Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Controversial Puppies

From Cornell University comes a new dog. Scientists have successfully bred the first IVF puppies. This has been attempted by many scientists as early as the 70's. IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) is when scientists surgically implant frozen embryos into a mother. More information about IVF can be found here. This modern fertilization technique has been used in Humans and now dogs, with much controversy.

Controversy first arose when scientists figured out how to do IVF on humans. The main argument against using IVF is the freezing of live embryos. Religious, and other human rights activists consider this to be an unjust treatment of a living person or dog. Other arguments include whether or not this is too similar to playing God: determining the fate of what embryo lives and what embryo dies, like the scientists in the movie Gattica. Although these are valid concerns, I believe the pros out weigh the cons.

Much can be learned on the scientific front by studying diseases in humans and now dogs, as well as helping endangered dog species. IVF also offers another chance for couples to have children who are other wise unable to. For those who argue that it is an unfair treatment of a living thing, the idea that these embryos should even be considered alive is a whole topic up for debate today. By choosing not to do IVF, we would be saying no to couples who only want to have their own children, or research that could help prevent the next dog or human related disease. Although the loss of some of these embryos can be seen as tragic, what we can gain as a society is much more significant.

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