Saturday, November 13, 2010


Designer babies are a term used by the media to describe the future of modifying or selecting our children’s genes for desirable characteristics.  In order to select healthy embryos, new and improves technology allow parents and doctors to screen embryos for genetic disorders. In the future because of the level of technology increasing, we may be able to modify embryos and choose many characteristics such as medical and cosmetic and use genetic technologies to modify them. In the Oxford English Dictionary, designer babies are defined as “a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering combined with in vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics.” If a couple is having difficulty conceiving a child, because the quantity or quality of the man's sperm is poor, in vitro fertilisation or IVF can be used. This is where the egg is fertilized outside the woman's body and then implanted back into her uterus. Below is a picture of In Vitro Fertilization.

Designer babies have many pros to it. Genetic screening can reduce the baby's chances of being born with several serious diseases like Famial hypercholesterolemia, rare blood disorders such as Diamond Blackfan Anaemia, etc. In January 2009, a British mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl having used the process of IVF to ensure her child did not inherit her breast cancer causing BRCA1 gene. The birth was the first of its kind and has been slammed by many disability and pro-life organisations as unethical. I believe that designer babies do have many advantages, but also I do not think its right. After reading about the British mother, many thoughts had come into my head that maybe designing a baby isn’t bad and it depends on how a human being would look at it. Below is a picture of the British mother who saved her baby girl from having breast cancer.  

Mothers are getting more options 

Designer babies originally began with the idea of checking embryos for diseases or other problems before being inserted into the womb. However, this leads to changes that you would never think of. Changes such as cosmetic changes are pushing it a bit too much over the line. The next step will be to make the “perfect” child. There is a huge difference between protecting your child and the perfect child. I personally think that preventing a child from becoming who he or she wants to be is wrong. If you made the child to be more artistic and creative than logical, they might grow up following a different path than what nature intended for them. I don’t know, to me that does not seem fair and right.
I believe that genetic research has gone too far and hundreds of thousands of dollars have being spent on researching for designer babies, when it could be spent on researching for incurable diseases. If the genetic research of designer babies continues, then more traits concerning the babies could be changed. Now ask yourself this question, would there be any diversity in our world anymore? Imagine almost everywhere you go, you see a blond blue-eyed person. That would be pretty cool, I can’t lie but this example is a pretty extreme example, but it can become reality if more parents decide to have a designer baby.

The video below is talking about designer babies. I agree with exactly what they’re saying and their view on designer babies. Do you do too? Watch the two minute video and tell me what you think.


1. "Designer Babies: Creating the Perfect Child - CNN." Featured Articles From The CNN. 30 Oct. 2008. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.
2. "Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations (ActionBioscience)." ActionBioscience - Promoting Bioscience Literacy. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.

Johnson, By Priya. "Pros and Cons of Designer Babies." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.
4. Way, By The. "Designer Babies – Like It Or Not, Here They Come | Singularity Hub." Singularity Blog Covering Robots, Genetics, Stem Cells, Transhumanism, The Brain, The Future. Web. 13 Nov. 2010. 5. "What Is a Designer Baby?" Bionet - New Discoveries in Life Sciences - Explore the Science and Debate the Issues. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Human Intervention of Biodiversity in our Ecosystems

Biodiversity is the key point to a human’s life as it revolves around a human’s existence. As we know now scientists consider humans as the most invasive species, as we can greatly make a huge impact on the environment. The media has enforced this and has been focusing on the negative consequences due to human interaction.
"The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our eyes to grow sharper"

Then again, human intervention is being used also to positively affect the biodiversity of our ecosystems. For example, “Over 8,000 tree species, 10% of the world's total, are threatened with extinction.” (1) The Global Trees Campaign found this important because they’re threatening many important species, so they decided to begin to save various amounts of trees from preservation. This campaign involves the partnership with a series of organizations, including government agencies, non-government organizations, research institutions and local groups to help prosper the consciousness of tree species that encounter many threats. Human involvement can play a major role because the more we help, the more successful this campaign can be and can positively affect the biodiversity of our ecosystems. This campaign strives to be successful and doesn’t impact negatively on human needs.   
World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) was founded in 1967 by Senator Alan MacNaughton, and has become one of the country's leading conservation organizations, enjoying the active support of more than 150,000 Canadians.”(2) It is another organization being used to positively affect the biodiversity of our ecosystems. It is an organization that protects various types of wild life species and habitats. As years passed by, this association has grown and is not only protecting wildlife species and habitats but also, protecting life on Earth, including our own. This is a group that its work revolves around life and living because their goal is to protect and restore ecosystems and to make a living on a healthy planet. By humans joining and becoming one of their partners in the organization, this protects many species around the world and also gives children a healthier future. WWF Canada puts effort into everything they do, just like any other organization. But what is different about this organization? Not only does it preserve species that are at danger, but it protects habitats and focuses on approaching global threats.

Human involvement is clearly being used to affect the biodiversity of our ecosystems in a positive way. Although the media has focused on negative consequences due to human interaction, humans have also contributed in a positive way to help the biodiversity of our ecosystems. “The human population is at 6 billion; with an annual global growth rate of 1.8%, three more people are added to the earth every second.”(3) As the human population increases, it affects the biodiversity of our ecosystems positively and negatively, but as for the media they focus only on the negative aspects. Now in this world, there are organizations, campaigns, initiatives and projects that are useful to humans so they can get involved and have a positive effect on the biodiversity of our ecosystems.

1.       Flauna, and Flora. "The Global Trees Campaign." Global Trees Campaign. Web. 21 Sept. 2010.
2.       Conservation Successes in Canada." World Wildlife Fund Canada - Local to Global Environmental Conservation. 2008 WWF Canada. Web. 22 Sept. 2010.
3.       Miller, R. R. "Impacts on Biodiversity." Index. Web. 22 Sept. 2010.

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