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Title: Human enhancement

Abstract

Abstract Genetic engineering opens new possibilities for biomedical enhancement requiring ethical, societal and practical considerations to evaluate its implications for human biology, human evolution and our natural environment. In this Commentary, we consider human enhancement, and in particular, we explore genetic enhancement in an evolutionary context. In summarizing key open questions, we highlight the importance of acknowledging multiple effects (pleiotropy) and complex epigenetic interactions among genotype, phenotype and ecology, and the need to consider the unit of impact not only to the human body but also to human populations and their natural environment (systems biology). We also propose that a practicable distinction between ‘therapy’ and ‘enhancement’ may need to be drawn and effectively implemented in future regulations. Overall, we suggest that it is essential for ethical, philosophical and policy discussions on human enhancement to consider the empirical evidence provided by evolutionary biology, developmental biology and other disciplines. Lay Summary: This Commentary explores genetic enhancement in an evolutionary context. We highlight the multiple effects associated with germline heritable genetic intervention, the need to consider the unit of impact to human populations and their natural environment, and propose that a practicable distinction between ‘therapy’ and ‘enhancement’ is needed.

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
  2. Department of Anatomy, College Medicine, Howard University, 520 W St. NW, Numa Adams Building, Room 1101, Washington, DC 20059, USA
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain
OSTI Identifier:
1570057
Grant/Contract Number:  
CFCUL/FIL/00678/2019
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health Journal Volume: 2019 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2050-6201
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Country of Publication:
Country unknown/Code not available
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Almeida, Mara, and Diogo, Rui. Human enhancement. Country unknown/Code not available: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1093/emph/eoz026.
Almeida, Mara, & Diogo, Rui. Human enhancement. Country unknown/Code not available. doi:10.1093/emph/eoz026.
Almeida, Mara, and Diogo, Rui. Sat . "Human enhancement". Country unknown/Code not available. doi:10.1093/emph/eoz026.
@article{osti_1570057,
title = {Human enhancement},
author = {Almeida, Mara and Diogo, Rui},
abstractNote = {Abstract Genetic engineering opens new possibilities for biomedical enhancement requiring ethical, societal and practical considerations to evaluate its implications for human biology, human evolution and our natural environment. In this Commentary, we consider human enhancement, and in particular, we explore genetic enhancement in an evolutionary context. In summarizing key open questions, we highlight the importance of acknowledging multiple effects (pleiotropy) and complex epigenetic interactions among genotype, phenotype and ecology, and the need to consider the unit of impact not only to the human body but also to human populations and their natural environment (systems biology). We also propose that a practicable distinction between ‘therapy’ and ‘enhancement’ may need to be drawn and effectively implemented in future regulations. Overall, we suggest that it is essential for ethical, philosophical and policy discussions on human enhancement to consider the empirical evidence provided by evolutionary biology, developmental biology and other disciplines. Lay Summary: This Commentary explores genetic enhancement in an evolutionary context. We highlight the multiple effects associated with germline heritable genetic intervention, the need to consider the unit of impact to human populations and their natural environment, and propose that a practicable distinction between ‘therapy’ and ‘enhancement’ is needed.},
doi = {10.1093/emph/eoz026},
journal = {Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health},
number = 1,
volume = 2019,
place = {Country unknown/Code not available},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1093/emph/eoz026

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Cited by: 1 work
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