The arrival of safe, reliable germline
technology will signal the beginning of human self-design.
The personal, social, and political dangers inherent in asserting control over the human germline
were well apparent when Aldous Huxley published his prophetic novel Brave New World in 1932.
While genetic choices made by parents (either in the short run, via pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or in the more distant future, through germline
engineering) are on the whole likely to be better than those made by coercive states, there are several grounds for not letting individuals have complete freedom of choice in this regard.
First we need to consider the difference between testing for somatic cell mutations and germline
mutations, because the issues are different.
Professor Joe Cummins, of Western Ontario university in Canada, said: "Now is not the time to bring in human germline
gene therapy through the back door.
Many advocates of germline
engineering say it is needed to allow couples to avoid passing on genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia.
Clarke's explanation of the processes of stem-cell research, cloning, and germline
therapy was informative and helpful.
genetic manipulation changes the sex cells (i.
But the results enhance the possibility that safe germline
gene therapy in humans - making genetic changes that are inherited by future generations - will one day be technically feasible.
gene transfers have been successful in animal research, but are neither practical nor considered ethically acceptable for use in humans.
The publication by scientists from OMT, RAT and Pfizer is entitled "High-Affinity IgG Antibodies Develop Naturally in Ig- Knockout Rats Carrying Germline
Human IgH/Igk/Igl Loci Bearing the Rat CH Region" and covers eighteen months of close collaboration between the teams.
There are several challenges and ethical issues associated with this field; germline
gene therapy is one of the important issues.