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Controlling human reproduction with in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

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Introduction

There are many ways that human reproduction can be controlled either for better or for worse. One of the ways of controlling human reproduction is with in vitro fertilisation (IVF), this is widely used across the country for various reasons, for example IVF can be used to help infertile couples, single women, gay couples and many others to have children. IVF is quite a long process that has become more successful and popular in recent years. The process involves the women's ovaries being stimulated with hormones such as FSH (follicles stimulating hormone) or HMG (human menopausal gonadotrophin) so as to make sure that she produces several eggs, which means that there will be more eggs available to be collected. The eggs are removed from the ovaries using a special needle. On the same day that the egg is retrieved a semen sample is collected form the man. After they have both been collected the sperm are added to the eggs and then left to incubate over night. If fertilisation occurs they will be left for a few days in the laboratory to be observed before being placed into the women's uterus. ...read more.

Middle

In the future we may be able to select our child's hair colour by removing the inappropriate genes. The screening of embryos for genetic diseases is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). As with IVF the women's ovaries are first stimulated to produce lots of eggs. 'These eggs are then recovered through vaginal ultrasound, and the sperm added to the eggs in the IVF lab.' After in vitro fertilisation, an embryo biopsy is carried out using Narishige micromanipulators. An inverted tissue culture microscope is used to allow them to see what they are doing. The embryo is held in position with a holding pipette. A glass needle is used to drill a hole through the zona pellucida, which is the outer layer of the embryo. By sucking gently, a single cell is removed; it is then ready for genetic diagnosis. Genetic material is analysed using a technique called FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridisation). This uses fluorescent probes, which are specific for a given chromosome, and therefore can be used to screen embryos for chromosomal abnormality. ...read more.

Conclusion

This may then create two different types of people those with 'superior genes' and those with 'ordinary genes.' There is a lot of controversy over controlling human reproduction. In the future we may be able to stop certain children being born simply because of their hair colour. But should we be allowed to do this who are we to say that their life should end just because they are genetically different. As well as that there are still a lot of problems with genetic engineering and some experiments such as the Beltsville pig have gone 'horribly wrong causing it to grow into a monster.' Moderating human reproduction should be done to help people not just to allow people to have a 'designer babies.' By altering the human genome it may make children more prone to new illness or it may be the answer to curing existing illnesses. We don't and can't know unless we explore further. Gene therapy and genetic testing could benefit our society, and us but we must air and debate these issues with in the wider community in order to set strict regulations to ensure the ethical, moral, and discriminatory possibilities of this newly evolving technology. ...read more.

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