Re: Gene Therapy & Ethics (fwd)

Robert J. Bradbury (
Wed, 11 Aug 1999 14:21:40 -0700 (PDT)

Greg Stock promoted:
>Human Artificial Chromosome (HAC) to embyros to allow "activation"
>and/or insertion of genes at later life-points leads me to raise
>the following point.

HAC, what a great idea!!! Wish I had one.......

It is not limited to the germ line idea promoted by Greg/John. Several other groups have invented human artificial chromosomes and it will presumably be an area of much patent dispute should they ever become popular.

> Great points as usual Robert, I would tend to agree, maybe the HAC
> could have an autodestruct feature that could be triggered to
> eliminate itself in case the individual chooses to do so?

This *is* feasible, take a pill that activates a sequence that digests the "programable" HAC present in the germline. The fundamental dispute remains however -- should parents be allowed to engineer "in" the HAC before the child "opts in". Or should all potentially non-essential modifying genetic therapies be prevented before you can give informed consent???