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Genetics Issues of IVF screening pre-selection genetic testing cloning and the social implications James Watson once said We used to think that our fate was in our stars Now we know that in large measure our fate is in our Genes Jaroff 1998On June 26th 2000 The Human Genome Project will unveil its rough draft mapping of the deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequences within the human chromosomes genetic code to the public The project has been ongoing since the late eighties and is a huge international exercise which has so far cost approximately 3 billion dollars The final draft is expected to be complete by the year 2003 and the assumption is that it will have a massive impact on the path of human evolution Hamilton 1998 Although we like to think that we are much more than the sum of our genes our genes in large measure determine our abilities our preferences and our emotions Berkowitz 1996 This essay will look at the contemporary issue of genetics it will examine its role in Assisted Reproductive Technology ART and how it is utilised for screening purposes in both in vitro fertilisation IVF and the diagnosis of disease This essay will also discuss the ethical issues of sexgender pre-selection cloning and the use of genetic testing for social purposes These issues may have an enormous impact on whole families and the future of our children Appleyard 1999 suggests that any forecast of the future must make one of two assumptions either we manage this deeper genetic knowledge wisely or we do not In the first case we can be reasonably optimistic In the second case there need be no limit to our pessimismGenetics is a science and the scientists are both influencing and influenced by contemporary culture Therefore the issues of genetics are framed in a response to current medical social and political concerns Nature has provided humankind with a way of reproduction since humans walked the
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