LIFE 1402 Unit 4 Discussion Questions

Unit 4

Discussion Question 2: Should all newborn babies be required to have genetic (DNA) testing to identify any and all future health issues? Explain. Who should have access to this information?

Answers: Every child should be genetically tested at the time of birth for future illnesses. Genetic tests produce very accurate results and a future illness can be avoided if necessary precautions are taken right from the very beginning. For example, if genetic testing reveals that a child has high risk of developing diabetes in future then parents can raise their child in a much more healthy manner by avoiding sugary food for him. This might even prevent development of diabetes or at least delay its occurrence. This kind of information is personal and it should only be available to the child’s doctor and parents.

Discussion Question 3: Should all expectant mothers be required to undergo amniocentesis or some type of testing to determine if the fetus/baby they carry has genetic defects? This is before birth during pregnancy, a little different than above. Justify your response.

Answer: No, this should not be a “must” for every pregnant woman. Everyone in this country has a right to determine how to live his life and no one should be given authority to take personal decisions for someone. It is a personal matter of a family. Even if the tests are conducted, I am sure that mothers would not want to waste the precious little baby they have been nourishing in their wombs for months. Moreover, a false report about a baby might ruin an innocent life or at least haunt the parents for years for a disease that their child is not even prone to.

Discussion Question 4: In some species of lizards the males have become unnecessary. The female produces her offspring through the process of cloning herself (her egg, her DNA and no fertilization). Would this be a good idea for other organisms also? Why, explain?


Discussion Question 4: The blood in a newborn’s umbilical cord is called”cord blood” and can be a rich source of stem cells that could be used in many ways perhaps to save you or your child’s life. (leukemia or other blood

disorders, grow human organs, rebuild the immune system after cancer treatment and maybe more ways in the future). This cord blood can be banked for a fee in a private blood bank for you and your family only, or cord blood donated to public banking is usually free if you donate to a national registry where others can access it.

Should this be required of all parents of newborns ………… to donate for the good of the public? If so who pays for the storage ………….. who gets the records …….. or has has access to the genetic profile?

Answer: In my opinion, some portion of the cord blood of a child should be reserved for the family and the rest of it should be stored in national registry for the good of the public. It is our moral responsibility to save a life if we have the power to do so. Turning away from such a responsibility just because you don’t want a minor dent on your freedom is a barbaric act. It should be made necessary for all parents and government should pay for the storage as parents are already paying a huge price big by donating this blood. Records and genetic profile should be reserved to the government and the family.

Discussion Question 5: Your choice, what do you want to comment on related to the lesson?

Answer: A topic which interested me was regarding genetic mutation. It was really fascinating to learn how a little mismatch of genes can change a person’s entire life. A microscopic thing called chromosome can cause detrimental damage. I know a person personally suffering from a chromosomal disorder which has impaired her hearing and learning capabilities. I also wish that a cure could be invented for these kinds of disorders but up till now we are helpless in the face of them. I hope mankind finds something which can help affected people in living a better life.

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