BioTalk

A Pro-Life Podcast


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BioBytes

• A 64 year old Chinese woman had twins through IVF in 2010. She holds the record as the oldest mother in China, having given birth at 60.

• T Maureen L. Condic explains why reprogrammed cells are not the same as embryos. Namely, they lack the ability to complete an organized development. In other words, if they were to be placed in a womb, such stem cells would create tumors, not a fetus.

• Jessica Cussins writes at the Center for Genetics and Society about the “cultural relevance” of the new Johnny Depp movie Transcendence. It’s ambiguity, she says, makes the subject matter compelling and may be what the movie gets “absolutely right” about the real-world tension created by radical biotechnologies.

• Speaking of Transcendence, if you missed it, be sure to check out the latest episode of BioTalk for more transhumanist images in popular movies and television shows. If nothing else, they help generate a conversation worth having.

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BioBytes

• A British woman is suing the American couple she agreed to become a surrogate for after they allegedly backed out of the deal because she is carrying twins. The couple only wanted one child and demanded that she abort one of the fetuses She refused and wants to put the twins up for adoption.

• The International Medical Travel Journal reports that Cancun is attracting attention as a hot destination for the discerning international fertility tourist – seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and surrogacy services.

• The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, famous for cloning “Dolly” the sheep, lost a bid to get a US patent protection on their cloned animal. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that, instead of being a “product of human ingenuity,” Dolly and other cloned animals like her are just genetic copies of naturally occurring beings.

• Twin births are on the rise in the United States. Now, one out of every 30 babies born is a twin. This increase is largely due to an increase in infertility treatments like in-vitro fertilization and “ovulation stimulation medications.”

• BioEdge reports on the intensifying debate over “moral bioenhancement.” A special issue of the American Journal of Bioethics last month explores the benefits and dangers of Persson and Savulescu’s 2013 publication Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement.


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BioTalk, Episode 9: Transhumanism in Popular Culture

Transhumanist ideas are often spread in notable science/tech journals, magazines and even some conferences. And today’s rapidly-progressing technological world is making their goals more and more plausible.

However, as Rebecca put it recently, “To grease the wheels of the transhumanist technological utopia it will take getting a generation on board with radically changing the nature of humanity.”

That’s where the world of popular entertainment comes in.

bio9

In this episode of BioTalk we discuss how transhumanism is portrayed in some recent movies and television shows.

What we see is a mixed bag. Some seem to take the subject more seriously, showing the negative consequences of trying to enhance the human race beyond our nature. For others, the radical altering of an otherwise healthy human body is not only largely unquestioned, it’s sometimes portrayed as an act of patriotism.

However its portrayed, for good or for ill, we should use these forms of entertainment as an opportunity to have a serious conversation about our transhumanist future. Especially now such a future is not as far fetched as we once thought it was.

This has been a recurring theme in Rebecca’s writing lately. A few examples:

TV Show Intelligence: Patriotic Transhumanist Propaganda
Transhumanist Children’s Book Says “Death is Enemy of Us All”
Why I am not a fan of Captain America
New Disney Show Pushing Transhumanism
E. Christian Brugger on Transhumanism and Captain America


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BioBytes

• Researchers have discovered that instead of simply being an extra copy of each of the genes on chromosome 21, trisomy 21 has an effect on the expression of genes on other chromosomes. Rebecca Taylor observes how this new discovery has implications for the future of human genetic engineering.

• Judie Brown explains why personhood described as being “from the moment of conception” no longer applies to every human being thanks to modern reproductive technology.

• A new app-controlled device for people with hearing loss also improves normal hearing and conjures “images of a bionic future”.


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BioTalk, Episode 8: Genetic Modification — Bad for Cows and Corn, but Okay for Humans?

So, milk from a cloned cow is unnatural and unsafe, but injecting a human being with stem cells from their own (dead) clone is positive scientific progress?

What’s with society’s split personality when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Why are we going to great lengths to regulate and raise awareness about the use of GMO in our food supply, while largely ignoring the genetic modification of human beings?

Rebecca Taylor and Chelsea Zimmerman discuss in the latest episode of BioTalk!

See also:
Genetic Modification: Bad for Cows and Corn, but Okay for Humans?
Genetically Modified Food: Bad; Genetically Modified Humans: Good


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BioTalk, Episode 7: Is IVF Really Good for the Children?

After 35 years, IVF is still a vast experiment. An experiment on children, millions of whom pay for it with their lives. Even those who are lucky enough to have survived the process are paying for it in other ways: By having agreater risk of developing birth defects or spending their lives desperate to know where they came from, who they look like, whether they have any biological siblings and sometimes even why they’ve developed some genetic disease because they’ve had half of their identity deliberately withheld from them.

In the latest episode of BioTalk in which Rebecca Taylor and Chelsea Zimmerman discuss the ironic legacy of IVF: that couples are so desperate for a child to love and yet concern what’s good and right for the child himself is actually put last.

Related:
What Are the Rights of Donor-Conceived People?
Anonymous Father’s Day
Anonymous Us

 


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BioTalk, Episode 6: Good News About Down Syndrome

DownSyndromeJoy.jpg

In recent years, modern academics have managed to recast “eugenics” as a positive term, distinguishing their vision from past government-mandated eugenics policies. The emphasis now is on “selective reproduction” and the parents’ “choice” to decide what kind of child they want to have. The result has been a search and destroy mission to wipe people with Down syndrome off of the planet through eugenic abortion. And it has taken so much love and joy out of the world.

In the latest episode of BioTalk, Rebecca Taylor and Chelsea Zimmerman “raise awareness” about the good news about Down syndrome. Not only is life with Ds not as bleak as most parents are told when their child is prenatally diagnosed, but scientists are making significant advancements in the treatment some of the more serious side-effects of the disorder.

Links:
Extra Chromosome Silenced in Down Syndrome Cells
Mom: “Down Syndrome Research, Hope for My Daughter”

Be Not Afraid
Jérôme Lejeune Foundation USA

Awesome image via: Kerri Liles Photography