chapter  12
10 Pages

The new genetics

ByVictoria Tippett

This chapter explores the ethical and legal issues surrounding the 'new genetics'. With discussion of both individual genetic counselling and population genetic screening, the practical uses of the 'new genetics' are highlighted along with its implications for every member of society. Cloning involves the production of an exact genetic double of a living organism. Cloning technology allows us to take cells from embryos and dead fetuses and use them to make pluripotent cell lines. This has the potential to allow the growth of replacement cells and tissues for patients who suffer from disease of a particular body part. Gene therapy involves manipulation of the genes of existing or persons. It may be somatic or germline. The main benefit to testing is for young family members contemplating starting a family, who may decide against having children if they know they would pass on the gene for Huntington's disease.