don't you see how egotistical it is to modify the human genome of a living individual in the first place when there is a lack of understanding of the interactions in the whole genome?
No. We don't understand every possible drug interaction. That doesn't make the treatment of disease with drugs 'egotistical'.
Does modifying the human genome lead to changes of DNA in the sperm in accordance with the initial genome modification?
Not necessarily no. Sperm genes will only be altered if a) the patient is male and b) germ line cells are targeted.
In your previous example of treatments for X-scid, the patient's own white blood cells are extracted and a virus is to insert a healthy adenosine deaminase (ADA) gene into
them. These cells were then injected back into their body, and express a normal enzyme, curing the disease. No germ line modification occurs. http://en.wikipedia....mmunodeficiency
there is a fundamental lack of understanding of how the genes work together in a whole with the environment and in symbiosis with commensal microorganisms.
I would argue the opposite. There is an exponentially growing, large body of research which examines gene interaction. See a current copy of Genome Biology for examples. http://genomebiology.com/content. Your argument is also largely irrelevant - see drug therapy example above. What it is important to know in the introduction of a specific treatment, is how that particular change will behave in light of genotype/phenotype interaction.
There will likely always be things left to understand about how genomes work, as they are constantly changing and so are the environments they exist in, like almost all natural systems. To single out genetics as somehow abhorrent seems extremely hypocritical.
You may cure one patient today but what about the offsprings of succeeding generations that carry the modified genes?
Germ line engineering and genetic engineering are not synonymous terms. Equating the two results in a strawman argument. See x-scid example above.
Is "Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome" caused by inbreeding?
"Mutations in nine different genes have been found to cause the human severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome." http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/15032591
The so called cancer genes need to be activated by a carcinogen in the first place. Diet and environment have everything to do with cancer.
Both statements are false:
Defective cell replication (i.e. cancer) is caused by genes, at the most fundamental level. Cancer can manifest simply due to certain allelic combinations without environmental interaction (i.e. in the absence of external carcinogens).
Of course environmental factors play a role in cancer genesis and the activation of oncogenes, but to try and exclude the genetic elements of oncology is absolutely nonsensical at the most fundamental level. It's a ridiculous argument.
Can we drop the personal statements please? It would also seem that your initial statement in that context is irrelevant to the thread completely.
Edited by Arete, 8 March 2013 - 06:46 PM.