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A Layperson's View of Future Technology and Society

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Future Technology

Future of

Designer Babies

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designer babies




What Are Designer Babies?

The colloquial term "designer baby" refers to a baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering combined with in vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics. - wikipedia

In simpler terms, using embryo screening technology to choose what type of baby you want. Latest research is making designer babies a reality now, using technology developed originally for use in animals.

In the future, embryos may not only be screened, but modified.

What traits could be changed in a designer baby?






Gender selection

Gender selection involves screening embryos for eye color, hair color, and complexion.  The Institute cannot change the DNA of the donating couple — if neither the mother nor the father has genes for green eyes, for example, then the Institute cannot give them a baby with green eyes.

Trait selection

Embryo screening involves a process called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Embryos are created by in-vitro fertilization and grown to the eight-cell stage, at which point one or two cells are removed. Scientists then examine the DNA of these cells for defects, and only normal embryos are replaced in the womb.



Reduces the chances of getting some serious diseases

May increase chance of success by being smarter, taller, better looking, etc.


Termination of embryos

Could create a gap in society

Possibility of damage to the gene pool

Baby has no choice in the matter

Designer Baby Articles, Blogs and Web Sites

All Links open in a new window. Bold = Recommended

Designer Baby Articles
Title Source Date
Embryo from 2 women and 1 man made in lab CBC News 11/12
Our Turn: Would engineering designer babies be unethical? Mlive 10/10
After Criticism, Fertility Clinic Halts Delivery of Designer Babies Fox News 03/10
Demand for 'designer babies' to grow dramatically The Times 01/10
The Need to Regulate Designer Babies SciAm 05/09
L.A.'s Fertility Institute Says Prospective Parents Can Choose Physical Traits, Not Just Gender (with video) CBS 03/09
Special deliveries: Are designer babies arriving? MSNBC 03/09
Designer Babies: A Right to Choose? Wired 03/09
A Baby, Please. Blond, Freckles -- Hold the Colic WSJ 02/09
Designer baby row over clinic that offers eye, skin and hair colour Telegraph 02/09
Designer Babies – Like It Or Not, Here They Come Singularity Hub 02/09
Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations ActionBioscience 04/06
Life and Death in the 21st Century: Designer Babies BBC 01/00
Designer Babies Time 01/99


Designer Baby Videos and Other Media
Title Description
Designer Babies? CBS video
How Designer Children Work How Stuff Works
Screening could create designer babies CTV video


Designer Baby Web Sites and Blogs
Title Description
Designer Babies Humans Future
Designer Babies About.com
Designer babies BEEP
Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations ActionBioscience
Designer Babies: The Pros and Cons of Genetic Engineering MIT
What is a designer baby? BioNet


Article Sources
Designer Babies Article by ffa
Image is licensed photo from istock.com
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