Health & Fitness

DNA could help eradicate genetic diseases

Imagine a world where people do not suffer from cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or any other type of disease or neural condition that prevents them from developing naturally. There is a process similar to prenatal paternity testing in which doctors can detect if the baby in the womb has any unfavorable disease or medical condition. But wouldn’t it be better if doctors could prevent these problems from the very moment of conception? Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) allows scientists to alter the baby’s DNA in vitro, to remove any hereditary genetic issues. While in a DNA gender test the chromosomes can tell whether the baby is a male or a female, in PGD the DNA structure is analyzed to look for medical conditions that may develop over time.

What is PGD?

A baby’s DNA is formed when the mother’s egg combines with the father’s sperm. Both egg and the sperm carry the DNA that comes from each parent. Scientists can analyze this DNA and discover patterns that could lead to genetic diseases. For example, the father may have an inherited disease in his DNA that did not show up in him but could show up in his child. It can also happen that the combination of the DNA of two people is not entirely compatible, generating problems in the baby’s development. In simple terms, PGD makes it possible to extract those DNA fragments or alter them so that the baby does not grow up with physical or mental problems. It would be an excellent method to eradicate known diseases. It would be an excellent method to eradicate diseases that affect a large percentage of the population and cause thousands of deaths every day.

Disadvantages of PGD

PGD can only be performed in medical centers with the necessary technological equipment. Only developed countries have this technology. Another impediment to PGD is its price. Even if you live in a country where this technology is available, you may not be able to afford the high cost. Here is where the question arises, would it be good for humanity if babies were born through PGD? Not at this time because much more study is needed on the structure of DNA. Every time a baby is born, they incorporate the antibodies they got from their parents into their DNA, making them more resistant to certain viruses. PGD would prevent this positive mutation, making people weak to new viruses. It is a promising technology that still has a long way to go before it is 100% safe and viable for humanity.