Bio-ethics - Bioinformatics Research

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22 Οκτ 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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The Bio
-
ethics

In this presentation……

Part 1


Bio
-
ethical Issues

Part 2


Bio
-
chemical Warfare

Part 3


Patenting Problems

Part 4


Bio
-
sciences & IPR

Part 5


Future


Dark or Bright

Part

1

Bio
-
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
code


Insurance of individuals may be difficult


Employment avenues could get bleak


Selecting a life partner could be
cumbersome

Problems with introduction of
new technologies


Patenting


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


Pre
-
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


genetically?


Genetics should be only for medical
purposes?


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??

Cloning


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
prematurely


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
minerals


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

Part

2

Bio
-
chemical
Warfare

Biological warfare weapons


Anthrax


Cutaneous


Inhalation


Intestinal


Smallpox


Botulinum toxin


Bubonic plague

Chemical warfare weapons


Nerve gas agents


Sarin


Tabun


VX gas


Blistering agents


Lewsite gas


Mustard gas


Choking agents


Chlorine


Phosgene

Effects of bio
-
chemical warfare


Respiratory failure


Muscle contraction


Paralysis


Skin blisters and burns


Choking and cough
leading to death


Formation of painless
ulcers


Seizures


Abdominal pains,
severe diarrhoea


Vomiting with blood


Rashes and boils


Flu like fever


Blurred double vision


Nausea


Fever, loss of appetite,
vomiting

Part

3

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

Part

4

Bio
-
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
meaning

Some right some wrong

(kabhi ha kabni na)


The fight will always go on


should the
technology and ideas be protected under IPR or
patenting


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

Part

5

Genetically
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
genetically
-
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
country


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


Examples


Corn + scorpion


Soyabean + cow


Tomato + pig virus


Strawberry + fish


Cabbage + rat



Rice + human

Part

6

Future


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
bioinformatics


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
data


Bio
-
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
-
dislikes
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!!!