I trust anyone who sees this recognizes my title, but to make it easy, http://bladerunner.wikia.com/wiki/Replicant.

Blade Runner was an excellent movie.

This article:

http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cells-egg-engineers-1.13582

is an excellent read. I encourage you to take the time.

PGC = primordial germ cells

http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/7.11943.1376993518!/image/making-babies-graphic.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_630/making-babies-graphic.jpg

I aver we must define humans as anything genetically human. We must confer upon an artificially created fertilized egg all the rights and protections we wish for ourselves. Golden rule. Due process.

We cannot treat human life casually. We cannot manufacture slaves. Even genetically modified to seem nonhuman, people are people. If I think, therefore I am, then so is Ms. Clone or Mr. Replicant, or genetically engineered bio-machine that can think and demonstrate apparently free will.

It may be a long way off, but it may be tomorrow. The questions are hard, and there are no easy answers.

While the gist of the article linked above is making people fertile, the implications are unlimited. What can be done will be done. We better get ready to do it right, as in good and ethically.

Note from the article:

Clinical relevance
“But Hayashi and Saitou have little to offer to the infertile couples begging for their help. Before this protocol can be used in the clinic, there are large wrinkles to be ironed out.”

Perhaps, mainly, we need to go slow, and be certain of our methods and capabilities. Mostly, we cannot ignore it. The ethical aspects will result in real effects, many of which will be painful. We must prepare.

Honestly, I’m disturbed with the implications of the ending of the article. Bluntly, the implications are the creation in the lab of artificial sperm and egg, joining, and then dissecting millions of human embryos for research. I’m not okay with that. Even if you are a contrarian, I hope you are not okay with that either.

On the other hand, it is likely to eventually (the researcher suggests 50 years) enable infertile people to have their own genetic children, in the normal sense, though with extensive medical and lab involvement. That is harder. It is inherently a good idea, but unintended consequences are inevitable.

There are other disturbing implications too.

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