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1.  Title:  Ethical Uses of Genetic Testing
Description: Genetic testing is not all bad   Many Catholics are wary of the Human Genome Project and genetic testing, and the knowledge they provide.  Of course, there are serious ethical implications that I address in the topic, Unethical Uses of Genetic Testing, but the HGP has provided a wonderful opportunity to prevent and even cure disease.  As genetic testing becomes more commonplace, one will have more information on diseases that one may be at risk to develop.  If discovered early enough, one can make choices to help prevent or delay the onset of that disease.    A colleague’s battle with cancer is a good example of the use of genetic testing to prevent disease.  We now know that mutations in the BCRA1 or BCRA2 gene put a woman at high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.  My colleague’s mother, aunts, and cousin had breast or ovarian...

2.  Title:  Genetic Engineering
Description: The genetic engineering of humans is not yet a reality. But, with advancements in gene therapy and cloning, it will be. It is critical that Catholics be ahead of the rhetorical curve on this issue, instead of behind. Now is the time to look at the genetic engineering of humans and what the Church says on the issue. Now is the time to understand what Catholics can embrace and what we should reject.  First, under the umbrella of "genetic engineering" Catholics must make a strong distinction between gene therapy and genetic enhancement. These concepts are often confused and lumped together, but there are important moral differences.  For many years scientists have envisioned using gene therapy to cure devastating disease. Gene therapy would deliver a copy of a normal gene into the cells of a patient with defective genes to cure or slow the progress of disease. The added gene...

3.  Title:  Genetic Testing 101
Description: What is genetic testing?   Genetic testing is the testing of a person’s DNA.  Genetic testing is done for many reasons, including to establish paternity, diagnose disease, determine sex, or determine tissue type.  Scientists perform genetic testing on adults, children, fetuses, and, more recently, embryos in the very early stages of development.    In general, genetic testing looks for mutations in DNA.  A mutation is a change in the number, arrangement, or molecular sequence of a gene.  We all have mutations.  That is how our DNA is distinguishable from others.  Only some mutations cause disease.  The most common reason for genetic testing is to diagnose disease.  There are many diseases such as Huntington’s, Tay-Sachs, and sickle cell anemia where the cause is only genetic.  If a person has certain mutations in specific...

4.  Title:  Unethical Uses of Genetic Testing
Description: Coming soon...