After watching the X factor show recently and understanding the shows concept of talented people who go through stages of elimination by a panel of judges to find those who have the best voice who can be groomed into pop stars or those two have the X factor,but what is the X Factor?
Is it perfection, being the best, or just someone who is unique and stands out from the crowd?
In many ways you could apply the X factor concepts to the understanding of genetic and DNA developments particularly with current genetic mitochondrial transfer technique (MTT) or the so called 'Three Parent Baby' process.
We have seen this technology being used in producing the ‘three parent baby' this year, but has this genetic mitochondrial transfer technique opened up a concept for science to produce the X factor in mankind as we know it?
Lee Silver a professor of molecular biology and author of ’Remaking of Eden’ outlines some thoughts by a group of leading scientists of the possibilities and advancements of genetic engineering and its use to produce a concept such as GenRich and Natural human beings.
The GenRich hypothesis is considered to be one of humans modified by genetic engineering who are free from genetic abnormalities and disease with a focus of health enhancement and potentially sex gender manipulated, as opposed to the Natural humans born without intervention and pretty much as we know our human species of today which is mainly left to chance of genetic abnormalities and having boys or girls.
It’s interesting to look at reproductive history in royal households and their marriage within its family members that focused on keeping a pure bloodline which resulted in genetic abnormalities or infertility in their offspring’s.
The Habsburg dynasty or House of Austria were a sovereign in Europe in the sixteenth century and is a good example of primitive gene modifying thinking to keep the bloodline pure with its practice of marrying sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles which due to its inbreeding is now considered to be the cause of their extinction due to many DNA and chromosome abnormalities.
The need to manipulate gens has been around for a while even in its premature thinking of achieving this through a pure bloodline, and in my clinic many patients just want the ability to be pregnant let alone the need for a child with attributes of both parents where the child is heathy without genetic disorders, so gene editing techniques has its place to alter some of the most debilitating long term chronic diseases we see in medicine today.
I still can’t help but wonder if during the development of trying to improve or alter our human species, we could be creating further mutations as seen in the pureblood line of thinking? and what would happen to the unique individual or those we admire who have a ‘gift’ and the so called X factor? needless to say the show might not go on.