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A Layperson's View of Future Technology and Society
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Future Technology

Future of

Designer Babies

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 biotechnology 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.

What traits could be changed in a designer baby?







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.


Three-parent baby

Three-parent babies are human offspring with three genetic parents, created through a specialized form of In vitro fertilisation in which the future baby's mitochondrial DNA comes from a third party. The procedure is intended to prevent mitochondrial diseases including muscular dystrophy and some heart and liver conditions. It is the subject of considerable controversy in the field of bioethics. - wikipedia


Pros and Cons of Designer Babies


Reduces risk of genetic diseases

Reduces risk of inherited medical conditions

Keep pace with others doing it

Better chance the child will succeed in life

Better understanding of genetics

Increased life span

Can give a child genes that the parents do not carry

Prevent next generation of family from getting characteristics/diseases



Termination of embryos

Could create a gap in society

Possibility of damage to the gene pool

Baby has no choice in the matter

Genes often have more than one use

Geneticists are not perfect

Loss of Individuality

Other children in family could be affected by parent's decision

Only the rich can afford it


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Designer Baby Articles, Blogs and Web Sites

All Links open in a new window. Bold = Recommended

Designer Baby Articles
Title Source Date
'Designer babies' debate should start, scientists say BBC News 01/15
Building a Better Baby US News 10/14
Designer babies? It looks like racism and eugenics to me The Guardian 10/14
Who's Afraid of Designer Babies? BBC 09/14
Fertility Clinic Investigates Grown-Up Results Of Genetically Modified Babies Medical Daily 08/14
'Designer' Babies Are Only for the Rich The Daily Beast 07/14
Three-parent babies Health Line 06/14
We're Already Designing Babies The Atlantic 06/14
Startup offering DNA screening of 'hypothetical babies' raises fears over designer children The Guardian 04/14
Children to Order: The Ethics of 'Designer Babies' LiveScience 03/14
"Designer babies" on the way? In China, scientists attempt to unravel human intelligence CBS News 03/14
Stirring the simmering 'designer baby' pot Science Daily 03/14
Mitohype: 3-Parent Designer Babies Who Will Change Human Evolution PLOS.org 03/14
"Designer Babies" Aren't Coming. The New York Times Is Just Trying to Scare You Slate 02/14
Dad May Join Two Moms for Disease-Free Designer Babies Bloomberg 02/14
Designer babies may need extra DNA to avoid genetic disease Daily Caller 02/14
Patented Process Could Lead to Selection of Genes for Specific Traits WSJ 10/13
The Pros and Cons of Designer Babies Ethics of Designer Babies 04/13
Embryo from 2 women and 1 man made in lab CBC News 11/12
One Step Closer to Designer Babies Science Progress 04/11
Our Turn: Would engineering designer babies be unethical? Mlive 10/10
After Criticism, Fertility Clinic Halts Delivery of Designer Babies Fox News 03/10
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
Genetic Inequality: Human Genetic Engineering Nature 01/08
Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations ActionBioscience 04/06
Designer Babies Washington Monthly 03/02
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 Science Channel
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
Can you make a designer baby? Take the quiz! Discovery
Designer Babies About.com
Designer babies BEEP
Designer Babies Future Human Evolution
Designer Babies: Ethical Considerations ActionBioscience
Ethics of Designer Babies The Embryo Project at Arizona State University
Pros and Cons of Designer Babies Buzzle
Should there be designer babies? Debate.org
What is a designer baby? BioNet


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


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