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Designer Babies

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Carina Jimenez

on 10 November 2014

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Transcript of Designer Babies

What is it?
A designer baby is a baby genetically engineered through
in-vitro fertilization (IVF)

(used to treat female infertility caused by damaged or blocked fallopian tubes) for specially selected traits, which can vary from lowered disease-risk to gender selection.
How does it work?
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been used in some fertility clinics since the 1990s, but it may become much more common in the future. Also known as embryo screening, the process involves taking a 3-day-old embryo and pulling one of its six cells to test for genetic markers of disease. Embryos that are in the clear are the ones that are implanted into a woman's womb.

Currently, PGD is most often used to test for conditions like cancer, mental retardation and blindness. It may also be used to determine which embryos are most possible for implantation in women who are prone to miscarriage, and some couples have used it in their attempts to create savior siblings, or genetic matches for a sick sibling in need of a transplant. However, some clinics have already begun using this technology to select embryos for traits like gender, a practice that is outlawed in places like the United Kingdom, India and China, but is currently legal in the United States.

In principle, PGD could also be used to weed out—or specifically choose—physical traits such as eye or hair color, which are governed by relatively few genes. It will be much harder to select for other traits, such as height, athleticism or intelligence, because they are governed by multiple genetic factors as well as environmental effects.
- another dangerous step down the path of transhumanism (A movement supporting the use of reason, science and technology to advance and enhance human abilities and existence under optimal conditions.)
- dangerous
- wanting to put characteristics of plants and animals into humans.
- Life would be different in the future
: A world full of Designer children
: Changing Evolution
- Amateurs trying genetic engineering at home.
In 2013, a personal-genomic company in California has been awarded a broad U.S. patent for a technique that could be used in a fertility clinic to create babies with selected traits, as the frontiers of genetic enhancement continue to advance.

The patented process from 23andMe, whose main business is collecting DNA from customers and analyzing it to provide information about health and ancestry, could be employed to match the genetic profile of a would-be parent to that of donor sperm or eggs. In theory, this could lead to the approach of "designer babies."

The technique potentially could also be used to create healthier babies, by screening out donors with genes that are predisposed to disease, either on their own, or in combination with the recipient's genes.
23andMe's patent describes a different technique. It explains how a patient would first specify certain traits that he or she wants in a child. Based on the patient's own genetic profile, a computerized system then "performs inheritance calculations pertaining to the [traits] of interest and identifies one or more preferred donors for the recipient," the patent states
Gene Selection
The First Designer Baby
Historical Background Information
Adam Nash, born in Colorado of 2000, was the first test tube baby created to provide matching tissue for an older sibling. Without her "savior sibling", Molly Nash, 6, who was suffering from a blood disorder that leads to dangerously low blood-cell counts and constant fatigue, could have died within a year. Her only hope was a bone-marrow transplant. Doctors preferred a genetically matched sibling. Thus, Molly's parents underwent IVF to try and create such a donor. Creating Adam to treat Molly's disorder had been a success.

Even though Adam Nash would be considered a designer baby, he only applies to the category of embryos that have been genetically altered to ensure that they'll be healthy and free of a particular disease causing gene.

Today a designer baby is described as being an embryo who's non essential genes like hair color, eye color, and athleticism has been selected and implanted back into the mothers womb. This type of designer baby is banned in some countries.
This video expresses the morality and social issue regarding designer babies. It recovers the basic of PGD and the controversy over trait selection.
A patent secured by California-based 23andMe gives the company the rights to match the genetic profile of would-be parents with donor sperm and eggs
This video, as well, covers the morality of designer babies and contains a reference to GATTACA - the traits of the two brothers Jerome and Vincent.
- saves lives and prevents diseases
- more appealing = "better life"
- stronger humans

What is a designer baby?
a. a creative baby, genetically designed to be ingenious
b. naturally birthed baby
c. a baby designed though processes called PDG or IVF to create healthier babies
What does IVF stand for?
a. In-Virtual Family
b. In-Vitro Fertilization
c. In-Visual Fertility
PGD is used to test conditions such as cancer, blindness, mental retardation.
What are the benefits of a designer baby?
a. prevents diseases and saves lives
b. change of evolution
c. genetically modified babies with characteristic of immortality
What are the obstructive views on designer babies?
a. amateurs trying genetic engineering at home
b. diversity within the future among naturally born babies and genetically engineered babies
c. dangerous step toward transhumanism
d. all the above
Full transcript