In addition to the ethical questions and the serious unintended health consequences, this would also open the door to patenting human DNA. Action Alert!
Late last month, a group of Chinese scientists published a study that tried to answer the question, “Is it possible to edit the genetic makeup of human embryos?”
It’s a question that has occupied scientists and medical researchers for some time. An estimated 12 million Americans are affected by genetic disorders like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and many others. While treatments exist for some of these, other conditions have no known cure. This has led to research in genetic manipulation as a means of curing disease.
Scientists recently developed CRISPR, which stands for “Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat.” The Chinese scientists used this genome-editing technique in their study to target and manipulate specific genes.
The idea for CRISPR came from studying bacteria’s ability to fight viruses. Bacteria create molecules that can attack specific stretches of a virus’s DNA. Why not use this, the scientists reasoned, as a way to attack and replace the mutated genes that are causing disease in humans with properly functioning DNA? Or, to go one step further, why not attempt to “fix the mistake” early on in the embryo and replace the faulty genes from the outset?
This is precisely what the Chinese scientists set out to accomplish. Using defective embryos that would never grow into babies, the team hoped to end with an embryo that had precisely altered DNA in each cell and no other damage.
Out of eighty-six human embryos, not a single one met that criteria of success by the end of the study. Seventy-one embryos survived long enough to study, but most of these either died before the study was completed, or else the target gene never altered. In a few cases the researchers were able to successfully alter the gene—but these resulted in potentially disastrous problems with wide-reaching implications, like unintended mutations and genetic “mosaics” where some cells in the embryo were edited while others were not.
The study caused quite a controversy in the scientific community. One of the Chinese researchers said their study was rejected by the journals Nature and Science for ethical reasons. Dr. George Daley, an expert in stem cell research at Harvard Medical School, said, “Their study should be a stern warning to any practitioner who thinks the technology is ready for testing to eradicate disease genes.” Before the study was even published, a group of scientists published a letter in Science warning that this was dangerous ground. A few days after the study was published, the National Institutes for Health reaffirmed its ban on funding any research that involves gene editing in embryos.
Setting aside the widely publicized trepidation of many scientists and government agencies about the ethics of experiments like this, there are other major concerns about this type of research:
- Even if the government agrees not to fund embryo gene-editing research, there are other ways for the research to continue. In fact, there is at least one US genetics center using CRISPR on abnormal embryos rejected by in-vitro fertilization clinics—and this center is far less transparent about its work.
- We recently reported that the US Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) is considering a different framework for determining the patent eligibility for natural substances. If a patent claim describes “a law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea,” it must amount to “significantly more” than what is found in nature to be eligible for a patent. The Supreme Court has previously struck down patents on human genes, but if a company is able to successfully create a novel process of genetic alteration of human DNA, this sort of loose definition of “natural” could be enough to give that company a patent. As we’ve noted before, the change in USPTO’s framework could also allow Big Pharma to steal natural supplements and monopolize previously affordable substances like bioidentical estriol and 17P.
- While some of the more alarming scenarios are still a long way off, there are more immediate dangers in editing human genes. Genetic manipulation in humans, rather than curing disease, could create a host of new and even more dangerous diseases and genetic mutations. Changing the genetic makeup of the germ line—which includes the egg, sperm, and embryo—could have severe consequences for a research subject’s descendants. Scientists simply do not know what the effect will be of genetic alterations passed down from generation to generation.
Action Alert! Write to the USPTO and tell them they must NOT allow natural substances to be patented. Please send your message immediately.
25 thoughts on “GMH: Genetically Modified Humans?”
Nothing new! In the early 1900’s engineering was to kill and sterilize the “undesirables” through this we got PLANNED PARENTHOOD!! The Demon Rats just put a statue in the Smithsonian Museum to idolize her!! Margret Sanger to poster child gave many speeches to the Demon Rat front group KKK!
it should be illegal to patent human dna, or, I mean, patents should not be issued or respected for human DNA. I have no problem with engineering certain genetic illnesses out of us. But, cosmetic genetic manipulation is something I disagree with strongly. I think certain “treatments”, if you will, should be allowed to be patented.
We will never get new “cures” or treatments for disabling diseases unless we try. Some experiments will fail, but eventually something will work, preventing suffering for parents and families as well as babies. The same dire predictions were made regarding IVF. Now thousands of IVF babies are born every year, as normal as anybody.
Test tube people are not normal.
If you were not conceived via consensual intercourse you do not have a soul.
The whole medical industry is making too many billions of dollars to ever find a “cure” for anything
There is no cure because the health problems are a perpetration, they want you to think that there is a cure so they can keep doing what they’re doing.
They want to own people’s bodies.
socialism! next step. they want worker bees – not thinkers.
(ever read the old classic book “animal farm?”) its do as I say, not as I do, its next step to communism, its crazy thinking and many promises to the peons that never come to fruition- but you can count on it being total control of the species by the elites left.
the elite left never let anyone prosper
where people on the right, allow you to prosper if you want to- build your business, run it the way you want, hire as many people as you want and sell it if you want. there is a difference.
Stop making it about left or right, both sides are corrupt crooks who only care to enrich themselves. The left does it at the expense of the people and the right does it at the expense of all life and the planet itself.
Both are bad, do not divide people because that is exactly what the system wants you to do.
Old school name- slavery.
Don’t worry, Monsanto will create humans that they will claim ownership to, and then sue those people for copyright in fringment, if they do not behave. Monsanto will also be able to claim any children that the modifieds have with normals, and sue the normals to get the kids. Slavery by copyright.
No, Monsanto CEO will be hunted down and punished for his crimes against life and his company will be dismantled and ANYONE who disagrees with this will be EXECUTED!
In a just world, that would happen, but it is not feeling very just. I cannot stand these inhuman actions by a corporation.
I know and I understand how you feel, if it were me, these “people” would not be allowed to exist. Anyone who puts materialism and fabrications before life, wouldn’t be allowed to exist.
No, this would not lead to ‘patenting human DNA’. The Supreme Court justices have already said that human DNA cannot be patented, as have the courts in numerous foreign nations.
That doesn’t stop a criminal enterprise from doing it behind closed doors.
If you would take time to notice, these global governments say one thing and do another.
There will never be ” cures ” for disease… only treatments, with extreme side effects which open the door for other maladies.. a vicious circle..
based on big $$$$.
Experiments on Humans, food, clothing , supplements , vaccines , environment and all aspects of our lives has been going on for years behind closed doors.
So why should we be surprised ? Perhaps this is why there are so many auto-immune disorders afflicting society…at earlier ages…AND.. there are many even more Society is NOT even aware of…
We as Human beings have been being compromised since WWII …
We may not be able to change what has already taken place…BUT…
at least be aware…
By the systems own definition one cannot own or patent life so if they go through with this it will be blatantly criminal, just like everything else the corrupt, incorporated, organized crime ring that is the US Inc. “government” does.
if you can DNA liberals then we would be able to stop the spread?
I want to take action, but not at the expense of making my pc vulnerable. Please modify the requirement that cookies be enabled. I did not have this issue with ANH’s old site; tried to bypass the issue by taking action on my mobile device, but action forms do not display properly… Is anyone at ANH reading these comments? I have brought this matter up repeatedly ever since they launched the new site, but no response or remedy has been made.
Cookies will not harm your computer, you should be more worried about visiting social networking sites where their cookies do indeed track you and modify your browsing environment to suit their advertising needs.
ANH is not something to be concerned about, the only reason it is informing you of cookies is because politicians whined about that and attempted to make it a requirement for websites to inform you about them. They are harmless and are not anything to worry about. Cookies are temporary internet files that simply tell your browser that you have been to this site, etc. ANH is a trustworthy website and should not be deemed “a security issue”. Please understand that if you want to worry about something, you should be more worried about the government and the system of abuse we live in and not a harmless internet file on your harddrive.
If you really wanted to protect yourself from cookies you would go research what they are and learn how to protect yourself from the “bad ones” such as social networking tracking cookies.
You obviously are not aware of how cookies work or their security and privacy issues. Cookies are helpful in some ways to allow sites to track user/browser session information, number of visits, connection information and user information and preferences. However there are many related issues that could allow this same personal information to be exposed, abused, gathered without your consent or knowledge. It can also lead to logon information being stolen especially from non-SSL sites such as this site through iframe manipulations, cross site scripting, cross site request forgery attacks, etc. The cookies are plain text files that store your personal info and web history. Sites that allow cookies would also allow for malicious malware to be dropped on your computer if/when the site itself becomes compromised.
Guess what, the NSA already does all of that without your permission, even without cookies.
Your priorities are skewed.
Furthermore, you wouldn’t be so worried about little malware if you had proper protection on your computer. You should me more worried about the trojans being injected into those third party face book banner ads that you pay no attention to.
To REALITY OF TRUTH. . . . .somehow, through all of the bluster, intense dislike, and loss of faith you have expressed for the United States, it is STILL the best place on earth to realize and live a free and happy existence. . . .IF that is what you truly want, and if it is, you will FIND a way to achieve it.
There will ALWAYS be evil in the world with you – it is the NATURE of existence, comes with the planet, and the solar system. The only entity that exists on the planet to CHANGE EVIL into life-giving force is the species HOMA SAPIENS SAPIENS. If you don’t know who that species is, LOOK IT UP!!!!
Jesus said, “Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” You cannot take this perfection for granted, and you must SEEK it out, and take possession of it!!
And if you want to spend the rest of your seemingly miserable life complaining how terrible, and awful the USA is, the answer is very simple. . . . .
Move to some other country or south sea island where you can spend the rest of your earthly days, looking at the sky, and asking yourself eternally. . . . .
WHAT DID I DO TO MAKE THE UNITED STATES A BETTER PLACE?????
I guess “good” or “best” is a subjective word and to you, maliciously poisoning and destroying all life on the planet to make more value-less pieces of paper is “best” to you, but not to me (or life on the planet for that matter).
I did not waste my time reading your post after your first broken, shambled sentence claiming that the threat to all life is the best place to live life; What a joke.
I’m just glad I will never pay taxes or contribute to this toxic society of deceit, abuse, poison, rape and murder. You can do whatever, after all, you don’t matter.