Modern love or eugenics? Genetics pioneer George Church’s dating app matches DNA to ‘wipe out’ inherited disease

genetic matchmaking lead
Image: Danny Schlitz
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

George Church made a passing comment about a genetic dating app his lab was developing that he said could wipe out inherited disease.

The feedback in the media—mainstream and social—was immediate and mostly negative. Deaf people took offense. Trans people took offense. Some scientists took offense. Eugenics!

None of the outraged hot takes offered any details on the app, but we now have exclusive details on the new DNA dating company spinning out of Church’s lab.

The idea is to use DNA comparisons to make sure people who share a genetic mutation, like those that cause Tay-Sachs disease or cystic fibrosis, never meet, fall in love, and have kids.

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With such recessive conditions, of which there are thousands, kids develop the disease if they inherit two risk genes, one from each parent. The chance of that is usually 25%.

So is Digid8 eugenics? Yes and no. Eugenics usually refers to forced sterilization, imposed breeding, or extermination of people by a state.

But yes, the product is trying to avoid the birth of people with serious diseases. And not everyone likes that idea.

Read full, original post: Here are some actual facts about George Church’s DNA dating company

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