At last, I had the chance to attend the club’s annual regional conference for the first time last week. The focus was on how modern medicine interfaces with and impacts our society and the world. Among the topics covered include Biotechnology, ethical issues regarding to genetic testing, adjusting to an aging population, the rising cost of public health, etc.
Since it’s near impossible to summarize everything here, let’s just talk about the slot which I think is the coolest. Firstly, I didn’t really plan on attending this particular parallel slot because I was afraid that I was going to offend a handful of informed people by not laughing to their clever inside jokes (I never had any biology, not even in high school, and the topic presented was ethical issues in genetic testing, in a big conference where the attendees know a little bit of everything), but I just happen to have entered the wrong room, and when I realized that, it was already too late to get out and join the other group next door. Anyhow, at the end of the day, it wasn’t really that bad, though I had to constantly google up the new terms and jargons used by both the esteemed presenter and the hyper-cool audience throughout the session.
And what I can conclude from the lecture is this- the future is just plain scary. Imagine this, the setting from the X-men series, and how the one main difference between the mutants and the rest of the human population is causing havoc around the world; just this time, no wolverine, no sexy slimy blue woman, and replace the x-gene with some other genetic traits…… Ok, that’s not a very good explanation.
Ok, anyways, we already have enough problems with racial, religious, sexual orientation, and social class discrimination, and the last thing we want is to have groups of people being discriminated because of their genes. And in this case, when we talk about discrimination, it goes beyond the social prejudice. It involves issues regarding to money, well being and protection in terms of insurance plans and some other sensitive issues including abortion, etc. As an example, with advancements in biotech, such as the availability of the pre-natal genetic testing, in the future, without the right laws and regulations, it is possible that one day, parents can choose to keep the unborn or to simply perform abortion if it doesn’t really go along with the specifications of the kind of child they want. And in the future, marriage, or love in general, will have to go beyond the psychological chemistry, with the unrestricted genetic profiling coming into play. And as we in general just don’t like to be labeled and treated differently because of certain stigmas, then, we will be forced to choose, thus the issues with selective personality and all. Anyways, the 2 examples are just a small portion of the problems that will surface without the right laws and guidelines concerning genetic testing. And as we were informed, the laws governing the issue today is lagging years behind compared to where we have arrived today.
And the other topics discussed were in fact, just as interesting. And all in all, other than the roasted vege for lunch; the 2-day conference was awesome. And I was just a little disappointed that I had to skip a couple of slots because I just had to join the team for the WC tournament last Saturday and share a portion of the humiliation of getting whipped, losing by 8 goals to 1.
It was a really big slap to our big fat pride; at least 3 guys I know and one random guy I can’t really remember who, came up to me on campus asking what the hell happened. And since the intramural game was cancelled yet again due to the storm, I was available to play for the team for our 2nd game of the indoor tourney. And since its Macheda’s day and we didn’t really want to steal his thunder, we thought that pulling an upset by winning the game was a bit inappropriate; so, our 1st ever WC win will have to wait until next week. hmmmmm…. We really need to find a way to play against guys double our size,....... and how to scramble from very small dogs when playing outdoors…… and I think I can cross ‘playing in the world cup’ out from my bucket list.
And yup, the team got ‘beet’ out, but the future is bright. I like Hansbrough, but I want MSU to win. We’ll see.
Btw, imagine this, liyana fiza (estrella) with a degree in biology from MIT, and she’s all Zidane………..
And good luck Mr. PM.