The completion of the Human Genome Project in 2006 has given a major opening to medical companies, to carry out experiments and tests using genetic engineering. The tiny, microscopic DNA contained all the genetic information related to the person, like color of the eyes, hair, skin tone, height, weight, IQ, EQ, diseases, disorders, etc., and was even able to determine a smile or the shape of one’s nose. Modifying the nutritional content of foods through genetic engineering has the potential to reduce suffering and improve human welfare. Such intervention was practised in 2018 in two non-identical twin girls born in China. It could be said that the difficulty of developing a conceptual distinction between therapy and enhancement has always been present. Loss of function mutations of the CCR5 had been previously shown to provide resistance to HIV. Cloning has ethical issues, and is illegal. The non-viable embryos were obtained from local fertility clinics. In India and Africa, genetically engineered crops (specifically Bt cotton and Bt maize) is grown in a variety of systems. The cells of an organism are transformed. Gelsinger’s death led to increased scrutiny of gene therapy, and subsequent negative outcomes of gene therapy have resulted in the temporary halting of clinical trials pending further investigation. Other trials have shown the clear hazards of attempting genetic manipulation in complex multicellular organisms like humans. The rapid advances in technology seen in the last decades, have raised the possibility of ‘radical enhancement’, defined by Nicholas Agar, ‘as the improvement of human attributes and abilities to levels that greatly exceed what is currently possible for human beings’ [24]. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. “There might be a public perception that one mutation does one thing, but biology doesn’t work like that,” says Rasmus Nielsen, an evolutionary biologist who coauthored the paper with one of his postdocs, Xinzhu Wei. The Darker Side of Human Genetic Engineering. All rights reserved. The desire of overcoming normal human capacities and the transformation to an almost ‘perfect’ form has been part of the history of civilization, extending from arts and religion to philosophy. Cloning, it’s another aspect that can also be possible. The Darker Side of Human Genetic Engineering. It was applied to plants in order to produce genetically modified foods, with higher resistance to infections and high nutritional values. Stronger plants, stronger science, stronger communication. For example, over time, there have been biomedical interventions attempting to restore functions that are deficient, such as vision, hearing or mobility. Have something to say? Over the last few years, gene therapy has successfully treated certain heart diseases. In the future if we do choose to genetically enhance human traits to levels unlikely to be achieved by human evolution, it would be crucial to consider if and how our understanding of human evolution enable us to better understand the implications of genetic interventions. Limonoids from fruiting bodies of the wood-rot basidiomycete Fulvifomes xylocarpicola associated with the mangrove tree Xylocarpus granatum. Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance and Glyphosate. You may have heard of designer clothes, designer bags, designer shoes, and even a designer nose. Which burger is best? This is, in effect, a laboratory-crafted evolution of the species. But have you heard of designer babies? This poses relevant questions of what a real or perceived human limitation is in the environment and times in which we are living and how it can be shifted over time considering social norms and cultural values of modern societies. The advocates of a far-reaching human enhancement have been referred to as ‘transhumanists’. Gade-Andavolu R, Comings DE, MacMurray J et al. The embryo develops into a baby called ‘Designer baby’ or ‘customized baby’. The verb enhance can be traced back to the vulgar Latin inaltiare and late Latin inaltare (‘raise, exalt’), from ‘altare’ (‘make high’) and altus (‘high’), literally ‘grown tall’. In some patients, the use of an adenovirus vector can trigger an unanticipated inflammatory response from the immune system, which may lead to organ failure.

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