‘Designer babies’ are coming soon, but who gets to have them?

, | | November 2, 2017
designer babies
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Designer babies are coming in 20 to 30 years. Your children will be able to select, to some degree, their own children’s hair color, eye color, and, possibly their intelligence. How can we make sure that everyone benefits from these capabilities, rather than reserving them for those with more cash?

To date, many national governments and states have banned gene editing of live human embryos. Governments have also banned genetic modifications of the human germline for imparting beneficial traits such as height or intelligence.

IVF combined with [preimplantation genetic diagnosis], or well-tuned CRISPR interventions, could become a boutique treatment for wealthy folks seeking an edge for junior. This might further exacerbate already noted trends of rising assortative mating, in which people of like backgrounds and positions tend to marry each other. This concentrates wealth or other benefits further in a society, augmenting inequality.

While genetic manipulation to save lives makes perfect sense, the process shouldn’t be used to merely improve the chances of success of those already born with inherited socioeconomic advantages. Designer babies should only be available if they are available to everyone.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: When Baby Genes Are for Sale, the Rich Will Pay

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