'Designer babies' debate should start, scientists say - BBC News - 01/15
Image from Five Scariest Future Technologies
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?
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 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