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In the recent years one of the areas of science which is developed significantly is Genetic engineering. The main purpose of this field is to understand the inheritance patterns in human beings, animals and plants. Scientists who are working in this field are involved with some investigations and methods of treatment of infertility. For instance Invitro fertilization can be mentioned as one of the common methods of treatment infertility in the recent years. There are some related topics in this field which are link together such as cloning in animals and humans, genetic screening, gene therapy and gene transformation among different species. Each one of these parts which are mentioned has its own processes and ethics. Generally some people are against these kinds of gene manipulation, whereas the other people are for these methods. In general there are different ideas about the future of this new technology and it needs more investigations.
One of the methods of treating infertility among women is Inviter fertilization or I.V.F. This process can be defined as combining sperm and the egg outside the womb of the woman in a test tube and finally transfer the produced cell which is zygote to the uterus in proper time. Sometimes they patients prefer to frozen the zygote and keep it for the future. Generally the women with the problems of their fallopian tubes, unexplained infertility or disease which cause infertility on them are the cases of I.V.F treatment. The process has four main stages which are prescribing medication, gathering the eggs, fertilization outside the body and finally transfer the embryo into the uterus. At the first stage the physicians are using some drugs such as hormonal drugs to stimulate the production of follicles which may contain the egg. The follicles are the sacs in ovary which are contain of eggs. After some days the patient must return to the clinic for blood testing and also sonography to measure the number and size of follicles. The second stage is the process of releasing egg from follicles which may be under anaesthesia. After removing the egg from the ovary of woman they will mix the mature egg and the sperm which is donated in tubes or Petri dishes. After some days the result of combining of sperm and egg which is a number of cells which are calling embryoblast are transferring to the uterus of the women without any anaesthesia. During the whole process of I.V.F all patients are using some antibiotics to prevent from any infectious diseases. After inserting the embryoblast in the uterus the patient have a regular test such as sonography to make sure about its procedure. However in some cases after this process the patient is unsuccessful for being pregnant.( http://www.integramed.com/inmdweb/content/cons/art.jsp).
In the recent years I.V.F has become fairly a routine method, however many people believe that it can be a kind of shortcut for being pregnant. Although some scientists believe in this idea that I.V.F method is not completely a safe method and people should be really cautious about making a decision for being pregnant through this way. Because scientists have found some complications for babies during pregnancy of the woman who become pregnant by I.V.F method. Generally scientists are optimistic about this method, although they have some concerns.( http://www.bionews.org.uk/page_38009.asp)
One of the controversial subjects about I.V.F is the topic of ethics in this field. In general there are different arguments about ethical issues; however based on job and ideas of different people they have different ideas. For instance pop Benedict XVI believes in this idea that the baby should be generate not to be produced. On the other hand UK MPs have stated that it is an end to the right of fertility. Many people believe in this idea this not only is beneficial for infertile people but also can be a good treatment for the women and it does not have any effect on religious ideas. (http://www.ivf.net/ivf/ivf_ethics-o2120.html)
Scientists are optimistic about the future of I.V.F application. For instance they have predicted in the near future transfer of the sexed embryos, cloning, improvement in genetic engineering, transplantation of the embryonic cells and tissues. For instance in the future they can biopsy one or two cells from matured embryo without any problems for the embryo. (http://www.brown.edu/Courses/BI0032/IVF/future.html)
Artificial insemination can be defined as placement of sperm from a male into the women reproductive tract. Due to placement of sperm the women will become pregnant. There are different kinds of artificial insemination such as IUI(Intrauterine insemination),IVI(Intravaginal insemination),ICI(intracervical insemination),ITI(Intartubal insemination).However among these four kinds of artificial insemination methods IUI is the most common among women and also it seems it is much more successful in comparison to the other methods. Through this method the physician is transferring washed sperm into the uterus. This method is mostly used when the male partner has some disorder in his semen fluid such as low count of sperm. In some cases when the women uterus mucus is less than the normal they use IUI treatment for fertility. This method is much cheaper than I.V.F and it does not need to use drug during treatment cycle. The collected sperm will wash and transfer through a tube to cervix of the women. The other method of artificial insemination is IVI. This method is mostly use when the female partner has no infertility and the male is donor. It is advised to insert the washed sperm very closely to the cervix to increase the rate of success. It's not a really common method just in cases of home insemination treatments for males.ICI which is mentioned before is the method of inserting sperm directly into the cervix. Doctors are using needle syringe for transforming sperm. In this method if they prefer to increase the success rate of fertility they will pre wash the sperms. ITI which is the last kind of artificial insemination can be mentioned as the less common infertility treatment. Because it has some main issues such as risk of trauma of infectious diseases. Trauma can be defined as a serious injury or distress. In this method doctors are place the pre-washed sperm directly into fallopian tube through the cervix. For transferring the sperm they use special catheter that goes through cervix and then fallopian tube. Due to higher expense and low rate of success it's not mostly suggested by physicians. The ethical issues related to artificial insemination is a complex area study of ethics in science. It has different aspects such as philosophy, moral and legal aspect. A group of people believe in this idea that it would be really useful to use this method to decrease the infertility even the women use the sperm sample from their dead body of their husband. For instance in 1978 a baby whose name was Louise Brown was born by this method. Anna Smajdor believe in this idea that it is such a complex area of study and we can give a definitive answer because different people have different ideas, different emotions, therefore it's not definitive. In the next few years the number of people who are using artificial insemination might be increase. For instance the female homosexual couples (Lesbians) who are looking for fertility prefer this method.
The other kind of being pregnant is embryo transplantation. This method is mostly use for the women who have uterus problems or disorders. Due to the uterus disorders the uterus does not have the ability of fertility therefore it will cause foetus abortion. In this process a fertile egg through invitro fertilization method will transfer to the recipient. This technique is really common among animals these days; however the biologists are having investigations on this method among human beings. In the process of embryo transplantation the doctor transfer the fertile egg through a thin tube into the vagina and then cervix. In some cases doctors prefer to use more than one fertile egg to increase the rate of success. During the transferring usually they use ultrasound guidance to pass the fertile egg in to the uterus and make sure it has stick to the uterus wall. Embryo transplantation and IVF and artificial insemination are also using in animals with the same processes. For instance they use these techniques among sheeps, horses to increase breeding among animal. The main purpose of embryo transplantation among animals is to increase the rate of high quality animals. Scientists are really optimistic about the future of embryo transplantation because they believe in this idea that they will decrease the rate of infertility among women with uterus problems. In the near future this method will be most common because nowadays it is not really common and also it would be extremely helpful for the women who had frozen their egg to become pregnant in older age and after invitro fertilization they can transfer fertile egg into the uterus of women. Again in this process the same as invitro fertilization most people have some concerns about emotional aspects and specially the people who are religious cannot cope with this method are hardly cope. Generally there are five topics as criteria for ethical assessment among people. Welfare of a child, single embryo transfer, the rise of audit, managing mistakes and embryo viability test. Most people are suspicious about ethical issues, however most of them believe in this idea that single embryo transfer is the most logical way and it was one of the most controversial topics among these five topics.
From the beginning of biotechnology researching in 1970 there was a lot of improvement in different aspects of life. For instance improvement of food quality, health improvement and agriculture improvement. However researchers are not only researching in this field some of them having different ideas about this new technology. Due to that the topic of patent of DNA started after that. DNA patenting can be defined as a kind of protection this science for not using this method and science in commercial interests and intellectual property rights. The aim of patenting is to develope the methods for different purposes such as improvement in health sciences in many countries or other aspects of findings in DNA technology, but without having the right of using it as a commercial interests or intellectual property right. There is different argument against patenting DNA these days in philosophical and religious aspects; however the scientists cannot prove anything to the people because there are a lot of topics in this field to be proven. For example cloning of animals or generally transgenic animals have been created but still there is no evidence to prove that about its effect on people and its future, therefore we cannot totally prove patenting DNA is against the religious ideas or philosophical ideas. It can be mentioned that in some countries there was some protests against DNA technology and improvements. Even cloning of human beings was one of the main topics from the aspect of patenting DNA but still scientists prefer not to give arguments because they cannot prove whether they are in a right pathway or wrong pathway. "The rules on granting patents for human genes should be much tighter, says a leading panel of UK bioethicists". Some people believe in this idea that DNA patenting rules should be much tighter, whereas others are for this kind of patenting.
One of the controversial parts of gene manipulation and gene technology is cloning process. Cloning can be defined as a process in which through some laboratory work the scientists are creating an organism from a single cell which is identical copy of original. Animal cloning process has three main steps. In the first step which is nuclear transfer the genetic information of the animal cell will transfer to the egg of that specific species animal egg. Therefore the genetic information of the egg is supplanted with the genetic information of that animal to be cloned. The next stage is the stimulation for cell division process. In this stage the egg has been transplantated which has all information from the object to be cloned. At this stage they are using some chemicals or electric current to stimulate the cell division in a cloned object. The last step is to transfer the embryo into the uterus of the host. Finally after transplanting the product in to the host uterus the normal process of breeding embryo in the uterus will occur. The process of cloning in human process is as the same as in animals. This method of cloning is reproductive cloning.( http://www.buzzle.com/articles/human-cloning/)
There are other kinds of cloning such as embryo cloning and therapeutic cloning or biomedical cloning. The embryo cloning has some differences from reproductive cloning. In this process scientists are creating monozygotic twins or triplets. In this process one or two cells are removing from the embryo which is fertilized and then after that the embryo through some processes will develope to duplicate embryos. In the therapeutic cloning has a little different process because in this process the stem cells are removing from the pre-embryo and after the process the pre-embryo will die. The purpose of therapeutic cloning is to produce the healthy tissue of the person or animal. http://www.religioustolerance.org/cloning.htm
The main purpose of cloning in future is to have a research on transgenic animals such as mouse and also breed some animals through this method. And also they are looking for a way of treatment among human beings by this method. For example creating the tissues which are destroyed such as nerve cells. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988390
There are many controversial arguments against doing cloning, because most people are against cloning and they have gave many suggestions to united nation or European union to cease this process. On the other hand some people believe in this idea that It would be useful if scientists do some research on animal cloning. Because the people believe in this idea that we cannot interpret to the god creature and they have some religious ideas.
Genetic screening can be defined as a process of analyzing the skin of blood tissue of a person through some genetic methods and identify specific genotype. There are two types of genetic screening namely presymptomatic screening and carrier screening. In the first group they are looking for genes which are harmful for the people, but in the second group each individual is healthy but unfortunately that person is the carrier of that genetic disease, therefore they are looking for some ways for preventing these genes to the off-springs which has bad effects on off-springs. There different methods of DNA screening such as DNA base testing which in this process they are analyzing the sequence of gene.Karyotype analysis is another type of genetic screening which is really common in the recent years to identify the genetic disease especially in foetus before it born.
There are different ideas about genetic screening but the main point is most people are really eager to have genetic screening during their pregnancies or before they got pregnant. Jacob Appel one of the biotechnologists believe in this idea that genetic screening should be mandatory for all people. But still there are some people are against this method because of religious ideas. http://scienceblogs.com/geneticfuture/2009/03/embryo_screening_should_be_man.php?utm_source=sbhomepage&utm_medium=link&utm_content=channellink
Some scientists are looking for new methods of genetic screening and new analyzing kits and also they want to encourage people to have these kinds of tests before being pregnant. The best thing about this method is in the future the risk of genetic disease will decrease by this method if people initiate to accept and do these tests.
Gene therapy is field of genetic enginnering which are looking for the genes which cause disease and to find a solution to treatment them but sometimes they are not going for treatment,but they are looking for some prevention methods to decrease the genetic diseases.The main process of gene therapy is on three basic purposes. Replacing the gene which is mutated by a healthy gene,Inactivating or knoking out the gene which is mutated or is not working properly and finally transfer a gene to the cells of the body or introduce them to help for fighting the diseas.In gene therapy process scientists are using some vectors to transfer the healthy DNA which should be replaced by the gene of specific diseases.The most common vectors are viruses.the function of viruses is to transfer the gene into the human cells.On the other hand we have non viral vectors which are doing the same process as viral vectors.These vectors are mostly some kind of specific molecules that doing the same function as viral vectors. http://www.genetherapynet.com/non-viral-vectors.html.
In the last decade scientists are looking for some ways to use some gene as a drug for genetic disorder treatment.however this method for treatment and its development is such a doubtful area of study and it needs more research.