[ home ] [ pony / townhall / rp / canterlot / rules ] [ arch ]

/townhall/ - Townhall

A place for civilized animals
Password (For file deletion.)

[Return][Go to bottom]


File: 1709948228521.png (427.95 KB, 1080x880, 27:22, Screenshot_20240308-131354.png) ImgOps Google

Currently, about 2% of babies in the US are conceived via IVF.  IVF offers some advantages over traditional fertilization, including polygenic embryo selection (PES).  In the near future, gene editing tech might be used to correct multiple undesirable mutations, such as mutations that increase risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Do you expect the percent of babies conceived via IVF to rise significantly this century to take advantage of this beneficial technology?  I predict that it will be used for a majority of babies within 100 years, assuming we don't get paperclipped by AI or suffer civilizational collapse.


It's hard to even guess.  I would almost certainly expect a significant rise, as the technology gets more popular, available, and cheap.  But significant relative to 2% could still be just 20%, and not really a majority.

But also 100 years is a long time.  The amount of change we've gone through since the 1920s would be incomprehensible to anyone from that era, and some of those people are still alive.  Our pace of technological advancement and societal change has only increased more since then, too.  It's entirely possible that not only do we hit 100% use within the next century, but also abandon it for something else that takes over before we hit 2124.


Unless for some reason we will have a biological concern that fertility goes way down, or for some reason there is an alarming increase in birth defects or stillbirths, I don't see people choosing IVF just to make the designer babies.

I would expect people, given the choice would very much prefer to become pregnant the natural way and give birth the natural way.

IVF, however, is incredibly important for those who may not be able to give birth naturally or procreate naturally. (this may include people who are in same gender relationships)
Please don't put IVF as some sort of dystopian procedure to kill off natural pregnancies.


File: 1710113770104.jpeg (31.43 KB, 500x332, 125:83, GG961Ena0AAR06M.jpeg) ImgOps Google

>It's entirely possible that not only do we hit 100% use within the next century, but also abandon it for something else that takes over before we hit 2124.
Oh yeah, there will probably be lots of advances that are hard to even imagine now.

>I would expect people, given the choice would very much prefer to become pregnant the natural way and give birth the natural way.
Ceteris paribus, yes.  But if genetic testing reveals that you and your spouse are carriers of an autosomal recessive allele that would greatly increase risk of cancer if homozygous, then it might be worthwhile to use IVF tech to avoid that possibility.


The core problem here is that health care in the context of fertility is being managed by soulless and unethical corporate organizations operating under the worst kind of modern capitalist rules.

Science doesn't matter. Progress doesn't matter. Safety doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the next few months of profit analyzed based on certain algorithms, and any other priorities will be squashed due to the free market controlling all.

Wanting to have infants and toddlers live healthy lives free of devastating diseases and other issues is a textbook case of a "public good", with broad benefits going to all of society, that a purely or mostly capitalist market will never, ever provide properly. The only way to establish sanity is to have large-scale public investment in using IVF and other processes of reproductive technology so that a random person plucked off of the street can utilize genetic advances. Instead of all of this being treated like owning your own private jet plane. If it were up to me, I'd have a new agency at the same level as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health with an equal amount of wealth and prestige giving out the equivalent of college scholarships to applications across the country. Only instead of the new agency paying for university classes, it's paying for IVF related care and other forms of prenatal medicine.


File: 1712178028881.jpg (332.27 KB, 1352x1235, 104:95, Screenshot_20210301-190906….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

I find any sort of question about the possibility of science to "improve" our genes to be enourmously and often deliberately ignorant of how the adaptability of any gene is contextual and multidimensional. As well as failing to understand the nature of gene expression as contextual and heavily effected by ecosystems and maternal epigenetic systems.

That is to say that a "deliterious" gene can be adaptive in the right ecosystem or even be both adaptive and deleterious. Like sickle cell anemia, it's m9st common in those people of south and east African descent precisely because that's historically the malaria hot zone, and carrying the gene or even expressing the genes for it confer a much greater chance of surviving malaria in childhood while shortening overall adult lifespan.

Likewise I see it as unwise to try and homogenize the human genome to have less "deleterious" genes in the gene pool. What confers an advantage is dependent on ecosystems and we can't confidently say what other genes in other genepools within an ecosystem, like say, new future diseases, will emerge and if other "deleterious" mutations might turn out to be adaptive in those circumstances.

Plus some genetic disorders may be with us forever, particularly a number of major psychiatric disorders (which are the product of complex interactions between genes and ecosystems themselves) because of their connection to genes that have been crucial to our species means of survival (like our intellectual capacities in regard to psychiatric disorders)


>the modern world has been  quietly fostering the accumulation of deleterious mutations in all of us

So. I wanted to do some research to challenge this claim, but in the process of researching it I found that many of my beliefs were flawed, summarized in this paper that I feel is excellent for addressing any such eugenic nonsense.

For a snippet the abstract offers the conclusion
>estimates are U ≈ 2.2 for the whole diploid genome per generation and ∼0.35 for mutations that change an amino acid of a protein-coding gene. A genome-wide deleterious mutation rate of 2.2 seems higher than humans could tolerate if natural selection is “hard,” but could be tolerated if selection acts on relative fitness differences between individuals or if there is synergistic epistasis.


But, seriously.

Is this one of the "smarter" reasons why people are getting on board the ban IVF train so much lately?


File: 1712429649740.jpg (291.42 KB, 2560x1595, 512:319, BRCA1_and_BRCA2_mutations_….jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

>That is to say that a "deliterious" gene can be adaptive in the right ecosystem or even be both adaptive and deleterious.
In some cases that's true, but other mutations are simply bad.  E.g., having two copies (homozygous) of the allele responsible for Tay-Sachs is definitely bad; it almost certainly results in a painful death during childhood.  But having exactly one copy of the allele (heterozygous) isn't harmful and some speculate that it is actually helpful and might be partially responsible for the higher average IQ of the Ashkenazim.  So polygenic embryo selection against homozygous Tay-Sachs alleles is definitely desirable.

As another example, BRCA mutations are very bad in expectation and are autosomal dominant.  Having one mutated allele greatly increase risk of certain cancers, and having two mutated alleles leads to death of the embryo in a majority of cases.   Polygenic embryo selection to avoid BRCA mutations are most likely a good thing.

That paper is from before Roe v. Wade was overturned.  I suspect the dysgenic effects of banning abortion might invalidate the paper's conclusions.


A fundamental issue here too is that biological traits related to genetics vary dramatically from clearly positive things to clearly negative things to things with ludicrously ambiguous and complex things.

For example, being bisexual is regarded in modern Western countries for the most part as a bad thing even though in objective scientific terms there's absolutely no negative aspect of it whatsoever. A bi man or woman can have children and live life without any problems should culture and society allow them. There are also other aspects of personal identity such as hair color, skin color, breast size, eye color, and so on that for the most part appear to mean nothing in the sense of scientific value, even if men and women spend literal millions to enlarge chests as much as possible year by year and very obviously would shell out the same to kill off 'the A-Cup genes' if they ever get found.

It's such a metaphorical can of worms.

[Return] [Go to top]
[ home ] [ pony / townhall / rp / canterlot / rules ] [ arch ]