The following comes from an Oct. 3 story in Nature magazine.
In December 2009, claiming priority from an earlier US patent application filed in December 2008, the Californian direct-to-consumer genetic testing company 23andMe filed US Patent Application Serial No. 12/592950. A Notice of Allowance for this case was issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office in June 2013, and it will issue as US Patent No. 8543339 on 24 September 2013. It contains claims to a computer system and to a computer program, but our focus here is on the patent’s claims to a method for gamete donor selection….
Taken out of “patentese,” what 23andMe is claiming is a method by which prospective donors of ova and/or sperm may be selected so as to increase the likelihood of producing a human baby with characteristics desired by the prospective parents, the selection being based on a computerized comparison of the genotypic data of the egg provider with that of the sperm provider.
The phenotypic characteristics that may be on the users’ (e.g., parents’) “shopping list” can include both disease-related and non–disease-related traits, such as height, eye color, muscle development, personality characteristics, and risks of developing age-related macular degeneration or certain types of cancer.Figure 4 of the patent application lists the following alternative choices: “I prefer a child with”: “longest expected life span”/“least expected life cost of health care”/“least expected cumulative duration of hospitalization.” Figure 6 visualizes a choice between the “offspring’s possible traits” of “0% likely endurance athlete” and “100% likely sprinter.”
Of note, sex is also mentioned as an example of the phenotypic characteristics. 23andMe’s claim is extremely broad insofar as it concerns “selection” for any phenotypic trait, which of course includes polygenetic traits that might be more than a bit difficult to select for; however, in 23andMe’s favor, we must point out that what is claimed is not a cast-iron, fool-proof method guaranteeing that the eventual child will have all the phenotypic traits on the parents’ shopping list, an impossible task, but merely a method of improving the chances that the baby has the “right” characteristics….
To read the much fuller version of the story, click here.
Men playing God.
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Beautiful post Catherine. Lovely words of wisdom and truth…Jesus is that shining love, that shines with whom welcome Him into their hearts and by their true charity will we be able to see a glimpse of His love.
This is sad to me. Mankind is choosing to distance itself more and more away from God. We can see by the choices he/she makes. How tempting it is for some humans to act like they too can be a god. They may deny it but they sure act like it.
Treating a human life, like it’s a shopping list. Like a pet. They are becoming their own little Hitler mentality. Why not after all abortion is the biggest Holocaust. They are all liars when they said that they won’t forget what Hitler wanted to accomplish. They teach it at school but they neglect important details that complete the whole picture.
If a child lacks any intellect, emotional stability, or has defective organs, it is unlikely God is saying “do it again”, merely that the system He has put in place is not prefect in extending monotonous outcomes of mediocrity in producing children that are to a large degree “normal”, “average” or do not stand out by way of obvious deformity. No one I know truly wants their child to be deformed or grossly needing for their entire lives, and such people shouldn’t be judged as less than any of the rest of us. Because the system is imperfect, we have to live with the good and sometimes less than good outcomes with offspring, Consequently, parents that think they can game the system and produce superbabies are more than hostile to the system God has put in place….such so called parents shouldn’t be parents at all because the offspring will invariably not live up to the expectations they have placed on him/her. There’s far too much child abuse in Catholic homes without adding hurdles that no child can surmount….that of a parent that looks at them as a defective product no matter how good or “ordinary” a child may be. A parent that will only love a “perfect” child is the parent that is incapable of loving at all.
good cause writes, “If a child lacks any intellect, emotional stability, or has defective organs, it is unlikely God is saying “do it again”, *merely that the system He has put in place is not prefect* in extending monotonous outcomes of mediocrity in producing children that are to a large degree “normal”, “average” or do not stand out by way of obvious deformity.”
Oh, ye of little faith, of little understanding and of little trust!
“But the foolish things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the wise; and the weak things of the world hath God chosen, that he may confound the strong. “…… 1 Corinthians 1:27 Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible