Designer Babies.In our lifetime.?

img_1150In vitro fertilisation is very common today and perhaps the common  observation of twin births in elderly prosperous females is one result .However, steps are now in action to produce, what may be termed a “choice “ for implantation based on polygenic risk scores based on SNP array results on the embryo.

Sometime next year, two male gay parents will have a child by in vitro fertilisation of an ovum from a female donor fertilised by both fathers.50:50.This is not unique in itself but the couple will for the first time choose which embryo should be implanted in the surrogate mother based on the results of multiple SNP arrays on the embryos which will give the best chance of a disease free life for their offspring, based on the polygenic risk score for common medical illnesses.

This is a first, when the choice of  parents progeny is in the hands of the parents. Will this be the beginning of designer babies for the rich and famous.?At present the SNP arrays used,are for predicting common adult medical conditions.But, there are studies to show that this can be extended to traits like skin colour, height and IQ.When these are allowed ,the reproductive medicine industry will be the centre of controversy by helping parents to produce offspring by design.The design will be the choice of parents.As we stand on the threshold of advances in Reproductive Medicine,the miracle of birth will become a choice for those with deep pockets.We need ask ourselves, are we nearer to playing GOD.?
We have been in Medical practice for over 50 years and have seen many advances but this one will affect the whole world in the century to come.


Party Song from the 60’s

The Jet Liners

Sung by Uma Pocha, the tune travelled to Sri Lanka and beyond, serving as a reminder that it’s impossible to predict how sounds travel. In this case, Radio Ceylon played a big part.

In the 1960’s, Ceylon, as the country was then called, was very familiar with latest Hindi film hits. The Indian government had banished film music from All India Radio only a few years after Independence, so Radio Ceylon, left with several powerful transmitters set up by the British for wartime broadcasts during WWII, saw an opportunity to draw in advertising revenue. In 1952, for instance, it started the Binaca Geetmala countdown of Hindi film hits, a show that it continued to broadcast until 1994. Bombay Meri Hai, which was broadcast frequently on Radio Ceylon’s pop programmes, had a great advantage. The dholak-propelled rhythm is remarkably similar to the beat that enlivens the baila songs that Sri Lankans love, so it wasn’t surprising that they adopted Bombay Meri Hai with such a passion.

Write up credit

Sinhalese version by Milton Silva

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Best Wishes to Annesley​!

My dear Annesley,
Thanks to Narme, I have been educated on a ‘cool fact’
Nature of birthday trees’ & to their character, how we fit
Yours is Chestnut Tree, depicts honesty and tall in height
Characterised by an honest fun guy, a planner & a diplomat

I have written over two hundred  poems greeting my mates
So pleased to realise,  how close your lovable features,  fits
Pleasant mannerism and the kind heart, a boon to your mates
Wish you good health, contentment, and a beautiful long life

A young boy who lost his life

TEACHER’S NOTE: Tragically, Kieran was killed in the suicide bomb that exploded in the Cinnamon Grand hotel, Colombo, on Easter Sunday. He only finished typing this up the night before and, because he was so proud of it – having obtained the top mark in his class – his mum was very keen that we submit this posthumously on his behalf:

The tropical sun burns bright. On my way to school, red and black buses full of office workers, tuk-tuks of all colors, Porsches, Land Rovers, and BMWs crowd the roads. There are a few road rules. I pass a speeding blur of white colonial buildings, ancient banyan trees, old elegant homes behind high walls, short ladies pushing trash carts, small kadeys selling cream crackers and sodas, and road-side hawkers offering freshly plucked red rambutans, golden yellow mangoes, young orange coconuts. Steel and glass office towers stand high over small houses. Cranes rise above expensive new apartment buildings. Occasionally I see a Buddhist monk in orange robes. Lonely, stray dogs roam the streets and sidewalks scavenging for food, near tourists who turn bright lobster red taking selfies in front of thousand-year-old temples.

My cultural connections are why I am here in Colombo, Sri Lanka. My mother and I moved here to help my Ammama (grandma) move back home after nearly fifty years in the U.S. This move was great for her, because her connection to Sri Lanka is strong. She loves the weather that is perfect for a slow walk, the fruit, and vegetables that she grew up with, and the friendly people who don’t mind when she starts up a conversation with any passing stranger asking, “Do I know you?” She is rarely certain whether she is in Colombo or Washington D.C., who she is with, or sometimes even who she is. Dementia has faded her memories so that they run together like watercolors, an impressionist painting of houses, gardens, people she has known for over eighty years, and sometimes the people closest to her, like me and my mother.

My move to Colombo has helped deepen my connections to my family’s culture. I am learning how to read, write, and – thanks to my grandmother’s maid – speak a little bit of Sinhala, the language of the majority of the population here. I also play a little bit of cricket, the national sport, which is similar to baseball (though I am terrible at both!). I am getting to know many of my distant aunties, uncles, and cousins, many of whom I have not met before. I may forget their names, but not their kindness. I like that strangers call me “putha” (“son” in Sinhala) before telling me to tie my shoelaces. It makes me feel like the entire community has my back.

I feel like I belong in Sri Lanka. I now have a dark brown tan and my mother says that she cannot pick me out of a crowd of my friends walking out of school, laughing and messing each other’s hair. I have made a lot of friends who are kind, smart, hardworking, and funny after just one year here. It feels like I have been here much longer. No one can tell just by looking at me that I was born ten thousand miles away, that I spent the first 10 years of my life in the U.S., or that I am biracial.

Racially, my cultural connections are diverse. I am one-quarter Sinhalese, one-quarter Tamil, three- eighths Russian, and one-eighth German. My family is Buddhist, Christian, Quaker, and Jewish. We celebrate peraharas and poya days, Christmas, and Hanukkah. My ancestors include great uncles knighted by the King of England, high court justices, and Russian farmers. These were all different people from different places and different cultures who understood the same values of curiosity, adventure, education, and hard work.

I am what they call in Sri Lanka a real “achcharu”, or pickle, made up of many different ingredients and spices. I am connected to many cultures, a result of an exotic brew of many civilisations. I am stronger because I belong to them all. But, right now in Colombo, I am a Srilankan

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