GM Human Embryo? Nope, that doesn’t count!

Tuesday, 13 May, 2008

Those at the London Times are conveniently twisting the truth to claim that scientists have created the first genetically engineered human embryo. What did they do? Insert the gene for green-fluorescent protein. Big deal, that’s not what I want to hear when I see the words ‘GM embryo’!

Lots of hype over nothing. This was done last year, and now we finally hear about it. That alone should have you wondering if it had been a blow-up about nothing. If it was an amazing work, the scientists involved would have been calling press conferences and everything.

The embryo wasn’t even viable (it had ‘abnormal chromosomes’ according to the London Times. I think they mean it was triploid), and wasn’t even going to be implanted into a woman. Just a bunch of fluorescent green cells in a dish, destroyed after five days of growth. BORING! There have been stem cell experiments more exciting than this.

It’s only being brought up because the current HFEA bill in the UK actually expresses permission for this research, though it does ban implantation of such embryos.

Reading the comments on the London Times site, and on the other news sites that picked up the story, is fun at least:

“Read your bible people. We are living and acting out every word of revelation’s. , Next thing you know like one comment was made the rich would have perfect babies and the poor , would get thrown to the side like trash .” – Lola of the United States of America (of course)

“These mad scientists are totally out of control, They will completely destroy life on this Planet but before they do this, monsters will be created as in days of old. Which is why that old technology advanced civilisation were destroyed, you cannot mess with nature without being punished.” – Arthur of England

Oh noes, the sky is falling. A bit more sensible, but still wrong, is the commentary from New Scientist:

No-one is contemplating King’s “nightmare” scenario: the creation of genetically-engineered babies.

Actually, I’m contemplating it. So are many others. It’s not a nightmare, it’s a dream!

However, I think I prefer the words of Annalee Newitz over at io9.com, who said:

[Q]uit your whining and learn some science, bitches. This isn’t a designer baby.


  1. I applaud this post.

    When some people (not naming any groups) hear “MG” they go absolutly apeshit crazy, “Oh my God the world is comming to an end” for what?

    I for one have faith in the scientists, I don´t really think that they are planing to create a monster that will kill everyone.

  2. No one plans on creating monsters via genetic engineering and selective birth – that’s what English Imperialism and German National Socialism is for. “This! Is! (Modern) Sparta!” after all – with all of its secular hubris of how we can implement “neutral” science without any blowback from the moral ramifications of tinkering with children before they’re even born.

    …BTW, depending on where the author is from, the memory of eugenics as national biopolicy is either a very near memory, or a very distant inconvenient thing found only in history books. Depending on how close Nazism or Margaret Sanger came to your front door, of course…

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