In Uncategorized on December 11, 2008 at 10:10 am
Fact: Fertilization of a human egg by a sperm leads (step by step) to a blastocyst. Blastocyts must attach to the uterus (implantation) for the embryo to complete it’s development and a pregnancy to be established. However, 30 % – 60 % of blastocysts do not attach (more info can be found in this post).
Question: How can one utilize this fact to “save” millions of lives ?
Answer: By doing research into why blastocysts do not implant, and subsequently aim for medical treatments that allow all of these blastocyst-stage embryos to develop into established pregnancies.
This failure to implant is nature’s major embryo-sorting method. It is therefore not regarded neither as a disease nor as human sorting as such. The common view is that something was not right in the first place and that this malfunction lead to implant-failure. But, since non-viable or otherwise malfunctioning embryos are being sorted out, in its essence, failure to implant is just as “cruel” as embryo-sorting in vitro.
Consequently, if the argument that life starts at conception holds true, then millions of lives can potentially be saved by a cure for implant-failure. Probably more than any vaccination or food-aid program .
Just thought I’d mention this since it seems to have been overlooked by most anti-abortionists. Now that they know, they can turn their focus towards research and away from (sometimes harmful) politicized activism.
In Uncategorized on November 19, 2008 at 9:47 pm
From this Nature News piece on preimplantation SNP scans of embryos (my highlighting).
[Jacques] Cohen [research director at Reprogenetics, a genetic-testing company in West Orange, New Jersey] says that as the understanding of disease genetics progresses, use of tests that seem controversial now may become more acceptable in the future: “If you had the chance to decrease your child’s risk of a disease like diabetes and you didn’t, society would blame you.“
So much is wrong with this statement.
First he is taking the focus away from the very real and disturbing issue of embryo-sorting based on uncertain risk estimation of predisposition to complex disease.
Secondly his statement underscores the importance of the environmental factor in such complex diseases, but it completely misses the point. If you want your children to avoid diabetes, then make them eat right and exercise. You can do that today without any knowledge of their genetics.
Thirdly, currently, society doesn’t seem to blame parents that neglect their children’s health by feeding them unhealthy food or fail to encourage (enforce) physical activity, – why would a genetic test change that.
Lastly, putting such blame on parents has some very problematic socio-ethical issues attached to it.
I hope this is an example of misquoting, I really do….
Update – more on the company Reprogenetics in this post on Sandwalk.