Category: Cloning, Embryo Research & Genetics

Why Everyone Should Oppose Surrogacy
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Why Everyone Should Oppose Surrogacy

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I am an outspoken critic of gestational surrogacy, in which the gestational mother carries a child to term for another person or couple. I have noticed that many people do not understand the stakes in this issue. Pro-life people think, “Gosh, surrogacy makes babies, how can that be bad?” Feminists think, “Gosh, surrogacy allows people […]

Fetal Tissue Research: What Really Works May Surprise You!
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Fetal Tissue Research: What Really Works May Surprise You!

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Once again the practice of using aborted preborn babies for their body parts and tissues has made the news. This time the reporting is based on a sickening congressional letter addressed to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and signed by 98 members of Congress. The letter references recent hearings conducted by the House Energy […]

The Biological Arms Race No One Can Win
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The Biological Arms Race No One Can Win

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I have been going to physical therapy a lot this past year. One kid has had two knee surgeries, another a shoulder injury, and my back has finally decided that having four kids wasn’t so good for it. I spend a good amount of time getting to know the people that work there. There is […]

Genetically Engineered Language: Propaganda Colors Public Perception
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Genetically Engineered Language: Propaganda Colors Public Perception

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A recent headline in the United Kingdom’s Independent shouts that the first genetically modified human embryos could be created in Britain in just a few weeks. The article by Steve Connor reported that scientists have submitted a proposal to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the government’s fertility regulatory body, asking to edit the genes of […]

U.S. Panel OKs Three-Parent Embryos with Sex Selection
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U.S. Panel OKs Three-Parent Embryos with Sex Selection

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Last week a committee of scientists and ethicists have recommended to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that they approve three-parent embryo techniques for use in IVF in the United States. The committee calls it mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT) because the goal is too “replace” defective mitochondria in woman with mitochondrial disease so they do […]

The Seductive Siren Song of Genetic Enhancement
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The Seductive Siren Song of Genetic Enhancement

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Two recent magazine covers together give us a glimpse of the possible future of humanity. They seem completely unrelated. Next to each other on a coffee table, most people would never make the connection. Yet they are inextricably linked, jointly warning us to take action before it’s too late. The first, which appeared on the […]

Modest but Meaningful Protection from Human Embryo Genetic Manipulation
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Modest but Meaningful Protection from Human Embryo Genetic Manipulation

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Genetically-manufactured babies, gene-manipulated human embryos, human-animal chimeras, human clones—all science fiction, right? No, these various types of laboratory-manufactured human embryos are already reality. Last spring, Chinese scientists announced they had experimented with genetic manipulation of human embryos, and scientists in the U.S. want to join in the experiments, also recently approved in law in the […]

It’s Time to Become Pro-Life 3.0
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It’s Time to Become Pro-Life 3.0

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For the last few years, scientists have been warning us that genetically modified children are just over the horizon. Rumors have been flying around that laboratories are already using a revolutionary new gene-editing technique called CRISPR to try to change the genes of human embryos. Advanced gene-editing techniques like CRISPR hold great promise for treating […]

Scientific Moral Regress
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Scientific Moral Regress

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More scientific progress? In the wake of news videos about slicing up and testing the remains of aborted babies, leave it to leading scientific researchers to continue to push the envelope.  The Hinxton group (a group of stem cell researchers, policy wonks, and bioethicists) is calling for reopening the debate over altering the DNA of […]

Science Run Amok
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Science Run Amok

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Sometimes reports impacting respect for the dignity of the human person appear to have been written by Rod Serling, creator of the 1950’s television series The Twilight Zone. For example, in China it is reported that scientists are editing the genomes of human embryos. The research has been roundly criticized by Marcy Darnovsky of the […]

The Law of Human Nature Still Exists
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The Law of Human Nature Still Exists

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Is there anything so wicked as a man trying to silence his conscience?  It is a willful act that happens in stages: Bit by bit, incident by incident, rationalization by rationalization, the voice of a man’s conscience can be stifled—that still small voice within him eventually becomes fainter, until his heart turns to stone and […]

Silence on Three-Parent Embryos is Deafening
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Silence on Three-Parent Embryos is Deafening

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I will be honest. I am tired. I am angry. I am frustrated. This is likely an uncharacteristically emotional post because, after nearly a decade of writing about biotechnology, I am uncharacteristically horrified. The UK has officially approved the creation of embryos with three genetic parents, and babies created with this technique are likely to […]

Four Things You Can Do To Help Stop the Creation of Genetically-Modified Kids
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Four Things You Can Do To Help Stop the Creation of Genetically-Modified Kids

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At a time when more and more people are becoming wary of generically-modified foods in their diet, the United Kingdom is poised to begin creating genetically-modified children with the genetic material of three people, two women and one man; a genetic combination that could not occur naturally.And the way the UK goes, the United States […]

A New Year's Resolution for You
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A New Year’s Resolution for You

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New Year’s Resolutions tend towards the personal: lose weight, take up a hobby, spend more time with the family, get up earlier, read great books, etc. But this new year I beg people to take some time to learn more about bioethics. The stakes are high. Our definitions of life, death, and human dignity are […]

The Future of Reproduction
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The Future of Reproduction

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Last week the New America Foundation hosted a conference on “The Future of Reproduction” in Washington, D.C. Despite a few exceptions, the event was pretty much one large cheerleading session in praise of reproductive technology. A few highlights: Dan Kois, co-Host of “Mom and Dad Are Fighting,” Slate’s parenting podcast, offered praise of preimplantation genetic […]

The Contending Opinions on Three-Parent Embryo Safety, Part I
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The Contending Opinions on Three-Parent Embryo Safety, Part I

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In our long stride toward the inevitable designer babies, the first manipulation has been the noble goal of creating babies free of the mitochondrial diseases carried by their mothers. This series will examine the issue rather thoroughly in four basic segments: 1. The basic cell biology involved. 2. The problem of defective mitochondria. 3. The […]

Today's Three-Parent Kids Are Not the Same As Tomorrow's Three-Parent Kids
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Today’s Three-Parent Kids Are Not the Same As Tomorrow’s Three-Parent Kids

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Many people are not aware that there are already about two dozen kids in the United States that have been genetically modified. A recent headline exclaims that “The World’s First Genetically Modified Babies Will Graduate High School This Year.” This is true.Nearly 2 decades ago, Dr. Jacques Cohen of the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and […]

Divergent Trilogy Tackles Genetic Engineering and Genetic Discrimination
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Divergent Trilogy Tackles Genetic Engineering and Genetic Discrimination

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Warning! Spoilers Ahead!! Divergent is the latest of the teen dystopian future trilogies to hit the big screen. I have read all three books, Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant. Is it not my favorite trilogy in this growing genre, but I know that teens everywhere love it. I do appreciate that Veronica Roth has tackled some […]

Musings of a Former Zygote
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Musings of a Former Zygote

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I am a former zygote. If you are not familiar with biology terminology, a zygote is the first cell that results when gametes (sperm and egg) fuse in sexual reproduction. I teach biology to homeschool students and we discover that many organisms begin as zygotes. Any organism that reproduces sexually starts as a zygote. Humans […]

If We Do Nothing, They Will Clone
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If We Do Nothing, They Will Clone

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Human cloning is here. After years of effort, scientists manufactured human life using the same process that created Dolly the sheep. There is no way around it: The age of human cloning is here—unless we act now to prevent it. Why outlaw human cloning? As the United Nations General Assembly decided in a nearly 3-1 […]

Asexual Human Reproduction
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Asexual Human Reproduction

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Today the phrase “from the beginning of his/her biological development” accurately defines when the life of an individual human being begins to exist; the terms “conception” or “fertilization” do not. We have learned this is so because the fact is that not all human beings begin through sexual means; some are reproduced asexually. This concept […]

Our Risen Lord Gives us Strength to Build a Culture of Life
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Our Risen Lord Gives us Strength to Build a Culture of Life

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If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? (Romans 8:31) This exhortation by Saint Paul vividly expresses the full extent of the love of God the Father and […]

Down Syndrome Discovery Has Implications for Human Genetic Engineering
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Down Syndrome Discovery Has Implications for Human Genetic Engineering

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The 21st human chromosome is the smallest of all our chromosomes. It contains a few hundred genes and is only 1% of our total DNA. As most people know, an extra chromosome 21 causes Down Syndrome. What most people did not know, until research published this week, is that tiny chromosome has an effect across […]

Building the Culture John XXII and John Paul II Envisioned
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Building the Culture John XXII and John Paul II Envisioned

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This Sunday, Pope Francis will proclaim Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II Saints. He personally chose the date to coincide with Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast inaugurated by John Paul II in 2000. It was on the eve of this feast on April 2, 2005 that John Paul II gave up his spirit […]

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