[LMB] We've been discussing gene engineering on people...

Sylvia McIvers sylviamcivers at gmail.com
Sun Oct 6 16:20:46 BST 2019

On Sat, Oct 5, 2019 at 10:51 PM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>

> Gwynne: It's been stated several times that life-limiting conditions would
> be
> candidates for elimination. Would you let your child be born with Cystic
> Fibrosis?
> Genes for breast cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons....?

For one disease, that's already been done. Tay-Sachs struck babies before
they were a year old, hardly any made it 6 years old.

" There used to be an entire hospital unit — 16 or 17 beds at Kingsbook
Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn — devoted to taking care of these
children. It was often full, with a waiting list that admitted new patients
only when someone else’s child had died.  But by the late 1990s that unit
was totally empty, and it eventually shut down. Its closure was a visible
symbol of one of the most dramatic Jewish success stories of the past 50
years: the near-eradication of a deadly genetic disease." (

I never read that article before. This is news to me: Bake sales? Bake
sales to buy the machine to test for disease?  That's a lot of cake!

“With the help of 40 trained lay volunteers and 15 physicians, more than
1,500 people volunteered for testing and were processed through the
‘system’ in about 5 hours,” Dr. Kaback later recalled in an article in the
journal Genetics in Medicine. “For me, it was like having written a
symphony and hearing it for the first time — and it went beautifully,
without glitches.”

A machine to process the tests cost $15,000. “We had bazaars, cake sales,
sold stockings, and that’s how we raised money for the machine,” Zeiger

All gone, may it never return.

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