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Google Eugenics Start-Up Patents Designer Baby Technique

Orig.src.Susanne.Posel.Daily.News- Designer-Baby-in-womb-e1344935162956Susanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism
October 8, 2013

 

 

 

23andMe (23&M) have applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent to preserve rights to the family traits inheritance calculator (FTIC), a tool devised 4 years ago to assist in genetic assessment of babies in utero.

23&M is owned by Anne Wojcicki, estranged wife of Google founder Sergey Brin. This corporation was funded by Google and Google Ventures with an initial investment of $161 million.

In order to determine the genetic traits possible future children will inherit from their parents, clients have their saliva swabbed.

Currently, 23&M claims that the corporation “never pursued the concepts discussed in the patent beyond our Family Traits Inheritance Calculator, nor do we have any plans to do so.”

The FTIC will decipher, as expressed by the patent , “what eye colors their child might have or if their child will be able to perceive bitter taste or be lactose intolerant.”

Indeed, the clients can peruse a “shopping list” of genetic traits that can be enhanced or suppressed such as:

• Height
• Weigh
• Muscle development
• Athletic abilities
• Personality traits
• Development of cancer and other diseases
• Extended life span

Wojcicki said: “You could say whether you want a kid with blue eyes or green eyes, a long lifespan, or less risk of colorectal cancer. Or more risk of colorectal cancer, if that’s what you’re into. The system then runs the database of your genes against others, to recommend a mating match that would be likely to produce a child with said traits.”

This designer baby tool assesses if genetic traits can be overcome or avoided.

According to 23&M: “The proposed 23andMe calculator is akin to asking someone to be your baby daddy (or mommy) because you think the kids you’d have with them would be cute. That’s a stupid reason to raise a child with someone, but it’s not morally reprehensible. In the TV show Parks and Recreation, the perpetually single Ann Perkins asks the manic and muscled Chris Traegar to make a baby with her. They’re not dating, but she chose him out of other possible baby daddy choices because of his looks (hot), health (A+), and ambition (intense). She wants those traits passed onto her kid.”

The patent for the FTIC would have allowed for more “calculated” donors in sperm and egg clinics that will facilitate recipients can evaluate the genetic possibilities when combined with the donor and their own.

The Center for Genetics and Society (CGS) explained that the FTIC will not be used in donor clinics.

Mary Darnovsky, executive director of CGS expounded : “It would be highly irresponsible for 23andMe or anyone else to offer a product or service based on this patent. It amounts to shopping for designer donors in an effort to produce designer babies. We believe the patent office made a serious mistake in allowing a patent that includes drop-down menus from which to choose a future child’s traits.”

Sigrid Sterckx, bioethicst for Ghent University commented : “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.”

Sterckx continued: “The use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis to avoid implantation of embryos bearing serious genetic abnormalities is by now becoming commonplace, but a computerized process for selecting gamete donors to achieve a baby with a ‘phenotype of interest’ that the prospective parent ‘desires in his/her hypothetical offspring,’ as 23andMe puts it, seems to have much broader implications, for this process also entails the selection of traits that are not disease related.”

Last July, the first test – tube baby who was screened for genetic defects was created using a low – cost procedure for the in vitro fertilization process. This IVF procedure was performed at a Pennsylvania hospital.

The baby born was named Connor Levy. Levy was part of a study meant to justify next – generation genetic screening (NGGS) to broaden the use of this procedure.

NGGS is “routinely used by clinical diagnostic laboratories to test for both common and rare single-gene genetic disorders.”

DNA sequencing designed to identify chromosome abnormalities and specific gene defects within the embryo before it is implanted into the uterus was used. Only 30% of implanted embryos are successful; while other genetic screening methods could take over in the near future, this cost – effective method will remain.

Dagan Wells, lead researcher and professor of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Oxford, said : “We can do this at a cost which is about a half to two-thirds of what current chromosome screening costs are. If further randomized trials confirm this, we could reach a point where there is a very strong economic argument that this should be offered very widely – perhaps to the majority of IVF patients.”

Wells went on to say: “Many of the embryos produced during infertility treatments have no chance of becoming a baby because they carry lethal genetic abnormalities. Next-generation sequencing improves our ability to detect these abnormalities and helps us identify the embryos with the best chances of producing a viable pregnancy.”

Just prior to this development, the UK National Health Services (NHS) announced the 3-parent IVF with a draft of new regulations to be approved by the British Parliament.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for the NHS said : “Mitochondrial disease, including heart disease, liver disease, loss of muscle co-ordination and other serious conditions like muscular dystrophy, can have a devastating impact on the people who inherit it. Scientists have developed groundbreaking new procedures that could stop these diseases being passed on, bringing hope to many families seeking to prevent their future children inheriting them. It’s only right that we look to introduce this lifesaving treatment as soon as we can.”

This new genetic manipulative process will develop from DNA of 3 participants to specifically target and prevent mitochondrial diseases.

This genetic process involves transferring genetic material from the nucleus of an egg or embryo from one that is diseased to one that is healthy. This will prevent the inheritance of negative mitochondria.

the UK National Health Services (NHS) announced the 3-parent IVF with a draft of new regulations to be approved by the British Parliament.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for the NHS said : “Mitochondrial disease, including heart disease, liver disease, loss of muscle co-ordination and other serious conditions like muscular dystrophy, can have a devastating impact on the people who inherit it. Scientists have developed groundbreaking new procedures that could stop these diseases being passed on, bringing hope to many families seeking to prevent their future children inheriting them. It’s only right that we look to introduce this lifesaving treatment as soon as we can.”

This new genetic manipulative process will develop from DNA of 3 participants to specifically target and prevent mitochondrial diseases.

This genetic process involves transferring genetic material from the nucleus of an egg or embryo from one that is diseased to one that is healthy. This will prevent the inheritance of negative mitochondria.

Google Eugenics Start-Up Patents Designer Baby Technique
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