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

| | September 26, 2016

[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.

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"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."

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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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