Sunday, November 14, 2010

"I asked for a BLUE-EYED baby!"

Designer Babies?
Designer babies are babies whose genetic makeup have been artificially selected through the process of genetic engineering combined with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics.

This process was originally used to screen embryos for genetic diseases and select healthy embryos to decrease the chance of a baby being born with genetic disorders. There are many cases where this has been successful and inspiring. The case of Adam Nash could be used as an example. Adam Nash's embryo was selected because it did not contain Fanconi Anaemia, a disorder his sister suffered from . Adam became his sister's keeper doubling her chances of survival.

Left to right: Molly Nash (sister) and 4-week-old, Adam Nash

The IVF process has a high possibility of the woman dying during birth. Moreover, the baby may also be born with a low-birth weight and genetic defects.

Nowadays, this process enables a parent to choose up to gender, hair, eye and skin colour of their future child. Yet, these traits and modifications do not come free. They are extremely expensive!

Ethically these procedures are found wrong. Many believe they are being taken too far and abused. They were meant for medical purposes, but now are used for cosmetic purposes, too.

Society as we know it, is a difficult place to fit in. Imagine a person with a mental illness! Usually they are treated very differently from the average person. Thus, a baby who undergoes IVF to be cured from their illnesses would feel more welcomed into society because they will be no different from another. However, a “designer baby” who discovers they have undergone the process of IVF for cosmetic reasons will feel abandoned by parents and find it hard to be treated average due to their extraordinary intellectual ability and physical attributes.

Personally, I disagree with the idea of “designer babies.” First of all, a person's true beauty comes from the heart and all humans are created in the image of God, appearance shouldn't be stressed. Also, after reading My Sister's Keeper, a story about a young girl who was born to save her sister, it upset me to learn about a girl who did not get the chance to live. She was a “designer baby” that suffered. She had no freedom and wasn't shown the same amount of love her ill sister received, though all the times her sister was in the hospital, so was she. It's just that there are many eager donors that can help. In my opinion, it's just wrong.

Everyone is beautiful in their own and unique way.


Picture References:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

David Suzuki Foundation

"Our vision is that within a generation, everyone acts on the understanding that we are all interconnected and interdependent with nature."

The David Suzuki Foundation is a Canadian environmental organization co-founded by David Suzuki. It's dedicated to protect the diversity of nature and quality of life. The foundation works “with government, business and individuals to conserve our environment by providing science-based education, advocacy and policy work, and acting as a catalyst for the social change that today's situation demands” (David Suzuki Foundation). It focuses on four major causes.

Climate Change
Climate change is basically the results of global warming. Global warming is what happens when the insulating, life-protecting layer that is our atmosphere turns into a suffocating, heat-trapping blanket woven of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases” (David Suzuki Foundation). The effects of global warming are altered long-term weather patterns and a rise in the average global temperature. Moreover, global warming has already begun. However, there are ways to slow down the process of climate change, so that many after our generation can experience a better world. The foundation has on-going projects concerning this cause:
  • Trottier Energy Futures
  • Countdown to Copenhagen
  • Olympics
  • Play it Cool

Many human activities impact the health of all people. For example, some ingredients used in personal care products are actually industrial chemical, which obviously is harmful. Also, plastic water bottle use can lead to ovarian and breast cancer for women. Water from water bottles are more harmful than water from the tap. Water bottles are not only harmful to us, but also to the environment, as well. “The David Suzuki Foundation is promoting policies to bring Canadian environmental health standards up to par with the best in the world” (David Suzuki Foundation). The foundation has two projects focused on this matter:
  • What's Inside? That Counts
  • Go Pesticide Free

Many of our oceans are suffering from industrial fishing, oil spills, climate change and an infinite amount of pollution. Although, we may not see it, these things are occurring daily. For example, just recently an oil spill took place in the Gulf of Mexico, which was a disaster. The oil spill not only destroyed wildlife, but coastal communities, too. The foundation has organized projects, so that we can help protect and make a difference:
  • Healthy Oceans
  • Sustainable Seafood

Wildlife and Habitat
Human activities have caused disruptions in wildlife. Many animals have lost their habitats due to deforestation and human infrastructures. Also, climate change has an impact on wildlife as it causes widespread species extinction, changes the patterns of life on earth, migration and behaviour changes. All of these events can be changed and stopped. Protecting the natural creations in our world “is more than a moral responsibility; it has important consequences for human health and welfare” (David Suzuki Foundation). The foundation has projects concerning this cause, too:
  • Grizzly Bears
  • Habitat Matters

What You Can Do
We, as individuals can also partake in protecting our environment by making a few adjustments every now and then. They don't have to be big steps, but they can be small footprints. Any change we make can make a difference. Act positively!


Blogs I Commented On: