Eugenics And Alzheimer's Disease

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Eugenics, or the “study of the genetic and prenatal influences that affect expression of certain characteristics in offspring.” (Ludman) Originally, eugenics was the study of selective breeding to improve the gene pool. Modern eugenics is based in studying, and perhaps someday altering, the genetic code to improve quality of life for all, specifically to have children born free of disease. “The emphasis is on the control of the genetic properties of future offspring.”(Epstein) What if all those hereditary diseases that run in your family could be a significantly lower concern for your children?
Henry Kermes, affectionately referred to as “Hank” by his wife and friends, “Pop Pop” by his grandchildren, was in his seventies when he passed, embittered
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Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental triggers, and there is no guarantee that each child or grandchild will suffer from it. Crohn’s Disease is said to “cluster” in families, and “having an affected family is a significant risk factor for the disease.”(Cassell) So, we can assert that the genetic risk factor rises for the children of the Crohn’s Disease patient. Alzheimer’s, again, is a disease in which “genes that may affect a person’s genetic predisposition for developing Alzheimer’s disease, though developing the disease is an interaction among environmental factors…” (“Alzheimer …show more content…
Now, with the technology and medication that we have, life spans of the elderly and the ill have drastically improved. What if we could do away with the concern that these diseases bring us?
Modern eugenics is largely tied to reproductive rights and prenatal testing. While still in the womb, a mother can test her fetus for diseases, and make an informed decision based off of that knowledge. It could go so far as what people call “designer babies,” which are “babies originated from embryos created by in-vitro fertilization (IVF).” (Pang) In short, you could select which traits and genes the baby carries in an attempt to further influence what traits the child would have as they grew up.
Of course you could go too far down that route, customizing your child to the letter as our knowledge advances. It would be better to limit it to preventing inherited diseases and genetic defects, by utilizing recent gene editing tools by “active removal of disease gene[s] from carrier embryos.”(Pang) There are two ways to go about this: Mitochondria DNA replacement therapy, and Genome editing

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