Skip to comments.Couples to test embryos for cancer gene
Posted on 04/28/2007 7:43:29 AM PDT by nypokerface
LONDON, April 27 (UPI) -- Two British couples want to use an embryo selection technique to eradicate a breast cancer gene that runs in their families.
Scientists say screening for the defective BCRA1 gene would reduce the likelihood of cancer, The (London) Guardian reported Friday.
The London Times said an application to test for the breast cancer gene was submitted Thursday by a doctor at University College Hospital.
The newspaper said Britain's Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority has already agreed to it in principle. The application is expected to be approved within four months.
The couples will have in vitro fertilization, and a single cell will be removed from the embryos at the eight-cell stage and tested for the BRCA1 gene. Only unaffected embryos would be transferred to the women's wombs, The Guardian said.
Just wait for the outcry if parents start testing for the ‘gay’ gene.
And how does the removal of 1/8 of the total cell affect the embryo? The doctors supposedly know what and how they are doing, but for a layman it would sound better were they to wait till 32-64 cells stage.
I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 46. Do these people think the previous 4 years of my life weren’t worth living because eventually I’d get cancer?
Should be 46 years.
Here we go again...
You’d think eugenecists would understand the consequences of what they’re doing...but nope.
I know two women who had the mutation and developed cancer in their mid-20s, one of whom died at 27, the other of whom had a double mastectomy and an oomphorectomy at 29 in order to decrease her estrogen levels and the chance of a recurrence and of course, now cannot have children.
Did both wish they had never been born?
Did you read my post? I said I was not in favor of creating embryos and then destroying them or placing them in suspended animation. HOWEVER, I can tell you with absolute 100% confidence that both of them wished that they had been born WITHOUT the mutation, and if they were offered the option to screen out the potential of BRACA 1 and 2 in offspring (of course, neither can have offspring now) they would have done it. My point is that although this methodology of screening out the mutation is not, to me, morally acceptable, we should not dismiss the possibility of using genetic manipulation to achieve substantial good results, such as fixing genetic mutations such as BRACA 1 and 2. God gave us a problem solving brain for a reason, and IMHO genetic manipulation is not inherently wrong.
This is a game best played on the creatures mankind has dominion over, not on mankind itself. For mankind, the stakes are far too high for error (error in process is immaterial long-term; far more critical is error in fundamental understanding).
Later Moral Absolutes pingout, thanks for alerting me.
With current technology, waiting until the 32+ cell stage does not yield results in time to transfer the embryo into the mother while it’s still viable. When the embryo reaches a stage where it’s ready to start implanting in the uterine lining, it needs to be a uterus. But there is no need for concern about the effects of removing a cell from an 8 cell (or even slightly smaller) embryo. Not only are there thousands of healthy children who have already been born after this procedure, but in the natural process of twinning, and embryo breaks into two parts and both develop normally after each has lost a lot more than one cell (this procedure has also been done routinely in cattle breeding for at least 30 years, to increase the number of offspring of highly desirable mothers — an embryo is created, deliberately broken in half at the 8 cell stage, and then the two embryos are transferred into different cows). Much as anti-abortion extremists like to claim that an 8 cell embryo is a “person”, it’s not — it can still become more than one person, or (less often, but still can occur naturally) part of a person, when it merges with another embryo that’s in the uterus at the same time (resulting in a person with mosaic chromosomes).