A Terrible Beauty is Born: Clones, Genes and the Future of by Brendan Curran

By Brendan Curran

Genetics and its comparable applied sciences are revolutionizing the area. The media is often ruled by means of controversy over the most recent genetically changed (GM) meals, human gene remedy or melanoma chip know-how. Maverick scientists are within the technique of cloning people, and the human genome series is out there on the web. Fifty years in the past we didn't understand what a gene was once; at the present time the impressive strength of genetics is being published on an unsuspecting public, and with it an entire sequence of moral dilemmas undreamt of even ten years in the past. The query now has develop into no longer "can we?" yet "should we?" through demystifying genetic engineering and exploring the elemental biology of the residing international, A negative attractiveness is Born explains how clones and cloning expertise are in lots of methods extensions of approaches that ensue always in nature. Used properly those techniques have the capability to convey huge, immense merits; abused, they bring about with them power risks that we forget about at our peril.

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4 Even the urine of smokers contain chemicals that damage DNA. range of cancers by adopting a healthy diet and practising some common sense with regard to sunbathing – but overwhelmingly by avoiding exposure to cigarette smoke. Genes and the brain If, because of the complex interactions between scores of proteins and environmental factors, genetics has difficulty in predicting the appearance of cancer, the inheritance patterns of brain function/dysfunction are even more impenetrable. It is conservatively estimated that more than 20,000 genes are involved in the development and maintenance of the human brain and that there are 100,000,000,000 individual brain cells.

Copyright 2003 Taylor & Francis What is it about the nucleus? 10 (a) Cells containing two copies of the ‘normal’ gene produce functional protein. (b) Cells containing two copies of the ‘mutant’ gene produce dysfunctional protein which frequently manifests as a cellular pathology. (c) Cells containing one copy of each produce both functional and dysfunctional protein which can produce normal, partially affected or abnormal cells depending on the protein. Mutations and defective proteins A comparison of the base sequence of the gene responsible for the assembly of haemoglobin from an individual suffering from sickle cell anaemia with the same gene segment from an unaffected individual reveals a very minor change in the DNA sequence.

In its absence, these rays in sunlight cause DNA damage much more often than the repair system can accommodate. As a result, mutations are generated, some of which induce oncogenes and subsequently trigger the development of a skin cancer. Tobacco smoke Tobacco smoke is an even more potent source of mutagens. There are over 6,800 different chemicals in tobacco smoke and several of them cause mutations. Thus, the prolonged exposure of lung tissue to smoke causes the accumulation of oncogene mutations and the eventual onset of lung cancer.

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