Genetic Determinism

There is now a growing body of empirical evidence on the contribution of genetic factors to phenotypic differences. The advent of recombinant DNA technology has resulted in a number of new discoveries. More and more we can interfere with or diagnose diseases, detect presymptomatically genes for monogenic disorders, uncover (early in life) genetic predisposition to common disorders (including cancer, and psychiatric disorders), anticipate normal phenotypic traits, and, in the near future, even...

Eugenics Past

Though the literature of eugenics extends back to Plato, the modern movement took its cue from biology first, Darwin's theory of natural selection, with a boost later from mendelian genetics. Galton understood that the theory of natural selection had important implications for understanding the development of the human species, and sought to investigate the possibility that talents and virtues of character and personality were inherited along with other traits, offering their bearers advantages...

The Falsity Of Genetic Essentialism

Genetic essentialism is the idea that the essence, the nature of a human being is defined by its genes (Cranor, 1994). This is often expressed in the statement that we are our genes. If genetic essentialism is true then there seems to be a fairly straightforward argument for the claim that genetic information is special. It would be information about the very essence of a person, whereas other non-genetic information would only be about accidental attributes. We would still need to be able to...

Trends In The Contemporary Bioethics Regulatory Approach

In contemporary medicine, research with human subjects gives rise to diverse bioethical dilemmas. Most of them are directly or indirectly related to the development of intellectual property rights in the human body to name a few, use of cell and tissues culture technology, together with genetic engineering, to develop human cell lines and ultimately commercial products human-derived gene therapy modern genetics associated with medically assisted procreation and the use of tissue from aborted...

Fata Scribunda

The other element of the metaphor according to which genetics is the book of destiny is that destiny is written in the DNA. In speaking of linear destiny we have hardly touched upon the essence of the issue. Speaking of its scriptural aspects we are at its core. There is no need for many examples to demonstrate that the scriptural metaphor is constitutive of genetics. Watson and Crick first interpreted and translated the genetic code. The DNA encodes the messages there is a text that should be...

Communitarian Response Duty To Know Responsibility To Share

Before the communitarian normative position can be understood, it should be acknowledged that much in the same manner as there are different formulations of liberalism or utilitarian principles, there are also many diverse communitarian views which overlap and sometimes even conflict with each other. In this context I shall focus on contemporary Western, that is mainly American, communitarianism. This Western communi-tarianism differs from other forms of more traditional communitarianisms,...

The Reports Recommendations

Bearing in mind the purpose of somatic cell gene therapy the Committee concludes that this is a proper goal for medical science Report, 1992, p. 13 . The Committee, however, suggests strict controls over such therapy by classifying it as research, subjecting it, therefore, to the more rigorous guidelines as laid down by The Royal College of Physicians of London RCP, 1990a amp b . The Committee includes foetuses among those suitable for consideration for somatic...

The Moira And Geometric Fate

The destiny was called by Stoics the Heimarmene rieipappsvr . The origin of this word is in the root meir peip that one finds also in the word Moirai. The origin of the root meir is in the verb peipo acu, to share. As we have just shown, the metaphor of a written destiny and the conception of linear causation are mutually congruent and actually the image of the thread, spun and cut by the Moirai, unavoidably brings to mind the idea of the chain of destiny. Besides, both Stoicism and the...

Treacher Collins Syndrome

It so happens that it was in the same year that Mendel's research came to light, in 1900, that E. Treacher Collins described the essential features of the syndrome which is today known by his name. Treacher Collins Syndrome has clinical manifestations that include abnormalities of the ears with hearing loss, anomalies of the facial bones and cleft palate. The 'Identification of the complete coding sequence and genomic organization of the Treacher Collins Syndrome gene' has recently been...

Entitlement And Ethics Economics And Incommensurability

The language of entitlement we choose to use in this context has enormous ethical consequences. The range of options we have where this choice is concerned, and how far ethical issues can enter the conversation here, and on what terms, are all strongly influenced by recent technological advances which render copying cheap, easy and difficult to police. According to the president of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Gerald J. Mossinghoff, in 1986 it took a company about ten years,...

Milestones Of Modern Biotechnology

In the last few decades, pharmacology and drug research has been boosted by an authentic biological research revolution, driven largely by the advances observed in the domains of genetics, molecular and cell biology disciplines mostly dedicated to the exploration of the chemical basis of heredity and information sciences. Since the fantastic breakthrough represented by the identification, in 1944, by Avery, McLeod amp McCarty of the DNA as the genetic material, i.e., the molecule that can store...