One + October 2010 - (Page 56)

The Consumer Genetics Conference draws multiple disciplines from communities of research, medical and the pharma industry, as well as ethics, legal, regulatory and intellectual property to discuss genetic engineering. Playing God? B Y R O B CO T T E R NINETEENTH-CENTURY NOVEL FRANKENSTEIN CAUSED REVIEWERS TO SHUDDER IN HORROR. Inspired by developments in galvanism at that time, it embedded pertinent moral issues in a science fiction literary genre that would only come to flourish many years later. Initial bewilderment yielded to enthusiastic theater adaptations and a classic 1931 film. Through these re-workings, however, a popular misconception has managed to take hold of Mary Shelley’s novel—that Frankenstein is the name of the monster creation, when it is actually the name of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, its creator. Of the novel’s main characters, creator and creation have over time become intriguingly transposed. This transposition directly contradicts the moral principle the novel posits—Shelley, warning against man’s boundless aspirations of what might be achieved with the dawn of industrialism, depicted the monster as “frightful, for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.” In the pastoral days of the early 19th century, she did not think it wise for man to meddle in the natural order of things, though accepting it inevitable that he would. Almost 200 years later, we have indeed challenged that 56 concept of the natural order of things, with early experiments in galvanism evolving into today’s advanced genome research. In Edinburgh, Scotland, a team of researchers directly competed with God with its 1996 groundbreaking Dolly sheepcloning experiment. In the subsequent decade, there has been significant progress in genetic research as well—genome sequence identification results on specific illnesses. Researchers in Cambridge, U.K., have identified the sequence for two of the most deadly cancers—skin and prostate—with the emergent possibility that each patient’s treatment could be personalized from mutation patterns, a revolutionary prospect for one+ 10.10

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + October 2010

One + October 2010
Energy of Many
Design Thinking
Signs of the Times
Top Spots
Kill Your Résumé
Exceed Expectations
Live in Person
Snack Attack
Skin Deep
Playing God?
Untangling the Value of Social Media
Local Favor
Personality Order
Datascape Architect
Thriving Exhibits
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again

One + October 2010