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11 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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Social and Ethical Implication of
Biotechnology (Genetic Engineering)
Presented by: Prof. Hon-Ming Lam
honming@cuhk.edu.hk
References
•“Genetic Engineering: Science and Ethics on
the New Frontier”by M. Boylanand K.E. Brown
•World Watchvol. 15 No. 4 (a special issue on
Human Genetic Engineering)
•“ﳬ諸”, ﻉ﫷ﻑ: 30
•“Biology: Exploring Life”by G. Brum, L. McKane,
and G. Karp
•“Molecular Biotechnology: Principle and
Applications of Recombinant DNA”by B.R.
Glick and J.J. Pasternak
ELSI:
Ethical, Legal, and Social
Implication
The Limit of Science
•Something that we cannot do (yet)
–A technical problem
–e.g. visualize the molecule movement of an
enzymatic reaction under a microscope
•Something that we should not do (ever)
–An ethical issue
–e.g. cut open a living human body to study
responses to diseases
–e.g. make biological warfare to kill civilians
–How about genetic engineering?
Five Major Applications of
Genetic Engineering
•Genetic Testing and Screening
•Cloning
•Somatic Gene Therapy
•Germ-Line Therapy
•Genetically Modified Crops
Genetic Testing and Screening
•Screening for genetic defects
–e.g. Sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis,
Huntington’s disease
–Diagnosis and Prognosis
–Family planning
•Identification of individuals (parentage,
forensic, wild animal poaching, etc.)
Concerns on Genetic Testing and
Screening
•How to deal with the results?
–Should we tell a young adult that he/she
has a 50% chance getting Huntington’s
disease that cannot be cure at this moment
–Will you call off a wedding if you and
spouse cannot have a normal child
–Complex genetic defects (e.g. obesity) are
due to multiple genes and strongly
affecting by environment, how to evaluate
the risk factors?
Concerns on Genetic Testing and
Screening
•Misuse of the results
–Genetic disease carriers may be
discriminated by employers and insurance
company
–Sex discrimination: abortion of female infant
–Forensic record versus personal privacy
–Eugenics
Five Major Application of
Genetic Engineering
•Genetic Testing and Screening
•Cloning
•Somatic Gene Therapy
•Germ-Line Therapy
•Genetically Modified Crops
Cloning
•Cloning of genes: recombinant DNA
•Cloning of microorganisms:
recombinant DNA, making medicinal
products (e.g. insulin, etc)
•Cloning of plants: vegetable
propagation, tissue cultures
•Cloning of animals: Dolly
•Cloning of human?
Will You Accept Human Cloning?
•As an alternation to in vitrofertilization
•Bring back a dead loved one
•Reproduce oneself
•For experiments
•Act as an organ reserve
Cloning Cells and Tissues to
Produce Organs
•To allow transplantation
•Sources of cells
–Stem cells/Tissue and ES cells from
aborted fetuses
–Excessive ES cells from frozen blastocysts
produced after IVF treatment
–Pluripotentialstem cells from adult tissue
–From animals?
Five Major Applications of
Genetic Engineering
•Genetic Testing and Screening
•Cloning
•Somatic Gene Therapy
•Germ-Line Therapy
•Genetically Modified Crops
Will You Accept Somatic Gene Therapy?
•Is it just in principle similar to organ transplant,
blood donation, or other medical treatments?
•Counter argument: due to so much unknown
in human genome and its regulation, if a
treated patient turns out to be dangerous to
the health of the society, could we just simply
terminate the experimental target?
•People are dying (patient don’t have time)
versus precautionary principle (what’s the
rush, it’s not ready)
•How would you choose if your loved one is
suffering?
Five Major Applications of
Genetic Engineering
•Genetic Testing and Screening
•Cloning
•Somatic Gene Therapy
•Germ-Line Therapy
•Genetically Modified Crops
Germ-Line Therapy
•Introduction of gene(s) into germ-line cells
•Permanent change; inheritable; irreversible
•Permanently correcting a defect in a genetic
population
Major Concerns of
Germ-Line Therapy
•What are good genes?
–Sickle-cell anemia allele: more resistant to
malaria
–CF allele: more resistant to cholea
•How to correct?
•How to preserve human dignity?
•Are we playing God?
•“Brave New World”by AldousHuxley
•Eugenics; further polarization of society (i.e.
privileged groups get more privilege)
Under Virginia’
s

1924 eu
g
enic
s
terilization law
(based on the case
o
f
Emma, Carrie,
and Vivian): 7,000
p
eople were
s
ur
g
icall
y

s
terilized between
1924 and 1979
because the
y
are
feeble-minded,
mentall
y
de
f
ective
epileptics
Constructing a
Perfect Human?
Five Major Applications of
Genetic Engineering
•Genetic Testing and Screening
•Cloning
•Somatic Gene Therapy
•Germ-Line Therapy
•Genetically-Modified Crops
Crash Between Green Groups
and Scientists
•Many green groups are “in principle”
against any release of GM crop into the
environment (Deontology)
•Many scientists are concerning what
GM crops will benefit human without
major negative impacts on the
environment (Utilitarianism)
•The story of “golden rice”
Who Will Win and Who Will Lose
in the Era of Biotechnology?
•Should human genes be patented?
•Who will own my genes?
•Will multi-national giant companies get most
of the profit?
•How to distribute the profit between
developing countries (with natural resources)
and developed countries (with venture capital
and new technologies)?
•How to transfer technology to the developing
countries?
People in
Developing
Countries
Natural
Resources in
Developing
Countries
No useNo value
Lost due to
destruction
Use
Giant
Companies
High value
preservation
Investment
Investment