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Genetic Enhancements

Have you upgraded your genetics this year?
While our environment and actions can reshape us a great deal, on the deepest level we are influenced by our genes. If they are changed, what we are is changed.

Few other subjects of autoevolution are as controversial and debated as genetic enhancements. By their nature they will affect future generations in ways most other self-transformations will not, which raises thorny ethical questions. At the same time few other technologies holds such promises for improvement of the body.


Other Sites
See Also


Evolution Revolution by Charles Platt (Wired 5.01). About the human genome project and where it may be leading.
The Extinction of Evolution by Barry Redmond. Why evolution is now in the hands of ourselves instead of nature.
Genetic Modifications. Sub-page about how we can improve or change our genes.
Scientists Find Way To Eliminate Junk Genes In Biotechnology (Purdue University News Service). Might be useful to "clean up" the human genome.
Encoding ASCII in DNA. A proposal for a standard way of commenting changed genome.
Eugenics Now. Excerpt from Evolution Isn't What It Used to Be: The Augmented Animal and the Whole Wired World (pp. 104-109) by Walter Truett Anderson. In HMS Beagle, free registration in BioMedNet needed. About how eugenics is used today, freely, without people noticing it.
Engineering the Human Germline. A symposium held to develop a realistic scientific assessment of the technology's potential for the next twenty years. The symposium was intended to serve as the foundation for the approaching public policy debate.
Gregory Stock
Umprogrammierung des Lebens by Gundolf S. Freyermuth (Telepolis, 17.09.1997). In German.
Human Genetics in Yahoo


Adenoviruses as Gene-Delivery Vehicles by James M. Wilson (NEJM, May 2 1996). About using adenoviruses in gene therapy.
Gene therapy by Mark A. Kay, Dexi Liu, and Peter M. Hoogerbrugge (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 94, pp. 12744-12746, November 1997). Some methods for transferring genes into cells.
Gene Therapy (Scientific American Oct 96). About the problems of gene therapy.
Mending the genetic tapestry by Will Sansom (The Mission, Summer 1997)
Recent Advances in Reproductive Genetic Technologies. Review article of recent advances diagnosis and treatment of reproductive and genetic disorders.

Ethics and Policy

Embracing Change with All Four Arms: A Post-Humanist Defense of Genetic Engineering by J. Hughes Ph.D. A very good discussion of the ethics of genetic engineering of humans from a transhumanist perspective.
Shaping Genes: Ethics, Law and Science of Using New Genetic Technology in Medicine and Agriculture by Darryl R. J. Macer, Ph.D. Eubios Ethics Institute 1990. An entire book about genetics and ethics; the author is conservative (compared to transhumanism) but brings up many interesting and relevant questions.
La oss tukle med naturen by Elin Brodin (Gateavisen 1989, in Danish). Genetic engineering to the people!
Summary Report of Engineering the Human Germline Symposium
Overcoming Yuk by Oliver Morton (Wired Jan 1998). It may be unnatural, but encouraging genetic choice in humans is not bad. (It's also inevitable.)
Fatalist Attraction The dubious case against fooling Mother Nature by Virginia Postrel (Reason).

Reproductive Technology

Boy? Girl? Up to You: The long-sought ability to choose a baby's gender may finally be a reality. By Frederic Golden (Time). About the results of Genetics & IVF Institute in pre-conception sex-selection.
It's a Girl! Is sex selection the first step to designer children? By Kathleen Fackelmann (Science News November 28, 1998)
The Shadowlands -- Secrets, Lies, and Assisted Reproduction. By George J. Annas (NEJM September 24, 1998 Vol. 339, No. 13). Discusses two legal cases where assisted reproduction is involved, whowing how tricky things can get - today. With more advanced methods even more obtuse cases will no doubt appear.


Cloning Separating Fact from Fiction (from Genetic Odyssey).
Cloning: Past, Present, and the Exciting Future by Marie A. Di Berardino, Ph.D.
Cloning - What it Is and Isn't.
Send in the Clones!. Why so afraid of cloning?
Duplicity about Duplication: Cloning as Lens for Millenial Angst, by James J. Hughes.
Cloning. Problem? No problem. Interview with Gregory Stock in Wired.
The Twin Paradox What exactly is wrong with cloning people? By Ronald Bailey (Reason).
Animal-Human Ethics (ABC news). On the complications when cow and human cells are combined - is it huamn cloning or not?
Cloning for Medicine, by Ian Wilmut (Scientific American December 1998).

See also Stem Cells.

Other Sites


See also

Anders Sandberg /