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The Bio-ethics. In this presentation…… Part 1 – Bio-ethical Issues Part 2 – Bio-chemical Warfare Part 3 – Patenting Problems Part 4 – Bio-sciences & IPR.

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Presentation on theme: "The Bio-ethics. In this presentation…… Part 1 – Bio-ethical Issues Part 2 – Bio-chemical Warfare Part 3 – Patenting Problems Part 4 – Bio-sciences & IPR."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Bio-ethics

2 In this presentation…… Part 1 – Bio-ethical Issues Part 2 – Bio-chemical Warfare Part 3 – Patenting Problems Part 4 – Bio-sciences & IPR Part 5 – Future – Dark or Bright

3 Part 1 Bio-ethical Issues

4 Genetics and ethics The release of individual genomic sequences could raise a number of ethical issues such as –Maintaining the confidentiality of genetic code –Insurance of individuals may be difficult –Employment avenues could get bleak –Selecting a life partner could be cumbersome

5 Problems with introduction of new technologies Patenting Intellectual property rights Human psychology

6 To do or not to do??… One nucleotide mistake in the 8000 pairs in a gene can cause cancer such as BRCA1 Pre-plantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a technique wherein the genetic disease acquired from either parent could be detected much before the embryonic development takes place in the mother’s womb Whether to permit such diagnosis in future or not remains a big question as this could lead to production of test tube babies and clones in mass scale

7 People are divided on many issues Right to screen the embryo – genetically? Genetics should be only for medical purposes? When fertilization is done on petri dish through IVF then why not cloning? Should stem cell research that provides lot of relief to patients (but can be catalytic for artificial organ development) be banned?

8 Designer babies and architect parents Does the concept of designer babies seems logical? This could lead to designer babies and instantly parents would become architects Producing kids would become a commercial activity having more of “engineered” processes Presently, people strongly disagree to this Should we design children just as we design/customize cars and houses? Shouldn’t we leave to God to decide for Himself??

9 Cloning The process of putting nucleus taken from any cell of body into an embryonic/egg cell This is followed by a charged shock that joins the two (nucleus containing the genetic material and the nucleus in the egg) Thereafter, cells starts multiplying through cell division, by mitosis, automatically Dolly, the sheep, is the first ever clone, died prematurely Cloning can leave a number of ethical questions unanswered in the 21st century

10 The West argued, the Africans died The cloning scenario is only highlight of a world wide debate about genetic engineering of animals, vegetables and every thing except minerals With religion, green fanaticism and trade interests getting involved, facts are hard to separate from agendas The real biotech tragedy of 2002: Starvation deaths in Zambia – because of an US-EU row over providing biotech (cloned) corn for famine relief

11 Part 2 Bio-chemical Warfare

12 Biological warfare weapons Anthrax –Cutaneous –Inhalation –Intestinal Smallpox Botulinum toxin Bubonic plague

13 Chemical warfare weapons Nerve gas agents –Sarin –Tabun –VX gas Blistering agents –Lewsite gas –Mustard gas Choking agents –Chlorine –Phosgene

14 Effects of bio-chemical warfare Respiratory failure Muscle contraction Paralysis Skin blisters and burns Choking and cough leading to death Formation of painless ulcers Seizures Abdominal pains, severe diarrhoea Vomiting with blood Rashes and boils Flu like fever Blurred double vision Nausea Fever, loss of appetite, vomiting

15 Part 3 Patenting Problems

16 Issues with patenting New localized law based on the acceptance of society/nation as well as the Govt. Global scenario to be kept in view Absurd ideas, techniques and material often obtain patents without difficulty –Patenting of BRCA1 (breast cancer) gene –Neem and neem based products –Basmati rice

17 Patent what?? Patenting cosmetics, drugs, technology, etc. is acceptable everywhere but not of diseases, genes, air, water, etc. Especially the concept of patenting gene sequences is raising eyebrows as it is an absurd idea but a number of researchers and drug companies are doing it

18 Patenting in EU The EU Biotech Directive The French Bioethics Bill

19 Part 4 Bio-sciences & IPR issues

20 Patent vs. IPR The issue of patenting and that of intellectual property rights should not be intermingled together, though both have a greater degree of overlapping meaning

21 Some right some wrong (kabhi ha kabni na) The fight will always go on – should the technology and ideas be protected under IPR or patenting Some decisions will prove to be correct and will be acceptable, whereas some will not be accepted; as happens with the introduction of every new technology or concept Recall history of computers, space technology, cloning, etc. for more information

22 Part 5 Genetically Modified Crops

23 Genetically modified cotton Genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton contains “Cry 1 Ac” gene Higher number of bolls, reduced number of sprays for control of bollworms and higher yields harvested so far Bt cotton is grown in Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP, AP, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

24 Genetically modified mustard If approved, Indian mustard will be the first genetically-modified edible crop in India Packaging and labeling as per International standards is impossible in India since –Mustard leaves are sold as vegetables at every street corner –90 percent of mustard oil is old loose in the country –Labeling and packaging will increase cost

25 How safe are the GM crops? Critics say that inserting genes into plants is a new science and may have unforeseen side-effects on a plant’s biochemistry, such as destroying its natural qualities and creating natural imbalances Cross pollination between GM crops and nature cause unwanted outcome It will also lead to creation of super-weeds, which will be resistant to herbicides

26 Do we really need them? Contamination of environment Multinationals will hold monopoly on hybrid seeds in the future Farmers will be forced to buy new seeds from big corporations every year Even GM fodder/animal feed is in market

27 Terminator seeds Seeds that do not germinate, which means they cannot be saved and planted again Hybrid seeds function almost the same way

28 Gene jumping It can result in transfer of genetically induced traits of one organism to related species like tomato, cabbage, radish, cauliflower Genetically engineered or modified plants contain genes taken from bacteria, virus, other plants or animals Examples –Corn + scorpionSoyabean + cow –Tomato + pig virusStrawberry + fish –Cabbage + ratRice + human

29 Part 6 Future – Dark or Bright

30 What to do next… Present day focus is mainly on life style drugs and diseases like can cancer, AIDS, diabetes, etc. There are numerous other areas and diseases waiting to be explored Diabetes, cancer and heart disease has remained the biggest concerned of 20th century and a greatest challenge for 21st century

31 What is coming in near future… Development of specific organs such as eyes, heart, kidney, etc. is already around the corner and “spare organs” would be available in about 5-6 years time The human cloning activity is under process and very soon we may hear about its success, on lines similar to Dolly, the sheep

32 Future bio-computing or bioinformatics Highly sophisticated software for –Mining genetic data of numerous species –Efficient analysis tools Massive servers and cluster computers (clusters of 1000 and above computers) High performance standalone computers Massive storage devices (of the order of hundreds of TB)

33 Behold! The future is… Very soon a newly born baby shall be discharged from the hospital with a CD containing the DNA sequence for the entire genome It would become possible to detect genetic disorders at any stage of life and checked whether they have any hereditary links or not It is sure to find these concepts realized but it may take some time to bring them to reality In another years, people would be able to see and browse through their genomic sequence

34 Future risks Difficulty in maintaining the confidentiality of genetic code as there would be lot of problems with publicly available DNA sequences of individuals Insurance companies may ask for this “unique” code or at least a clear analysis report hereafter Employment avenues may become much bleak if the code contains any damage, as resumes may contain a clear analysis report Physically and mentally impaired persons may find it extremely difficult to function in a high competitive “engineering” environment

35 Future risks Imparting and pursuing education would grow more difficult with bio-sciences and genomic sciences occupying compulsory position in the curriculum Genetic based racism would increase due to the ability to cluster the people on the basis of genomic data Bio-terrorism will also have a new chapter added to it in the form of genomic terrorism wherein it would be possible to manipulate with others genetic data or actual genes

36 Future risks Selecting a life partner could be cumbersome as it would become possible to compare the sequences before marriage and properties of likes-dislikes could be easily established Many states have already made matrimonial registration mandatory, which includes a HIV/AIDS clearance certificate of both partners

37 Scientific work bring forward both good and bad issues. They have to be dealt with by everyone keeping in view other dimensions such as logical, ethical and legal

38 It is a fact that… Till some stability is obtained, we have to take risks, only then we would know of the outcome; or else how do we know about the outcome or how do the field grow As long as it is not known as to what gene will do what, all medical treatments can not be assured

39 But still… Elders say that the future is perfect!!!


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