Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Human Genome Project ...

hollandmercifulBiotechnology

Dec 11, 2012 (4 years and 6 months ago)

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Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering


Human Genome Project



Video 1



Vide
o 2

Eugenics



Video 1



A Glimpse of Things to Come
, Lee Silver


2010




Embryonic manipulation and selection

o

Examples:



Choosing sex



Combining chromosomes of s
ame
sex couples



2050




Genetic enhancement


2350



Transhumanism


o

Gattaca Argument

o

Speciation based on social
stratification.

o

GenRich vs. Naturals

Huxley

and Brave New World


Wikipedia: Brave New World
, written in
1932
,
was first intended as a
dystopian novel

by
Aldous
Huxley
. Set in
London

in the
26th century
, the novel
anticipates developments in
reproductive
technology
,
eugenics

and
hypnopædia

that
combine to change society. The world it describes
could in fact also be a
utopia
, albeit an
ironic

one:
Humanity is carefree, healthy, and technologically
advanced.
Warfare

and
poverty

have been
eliminated, and everyone is permanently happy.
The irony is, however, that all of these things have
been achieved by eliminating many things


family
, cultural diversity,
art
,
literature
,
scien
ce
,
religion
, and
philosophy
. It is also a
hedon
istic

society, focused on deriving pleasure from
promiscuous
sex

and
drugs
.


Silver’s Critique




Huxley’s world is coming, but
reproduct
ive control will not be in the
hands of government or corporations,
but rather of individuals.




Preventing a Brave New World
, Leon
Kass


Objections to human cloning


The universal repugnance of cloning



cf. incest, cannibalism




Failure rate causes unneces
sary
deaths of embryos.



Crises of individuality and identity



Handmade humans

won’t have same
moral significance.



The meaning of procreation

o

giving up control



Kass call for a total ban on
both



embryonic human cloning



reproductive
human cloning



Implication
s

o

Cloned Kittens





The Case Against Perfection
, Michael J.
Sandel


NPR Interview

Science Friday
: Engineering Better Humans


Varieties of Genetic Enhancements:




Muscles



Memory



Height


In each of these cases significant advances
in treatment of diseases also reveal the
potential to enhance normal people.




Sexual Selection


In vitro metho
ds used to screen for genetic
diseases can also be used to select the sex
of a child.





Problems


The problem of agency



Do/will we value the accomplishments of
enhanced people less?


Eroding our appreciation of the “giftedness
of life”


Silver argues tha
t those who believe in
genetic enhancement think it is unfair that
some people are born with greater natural
gifts than others, and they value
effort

over
natural gifts
.


However, according to Sandel, an
“openness to the unbidden” is what drives
our apprec
iation for natural gifts, and this
quality is essent
ial to the
parent/child
relation
. If parents can design their
children, they will have expectations of them
that are appropriate to that relationship.




Other examples of the triumph of willfulness
over

giftedness




Sports crazed parents.



Over diagnosis of ADHD



James Watson and the curing of
stupidity.



Egg and sperm

o

California Cryobank



Cryobank is market driven, but
Sandel believes it is just as
morally suspect as

sperm banks
with an explicit eugenics
mission.


Will genetic enhancement erode sympathy
for and solidarity with less
-
advantaged
members of society.

o

Genetic discrimination in insurance.







Trespass
, Claire Hope Cummings


Cummings argues here that recomb
inant
DNA technology is still very poorly
understood, and that the time line for
introducing it was drastically accelerated by
scientists and agribusiness corporations
agreeing to a propaganda campaign.


Genetically Modified Food: Panacea or
Posion?


Main issues:




Unpredictability of transgenic crops



Accelerated rate of introduction



Unhealthy relation between science and
industry


Cummings notion of

“trespass”


p. 298




“Genetic engineering is a trespass on the
public commons. This is because of the
way transgenics are designed and the way
‘the molecular vision’ has been pursued.
This vision required that science be
compromised to the point where
it would
overcome the complex boundary conditions
that form the very foundation of life. It had
to have the hubris to break the species
barriers and place itself directly in the path
of evolution, severing
organisms from their
hereditary lineage. And it
requires the use
of stealth and violence to invade the cell
wall, and the implanting of transgenic life
forms into an involuntary participant with
organisms that are especially designed to
overcome all resistance to this rude
intrusion.”








Genetic Eng
ineering and the Concept of the
Natural
, Mark Sagoff


The “natural” fetish


Consumers believe that products extracted
directly from plants are somehow superior
to those that are manufactured. In fact,
however natural products are often




chemically identic
al to synthetic
products



more contaminated than synthetic
products



do more damage to the environment to
extract than synthetic products


The organic food business


Organic foods are no longer properly
associated with small, locally grown
products. The org
anic

reformers of the 60’s
are now running the organic food divisions
of General Mills and Pillsbury.


New Yorker Review:
“Paradise Sold”



Basic problem for marketers:

How can
GMO’s be marketed as natural products?


Basic strategy:




Resist labeling of GMO’s.



Stress that what we currently think of as
natural foods is the product of
thousands of years of selective
breeding.


Four Concepts of the Natural




Everything in th
e universe

o

opposed to supernatural



God’s creations

o

sacred, opposed to profane or
immoral



Independent of human influence

o

opposed to artificial



Authentic or true to itself

o

opposed to superficial or illusory

Sagoff

Analysis:


The food industry markets it’s

products as
natural in the last three senses, but
wishes to be regulated only in the first
sense.


Example:
Monsanto

claims that it’s
products are generated by “nature’s own
methods.”


What is t
he craving for the natural all
about
?




Shakespeare’s
Winter’s Tale



William Burroughs
Naked Lunch




Sagoff argues that we do not want the
food we eat to be so thoroughly
known
.
The more control we have over nature,
the less meaningful it becomes to us.



This

is a general problem with scientific
knowledge.


Google Video

on Food Production and
Globalization
:
Fast Food World