Brutes or Angels
Human Possibility in the Age of Biotechnology
Publication Year: 2013
With stem cell research, Dolly the cloned sheep, in vitro fertilization, age retardation, and pharmaceutical mind enhancement, humankind is now faced with decisions that it has never before had to consider. The thoughtfulness, or lack of it, that we bring to those decisions will largely determine the future character of the living world.
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations
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...it should be the aim of every scientist to eventually generalize his [her] views of nature so that they make a contribution to the philosophy of The objective of this book is to facilitate informed choice making about personal use of biotechnologies and formulation of pub lic policies gov-erning their development and applications. The book provides basic infor-...
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...many persons contributed ideas and tangible support for this project. sue Bradley, isabelle Thompson, and Amy (Gordon) Jones read and edited major portions of the book before the manuscript was submitted for publi-cation. Christine Probst, Alondra oubre, lana saffert, and the late martha King read chapters on cloning, the genomics of human diversity, neuro-...
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Who is there that does not wonder at man? . . . [m]an fashions, fabri-cates, transforms himself into the shape of all flesh, into the character —Giovanni Pico della mirandola, “oration on the Dignity of man”humankind’s place in nature is somewhere between brutes and divinities according to renaissance philosopher Pico della mirandola (1463–1494). ...
1. Cells and Molecules: The Unity of Life
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...long ago it became evident that the key to every biological problem must finally be sought in the cell; for every living organism is, or at on August 20, 1979, Newsweek magazine sported a cover with a beautiful color cartoon of a single cell and its interior. This and the accompanying story, “secrets of the human Cell,” illustrated the prominence and rele-...
2. Stem Cells: Embryos, Therapeutic Cloning, and Personhood
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...it is doubtful that natural sexual reproduction, with its risk of sexu-ally transmitted disease, its high abnormality rate in the resulting chil-dren, and its gross inefficiency in terms of the death and destruction of embryos, would ever have been approved by regulatory bodies if it had been invented as a reproductive technology rather than simply “found” ...
3. Embryo Selection: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
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...she’s a typical teenage girl, she loves to dance. . . . We never thought she would live to see 15. . . . Adam knows he helped his sister, that’s all. Prospective parenthood can be anxiety ridden when one or both partners carry a genetic disorder in their DnA or advancing age puts children at risk for genetic abnormalities. if possible, most persons would choose not to ...
4. The Human Genome Project: Spin-Offs and Fallout
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...i firmly believe that the next great breakthrough in bioscience could come from a 15- year- old who downloads the human genome in egypt.The deciphered human genome is called by some the holy Grail for medi-cine and cell biology. Just what is a genome, and why is it important to learn about the human genome? in chapter 1 we saw that the combined ...
5. Human Diversity, Genes, and Medicine: Richness and Dangers
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We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even This chapter is about genes, human diversity, scientific correctness, health, and biomedical research. The word race is not in the chapter’s title because this book is about science and ethics, and the concept of race is both scien-...
6. Genetic Enhancement: Humankind Healing and Redesigning Itself
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We embrace technologies that tame and harness nature because we think they improve our lives, and we will accept or reject human ge-—Gregory stock, Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Futuremichelangelo did a wonderful thing when he sculpted the David (fig. 6.1). This single creation embodies the confidence, courage, and creative poten-...
7. Human Reproductive Cloning: Sameness, Uniqueness, and Personal Identity
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The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, trans-planted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plas-This chapter is about the prospect of generating genetic copies of preexist-ing human beings, reproductive cloning. it differs from therapeutic cloning (em-...
8. Age Retardation: Chasing Immortality for Better or Worse
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...one spring day, decades ago, my two best friends and i slowly walked the five blocks home from our grade school, where in a few weeks we would finish fifth grade. sixth grade brought uncertainties for our friendship be-cause we would enter junior high school, where there were three sixth- grade classes. We might become separated. mulling over the realities of ...
9. The Mind: Neuroenhancement and Neuroethics
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...’Twas the week before finals and all through the dorm, few students “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” wrote Professor Peter C. Doherty (2008), co- winner of the 1996 nobel Prize for Physiology or medicine, in an article about education in his native Australia.1 Borrowing the slogan of the United negro College fund, Doherty (2008) asked of his fellow Aus-...
10. Synthetic Biology: From Cocreator to Creator
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There is grandeur in this view of life. . . . [f]rom so simple a begin-ning endless forms most wonderful and most beautiful have been, and —Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection“Better Things for Better living . . . through Chemistry” (shortened to “Better living through Chemistry” by the 1960s drug culture) was Du-...
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...in an interview for a film titled The Origin of Species, from the Great Books series, evolutionary biologist and geneticist George Gaylord simpson ex-pressed feelings of reservation but also certainty about the eventual eu-genic use of human genetic engineering. his words express concern, the importance of knowledge, and inevitability about our future use of bio-...
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Cell and molecular biology, genomics, neuroscience, and the biotechnolo-gies emerging from these basic sciences advance at breakneck pace. min-utes after sitting down to write this section about keeping up with such rapidly developing technologies and what we can do about it, my wife walked into the room and asked, “Did you hear on nPr this morning about ...
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Page Count: 358
Illustrations: 45 illustrations
Publication Year: 2013