Share this infographic on your site!
Embed this infographic on your site!
The editors at Cheap Nurse Degrees decided to research the topic of:
The Future of Baby Making
40,000 babies born in the U.S. each year are conceived via assisted reproduction.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) has been used since the 90s, but ethics and use continue to change
- PGD: profiling of embryos or eggs prior to implantation in order to screen for specific genetic conditions
- 75% of US fertility clinics surveyed in 2006 offer PGD
- 4-6% of all IVF cycles include PGD
- First used to avoid having children with cystic fibrosis as early as 1990
- In 2007: 3% of U.S. fertility clinics - 4 out of 137 responding clinics that perform embryo screening
- 2008 the first baby born guaranteed to not have the breast cancer gene (which raises the risk of disease 40%-85%)
- The United States is one of the few countries in the world that still legally allows PGD for prenatal sex selection.
- The procedure was designed in the early 1990s to screen embryos for chromosome-linked diseases.
- It is illegal for use for nonmedical reasons in Canada, the U.K., and Australia.
"Cosmetic Medicine" Babies
- allows the selection of physical traits through PGD, but not for any specific medical reason
- gender and complexion: a son with brown eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, or a pale, blonde, green-eyed daughter.
- The cost for the process will be about $18,000 (the approximate cost of IVF with donor sperm is $13,000 per cycle)
- Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania:
- "testing may move to conditions like shyness, obesity and homosexuality, which some may find undesirable. But many people, if not most, would find it repugnant to treat those as diseases"
- "I think we're on the brink of a shift in how we treat IVF," he said. "I think, in the future, it's going to be used to create healthy babies in fertile people."
- William Kearns, a medical geneticist claims he's been able to get enough DNA from a cell to identify thousands of characteristics of the embryo:
- Of 42 embryos tested,he could identify SNPs that relate to northern European skin, hair and eye pigmentation in 80% of the samples
- Dr. Steinberg, helped to implant the first 'test tube baby' in the UK, and began LA's controversial Fertility Institute
- Trait selection in babies "is a service," says Dr. Steinberg. "We intend to offer it soon."
How do people feel about "designer babies"?
- Let parents choose a child's traits?
- 32% Yes, to prevent a health condition
- 30% No, its immoral
- 15% Yes, parents should have free choice
- 15% Not sure
- 8% No, should be banned
- Of 1,000 people who sought genetic counseling, supported selection for
- 56% blindness
- 75% mental retardation.
- 10% athletic ability
- 10% improved height.
- 13% superior intelligence
IGM: Inheritable Genetic Modification - the not too distant future of baby making
- 'Mitochondrial Replacement': construct an egg or embryo using DNA from two women to create a child who has almost all of one woman's genes, but another woman's mitochondrial DNA
- Medical Use: would allow a woman with a certain subset of mitochondrial disease to have an unaffected child
- By mutating 18% of mtDNA, an individual has 95% or greater chance of being unaffected by a mitochondrially related diseases
- The prevalence of mtDNA disorders is 1 in 5,000
- The transferred DNA would be limited to the small amount that exists outside the nucleus of the cell, which has limited effect on traits, but the genetic change would be passed on to all future generations.
- Permitting this one kind of inheritable genetic modification could be used as a wedge that opens the door to more and different kinds, however many embryos researchers have created have abnormalities
- In 2002, the FDA shut down an experiment in which several dozen babies were born, citing serious health risks and social concerns
- In 2012, Carnegie Melon University reported,
- in one experiment, growth hormone protein injected
- in mice: grew bigger, no apparent side effects
- in pigs: slightly larger, with reduced fat levels, but suffered from movement difficulties and heart enlargement, reduced fertility and increased susceptibility to stress
- "in many situations there is considerable risk for negative alterations to the genome that can devastating consequences on an individual"
- Other forms of IGM in the works: gene transfer, stem cell and cloning
- Potential of IGM:
- completely remove risk of inheritable diseases
- increase a child's personality, physical characteristics, athletic ability and intellect
- Proponents also say that IGM will not cease even if banned