
design/customize cars and houses?

Shouldn’t we leave to God to decide for Himself??


The process of putting nucleus taken from any cell of
body into an embryonic/egg cell

This is followed by a charged shock that joins the two
(nucleus containing the genetic material and the
nucleus in the egg)

Thereafter, cells starts multiplying through cell
division, by mitosis, automatically

Dolly, the sheep, is the first ever clone, died

Cloning can leave a number of ethical questions
unanswered in the 21st century

The West argued, the Africans died

The cloning scenario is only highlight of a
world wide debate about genetic engineering of
animals, vegetables and every thing except

With religion, green fanaticism and trade
interests getting involved, facts are hard to
separate from agendas

The real biotech tragedy of 2002: Starvation
deaths in Zambia

because of an US
EU row
over providing biotech (cloned) corn for
famine relief




Biological warfare weapons






Botulinum toxin

Bubonic plague

Chemical warfare weapons

Nerve gas agents



VX gas

Blistering agents

Lewsite gas

Mustard gas

Choking agents



Effects of bio
chemical warfare

Respiratory failure

Muscle contraction


Skin blisters and burns

Choking and cough
leading to death

Formation of painless


Abdominal pains,
severe diarrhoea

Vomiting with blood

Rashes and boils

Flu like fever

Blurred double vision


Fever, loss of appetite,



Patenting Problems

Issues with patenting

New localized law based on the acceptance
of society/nation as well as the Govt.

Global scenario to be kept in view

Absurd ideas, techniques and material often
obtain patents without difficulty

Patenting of BRCA1 (breast cancer) gene

Neem and neem based products

Basmati rice

Patent what??

Patenting cosmetics, drugs, technology, etc.
is acceptable everywhere but not of
diseases, genes, air, water, etc.

Especially the concept of patenting gene
sequences is raising eyebrows as it is an
absurd idea but a number of researchers and
drug companies are doing it

Patenting in EU

The EU Biotech Directive

The French Bioethics Bill



sciences &
IPR issues

Patent vs. IPR

The issue of patenting and that of
intellectual property rights should not
be intermingled together, though both
have a greater degree of overlapping

Some right some wrong

(kabhi ha kabni na)

The fight will always go on

should the
technology and ideas be protected under IPR or

Some decisions will prove to be correct and will
be acceptable, whereas some will not be accepted;
as happens with the introduction of every new
technology or concept

Recall history of computers, space technology,
cloning, etc. for more information



Modified Crops

Genetically modified cotton

Genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton
contains “Cry 1 Ac” gene

Higher number of bolls, reduced number of
sprays for control of bollworms and higher
yields harvested so far

Bt cotton is grown in Maharashtra, Gujarat,
MP, AP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

Genetically modified mustard

If approved, Indian mustard will be the first
modified edible crop in India

Packaging and labeling as per International
standards is impossible in India since

Mustard leaves are sold as vegetables at every
street corner

90 percent of mustard oil is old loose in the

Labeling and packaging will increase cost

How safe are the GM crops?

Critics say that inserting genes into plants is a new
science and may have unforeseen side
effects on a
plant’s biochemistry, such as destroying its natural
qualities and creating natural imbalances

Cross pollination between GM crops and nature
cause unwanted outcome

It will also lead to creation of super
weeds, which
will be resistant to herbicides

Do we really need them?

Contamination of environment

Multinationals will hold monopoly on
hybrid seeds in the future

Farmers will be forced to buy new seeds
from big corporations every year

Even GM fodder/animal feed is in market

Terminator seeds

Seeds that do not germinate, which means
they cannot be saved and planted again

Hybrid seeds function almost the same way

Gene jumping

It can result in transfer of genetically induced
traits of one organism to related species like
tomato, cabbage, radish, cauliflower

Genetically engineered or modified plants
contain genes taken from bacteria, virus, other
plants or animals


Corn + scorpion

Soyabean + cow

Tomato + pig virus

Strawberry + fish

Cabbage + rat

Rice + human




Dark or Bright

What to do next…

Present day focus is mainly on life style drugs and
diseases like can cancer, AIDS, diabetes, etc.

There are numerous other areas and diseases
waiting to be explored

Diabetes, cancer and heart disease has remained
the biggest concerned of 20th century and a
greatest challenge for 21st century

What is coming in near future…

Development of specific organs such as
eyes, heart, kidney, etc. is already around
the corner and “spare organs” would be
available in about 5
6 years time

The human cloning activity is under process
and very soon we may hear about its
success, on lines similar to Dolly, the sheep

Future bio
computing or

Highly sophisticated software for

Mining genetic data of numerous species

Efficient analysis tools

Massive servers and cluster computers
(clusters of 1000 and above computers)

High performance standalone computers

Massive storage devices (of the order of
hundreds of TB)

Behold! The future is…

Very soon a newly born baby shall be discharged
from the hospital with a CD containing the DNA
sequence for the entire genome

It would become possible to detect genetic disorders
at any stage of life and checked whether they have
any hereditary links or not

It is sure to find these concepts realized but it may
take some time to bring them to reality

In another 30
40 years, people would be able to see
and browse through their genomic sequence

Future risks

Difficulty in maintaining the confidentiality of
genetic code as there would be lot of problems with
publicly available DNA sequences of individuals

Insurance companies may ask for this “unique”
code or at least a clear analysis report hereafter

Employment avenues may become much bleak if
the code contains any damage, as resumes may
contain a clear analysis report

Physically and mentally impaired persons may find
it extremely difficult to function in a high
competitive “engineering” environment

Future risks

Imparting and pursuing education would grow more
difficult with bio
sciences and genomic sciences
occupying compulsory position in the curriculum

Genetic based racism would increase due to the
ability to cluster the people on the basis of genomic

terrorism will also have a new chapter added to
it in the form of genomic terrorism wherein it would
be possible to manipulate with others genetic data or
actual genes

Future risks

Selecting a life partner could be cumbersome as it
would become possible to compare the sequences
before marriage and properties of likes
could be easily established

Many states have already made matrimonial
registration mandatory, which includes a HIV/AIDS
clearance certificate of both partners

Scientific work bring forward both
good and bad issues. They have to be
dealt with by everyone keeping in
view other dimensions such as
logical, ethical and legal

It is a fact that…

Till some stability is obtained, we have to
take risks, only then we would know of the
outcome; or else how do we know about the
outcome or how do the field grow

As long as it is not known as to what gene
will do what, all medical treatments can not
be assured

But still…

Elders say that the future is perfect!!!