The World Of Designer Babies

Designer babies are newborns who have their genetic makeup pre-selected to assure the presence of particular genes and features. From once a science fiction fantasy, now in action in true reality. Germline Modification is active already in countries like United Kingdom, France, Switzerland but for strict medical application. On the contrary, the practice is outlawed across the rest of the majority due to reasons such as ethical concerns. While some experts look to use the technology to combat hereditary disorders, some look to benefit from it as use it for more superficial reasons like pre-selecting physical characteristics of the child. The ethics surrounding designer babies are up for debate now more than ever. This post looks to provide an overview on the current climate of things. 

Extending lifespan of humans 
The process of genetic editing could assist in pushing the lifespan time further. There are numerous infections and illnesses which we encounter that have the potential to take life early. This science would help discover ways to reversing some of the most common reasons leading to cellular declines. It is a chance of improving the quality and quantity of life. 

Treating genetically disordered 
By altering an individual's genome, inheritable diseases and disorders can be prevented from being passed on to future generations. The disorders include Down syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, Spinal muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease and so on. In addition, it might also offer the chance of reducing the risk of inherited medical conditions like anaemia, cancer and diabetes from being passed onto offspring. 

A chance for a better future (to children)
Genetic editing offers parents the chance to give their children something that they have never had. Some emerging prospects to mention: the manipulation of the human genome, the removal of mitochondrial dysfunctions and pushing the boundaries of human abilities. Genetic modification might sound revolutionary but it has already proven in action.  

Speeding up pharmaceutical discovery processes
The use of Cas9 (CRISPR) and other gene-editing techniques like ZFNs (Sangamo) offer the potential to increase drug discovery processes in other medical fields. The technology is somewhat affordable considering its age, high precision level and simplicity for relative use. Many manufactures are already using this option in their research and development phases for product development. It is expected to become more accessible across various demographics in the coming years. 

Leading latest scientific advancements 
Developments of designer babies could help lead to new avenues of research beyond the domains of health and wellness. It is an innovative choice which can offer significant levels of accuracy, versatility making it useful. For example, it could potentially help aid food resources by instilling wellness in each structure. It is a groundbreaking field offering unique potentials in improving the quality of life of various forms.

Infringing on the rights of the baby 
When you go ahead with genetic modification, you are changing the life and spirit of a living human being without considering the person’s approval or decision in favour. You are predetermining the choices over the child’s rational, emotional and bodily structure without the infant having a say on whether it is something that is needed or not. It brings to question the dilemma where the infant will be used as a logical trial rather than being dealt with in a progressive form.

Ethical and moral issues
This is somewhat very similar to the disaster where you have the option to rule out the undesirable ones. There is also the chance for designer babies to turn into genetic bio-weapon by storing heredity profiles in databases. This could store pertinent information about the individuals made through the procedure. Essentially, a gap in society could be created, with classes that distinguish designer babies from those that are not. For those who can afford it and those who cannot. 

Reducing the diversity of humanity 
When we begin to change the genetic profile of individuals before they are born, we are creating precedence on limiting the amount of genetic diversity that is available to us. It has been proven that the rate of disease and mutation increase exponentially when there is a lack of diversity within human populations. Despite genetic editing offering the theoretical potential to help treat issues, it may very well bring in more problems to human society.

Potential as only temporary relief 
The prospects for genetic manipulation does look promising by many aspects but this does not rule out the chance for unforeseeable problems. Antibiotics were also once seen as a solution to medical issues but we all know about the consequences of antibiotic resistance in treatment methods. There is very much a chance to experience something similar when creating designer babies too. A lack of genetic diversity has been proven to cause defects and many other complications.

No guarantee of success
Research shows that most medicational treatments like this offer high levels of potential on paper but not true significance  in delivering a true practical outcome. Many people who have received similar treatments to genetic editing often revert back in their previous state as soon as the therapy concludes. There is a real chance that designer babies could respond in the same way. 

There is still a long way to go from a multiple of different perspectives before designer babies are more accepted in human society. Please feel free to share your thoughts down in the comment section below.

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Elicit Folio said...

This has to be one of the most fascinating articles I've read all week! The point about our ability to evolve as a species really hit home. We've improved in a lot of ways as humans, but we've also degenerated our own genes with science, medicine and food.

Claudia said...

This was an interesting read. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I mean, on the one hand, I understand that there are benefits to health, but on the other hand, it feels a little bit like the beginning of a sci-fi movie.

Brianne said...

This is a fascinating concept. It feels a little bit like science fiction, but I guess the future is now. I can see the benefits, but we do have to be careful about how we go forward.

Julie Cao said...

Designer babies is such a new and interesting concept for me. I thought it was only in science fiction, but now it is getting real. I am glad it lengthens the babies' lifespan, but we also need to aware of the ethical issues.

Gervin Khan said...

This article is really interesting to read and somewhat essential. Manipulating babies genome can really makes a difference in the future but We should also be warn and logical to this kind of process.

Yudith said...

The ability to screen embryos for particular defects provides a new source of hope for parents who are carriers of fatal genetic defects. This is what designer baby do.

Knycx Journeying said...

It's not a new topic to the world and I am always fascinated by what technologies can do.
A very controversial issue and I think ultimately is about the control - are we supposed to let the genetics develop naturally or not. - Knycx Journeying

Marie at Complete Literature said...

This is a great article showing both sides of the issue. My perspective is that we are going down a dangerous road with this. It removes humanity from the picture. And as you mentioned above, sometimes messing with genetics can make things way worse in the long run.
One thing we can do that helps tremendously is take good care of the body we have--something that few people even know how to do, let alone have the discipline to do those things (we all love our junk food, lol).