Creating designer babies who are free from disease and super athletic or smart may finally be around the corner.
But American society hasn't fully thought out the ethical implications for the future of baby making or policies to regulate these techniques, an ethicist argues in an article published today (March 13) in the journal Science.
"We're on the cusp of having much more information, and the appearance of having much greater discretion, in choosing the traits of our children," said article author Thomas H. Murray, a bioethicist at the Hastings Center, a nonprofit research center in Garrison, N.Y. People also need to think about what parents and doctors will do with the technology, he said. "What use will they make of it, and should there be limits?"
In fact, in February, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met to consider conducting clinical trials to test out genetic manipulation techniques to prevent mitochondrial disease from occurring in offspring. [Top 10 Mysterious Diseases]
Since the 1990s, the prospect of futuristic technologies such as human cloning or selecting for superhuman traits have stoked public fears about "designer babies."
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