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The Applications of Genetic Science
The study of DNA and the understanding of genes
has brought a vast range of new opportunities to help people,
but also   to bring harm,  and   to change things for changes sake.
The pages in this applications section are designed to give some insight into these areas
and to give access to further information both in books
and through the web to areas that interest you.
Knowledge is not free.
It places upon those who know a burden of choice. Knowledge can be used or abused.
It can bring freedom, life and happiness for many,
but it can also bring misery, suffering and instant or painful death.

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Cloning and Therapies in the future

What does the Future hold?

  • We can use cloning techniques as
    replacement reproduction
    (We are first generation to experience the
    possibility of human asexual reproduction).
  • The same cloning techniques can be used
    to provide genetically identical body parts
    for transplant treatment for
    individuals with failing organs.

Assisted Conception / Reproduction

  • IVF wonderfully helps many childless couples
    to start a family.
    • Yet there are wasted embryos;
    • some new processes mix DNA from more
      than two adults;
    • the sub conscious attitudes of professionals
      may lead to selection on criteria other
      than just a healthy baby.
  • Why is an individual’s right to reproduce
    so important, especially in the face of
    increasing world populations?

Prenatal Selection - Who makes the choices?

  • We can predict the consequences of
    certain combinations of genes
    • and decide not to allow those to occur
    • either by not implanting embryos if IVF
      treatment is in hand
    • or aborting foetuses early.

Biological Weapons
- how dangerous really?

  • Biological Warfare:
    Is genetic technology is being used
    to create the next generation of superbugs.

Diagnosis - Who tests whom for what?

  • Who has the right to know the results of a test?
  • Some might wish they didn't know test results.
  • When children are tested who should know?
  • What if insurance companies and
    employers want tests done?
  • Does it destroy your confidence in the future?
  • Does it make you behave sick before
    you are actually ill?
  • Suppose a leaky database yields information
    to an insurance company, which then cancels
    your health insurance with your own
    workplace, and so your employer discovers
    you are "sick". Will you find yourself out
    of a job or retired on health grounds
    before you've been asked?

- Are there really wonder cures
in the making?

  • Change the genes of a pre-implantation egg
    so that the genetic changes are permanently
    passed on through he generations.
  • Treat the deleterious clinical effects of certain
    genetic variations, using somatic genetic
    manipulation (affecting on the individual).
  • Soon we may be able to add or remove 
    gene combinations with germline therapy
    on adults (affecting future generations).

It is against the Law?

  • What should be allowed?
  • Are there limits, things we should never do?

GM Foods
- what are they and are they safe?

  • Agriculture:
    and the whole ethos of genetically modified
    crops, and the potential consequences.
  • Animal Husbandry:
    can modified animals can be safer food,
    are there dangers when flocks are identical?

Forensic DNA - Who has the right to know?

  • Identification of individuals by their DNA
    is now so far advanced that the problems
    are about privacy rights, and a
    whole range of issues around
    storage of information.

Assisted Conception link
Prenatal Selection pages
Biological Weapons
Testing for Genes
Cures from Gene Therapy
Legal Issues
Is this an ordinary pig?
Indentifying People by DNA