Are DIY designer babies a real possibility?

2-6-2019 young
A researcher at the Gerontology Institute in Kiev, Ukraine, where an American biohacker has paying for research using Bitcoin. Image credit: Gerontology Institute
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Bryan] Bishop, a 29-year-old programmer and Bitcoin investor, has been leaving a trail of comments about human “enhancement” on the web. He’s a transhumanist, which means he thinks humans can be improved in profound ways by technology. He’d long exhorted others to do something about the human condition.

Now, he had decided to do it himself.

According to the e-mail, sent in May [2018], Bishop and his partner in the enterprise, Max Berry, a former biotech company lab scientist, were “starting a company focused on the production of designer babies and human germline genetic engineering.” He noted that “lab work has started” and “we have an initial parent-couple customer.”

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A copy of his business proposal says his venture plans to let parents have transgenic children who can “grow muscle without weightlifting,” who possess genes from long-lived “supercentenarians,” or who are endowed with the AB+ blood type, meaning they could receive a transfusion from anyone.

[P]eople familiar with Bishop’s plans also think it’s mostly talk so far, but perhaps not entirely.

“It definitely could happen—that is why we need to talk about it,” [genetic engineer George] Church told me.

Read full, original post: The DIY designer baby project funded with Bitcoin

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