The world, as we all know is going into high technological advances and its going real fast! Things that we never imagine possible is now a reality. Babies formed out of experiments, genetic diseases being corrected, solutions are being uncovered for medical problems we never thought we could solve, new ways to treat diseases and making real live human body organs, in years time the idea of human cloning may be a shocking news no more. Gradually, we are making the impossible possible! Take in vitro fertilization for example in the video we saw.
In vitro fertilization or test tube baby in lay man’s term is a process by which an egg is fertilised by a sperm outside the body: in vitro. The process involves monitoring a woman’s ovulatory process, removing ovum or ova(egg or eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium in a laboratory. When a woman’s natural cycle is monitored to collect a naturally selected ovum (egg) for fertilisation, it is known as natural cycle IVF. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient’suterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
In the video we saw a couple struggling to save the life of their only daughter with hopes of the mother conceiving another child to be a viable donor for the needs of their daughter. In vitro fertilization indeed is not only a solution for infertility among couples when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed but have yet proven to have more to offer than just a promise of a child. First things first, in vitro have proven to be an answer to solve and prevent genetic disorders from destroying the life of our future generations.
The idea of babies being born healthy and free of defective genes and early mortality prediction and saving other people’s lives sure is a comforting feeling but despite all the benefits comes ofcoarse the criticism about couples under or going through in vitro and ofcoarse this is no shocking news. For me, based on instinct and opinion, in vitro fertilization is a hope for the many couples/people engaged on it. We can never be the first one to throw stones at this people considering the mere fact that we are not in their shoes. Ethical issues on things like this is very common.
We are entitled to our own opinion but the thing is that it is only “our opinion” and “not a fact” that we must try to impose on others. Another thing that is included in the issue of in vitro fertilization is genetic engineering. Couples engaging in in IVF have the free will to choose the characteristics or gene make-up of their soon to be child warding off any treats of tranferring any genetic disorders they are carrying. Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genome using biotechnology.
New DNA may be inserted in the host genome by first isolating and copying the genetic material of interest using molecular cloning methods to generate a DNA sequence, or by synthesizing the DNA, and then inserting this construct into the host organism. Genes may be removed, or “knocked out”. Gene targeting is a different technique that uses homologous recombination to change an endogenous gene, and can be used to delete a gene, remove exons, add a gene, or introduce point mutations. Thus this way, couples are ensure to have the best and healthy baby they are wishing for.
Gene therapy is the genetic engineering of humans by replacing defective human genes with functional copies. Gene therapy has been used to treat patients suffering from immune deficiencies (notably Severe combined immunodeficiency) and trials have been carried out on other genetic disorders.  The success of gene therapy so far has been limited . There are also ethical concerns should the technology be used not just for treatment, but for enhancement, modification or alteration of a human beings’ appearance, adaptability, intelligence, character or behavior.
The distinction between cure and enhancement can also be difficult to establish. Another medical discovery or advancement in the field of prolonging human life is the stem cell. Though this was known to exist years back , the benefits or shocking revelation about what this tiny cell can do was only recently been on focused. The study on stem cell is a topic of interest. What are this cells and what can do exactly? What are stem cells? Stem cells are the body’s raw materials — cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated.
Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, stem cells divide to form more cells, called daughter cells. These daughter cells either become new stem cells (self-renewal) or become specialized cells (differentiation) with a more specific function, such as blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle or bone. Stem cells are unique — no other cell in the body has the natural ability to generate new cell types. This cells basically comes from embryonic stem cells and and on adults stem cells too.
Now, the reason behind the rapid rising of interest on stem cells is mainly because Researchers hope stem cell studies can help to: Increase understanding of how diseases occur. By watching stem cells mature into cells that eventually become bones, heart muscle, nerve cells, and other organs and tissue, researchers and doctors may better understand how a variety of diseases and conditions develop. Generate healthy cells to replace diseased cells (regenerative medicine).
Researchers hope they can train stem cells into becoming specific cells so that those specialized cells can be used to regenerate and repair diseased or damaged tissues in people. People who might benefit from stem cell therapies include those with spinal cord injuries, type 1 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells could also be grown to become new tissue for use in transplant medicine. Test new drugs for safety and effectiveness.
Before using new drugs in people, researchers could use stem cells to test the safety and quality of investigational drugs. For instance, nerve cells could be generated in order to test a new drug for a nerve disease. Tests could show whether the new drug had any effect on the cells and whether the cells were harmed. And again, Embryonic stem cells are obtained from early-stage embryos — a group of cells that forms when a woman’s egg is fertilized with a man’s sperm. Extracting stem cells from embryos raises significant ethical questions. The advent for new ways to treat, prevent and maintain the health humans is at its peak indeed.
The videos shown to us gave knowledge on the issues, how can this discoveries help future generations and gave us a peek on to what extent the human mind had gone so far. Things that were only part of the pigment of our imaginations comes to exist stirring both our curiosity and fear to what God thinks of us now. Speculation arises ofcoarse, would nature take its revenge? Does this things treatens our beliefs? Are we, by engaging on this things breaking the divine laws of God? The future remains unseen so is God’s judgement. Let us just hope that we won’t be involve in such compromising situations.