Swedish scientist edits DNA of healthy embryos—Should the public worry?

| | September 26, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[On Sept. 22,] an NPR report, “Breaking Taboo, Swedish Scientists Seeks To Edit DNA of Healthy Human Embryos,” stokes the perennial “designer baby” fears. Actually what [Karolinska Institute] researcher Fredrik Lanner…is doing is seeking to edit genes in donated embryos to better understand infertility problems.

“If we’re going to be producing genetically modified babies, we are all too likely to find ourselves in a world where those babies are perceived to be biologically superior….” [Marcy] Darnovsky [executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society] says. “That could lead to all sorts of social disasters. It’s not a world I want to live in.”

First, this is very early days and none of the embryos edited by Lanner will become children, so bloviating against designer babies is a tad premature. Second, and most importantly, note that Darnovsky is against the technology even if it’s safe. In other words, it is supposedly ethical to prevent parents from using a technology that would spare their children of horrible diseases and…enable them to have stronger bodies, more effective immune systems and more nimble brains.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: ‘Designer Baby’ Scaremongering Never Gets Old, Does It?

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