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23andMe patents DNA tool for ‘desigining’ a baby

| | October 3, 2013
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Image: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

A US genetics company has patented a DNA-analysis tool that allows people to pick sperm and egg donors based on what kind of offspring they want. But this week, after enquiries by New Scientist, it posted a denial that it plans to use the technology for anything more than as an engaging way to allow customers to see what kind of traits their child might inherit.

The denial could reflect its customers’ angry reactions last year when the company, 23andMe of Mountain View, California, which bills itself as democratizing the genome, had its first patent granted. But it could also reflect accusations that such genetic shopping comes perilously close to eugenics – or may not work as advertised.

Read the full, original story here: US firm patents DNA-analysis tool for planning a baby

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