We are back on TalkBack Thursdays with the new trending topic –
” DESIGNER BABIES”
These babies are not designers but are the ones designed using genetic engineering. The genetic makeup is artificially selected using genetic engineering according to the preferred gene or trait.In simple words it is possible to make babies of our preferred features or characters.
The embryo screening involves a process called as PRE-IMPLANTATION GENETIC DIAGNOSIS. The embryos are created by in-vitro fertilization and allowed to grow till 8 – celled stage. At this point the genes are screened and the defected cells are removed. The embryo containing normal cells form the baby.
In some cases the word designer baby refers to the proposed use of technique of medical preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select for desired non medical traits such as sex, hair or skin colour,athletic ability or intelligence. There is already a ” MICROCHIP ” that can test remarkable 1500 traits including heart disease, height,eye colour, athletic ability,suspectability to alcohol, lactose intolerance etc. Every chromosome in an embryonic cell can be scanned so that life threatening genetic diseases can be avoided by removing the defected cell.
One must note that the techniques proposed by gene therapy does not cure the disease but help in making a disease free designer baby.
PROS OF A DESIGNER BABY.
- Reduced risk of genetic disease.
- Better chances that child will succeed in life.
- Long life span
- Prevent transfer of genetic disease to future generation
- Child can have gene that parents don’t carry
CONS OF DESIGNER BABY
- Possibility of damage of gene pool
- Can create gap in society
- Lose of individuality
- Baby doesn’t have a choice in thus matter
- Only rich can afford it
- Children can be affected by parents decision
- Sexist people may encourage the growth of male designer baby leading to decrease in female population
- THE THREE PARENT BABY
The baby has three genetic parents thorough in virto fertilization where the mitochondrial DNA of the baby is from third party. This helps to prevent mitochondrial disease such as muscular dystrophy. It is a very controversial subject.
I would like to conclude by saying while considering this techniques one must not forget that this technique has its own sets of risk. There are high changes of introduction of new disease. Safety of patient is another important issue. Problems with gene editing cannot appear till the child is born. If this practice become popular it may create a claustrophobic world of clones of same personality or intellectual.. If ever a world of clone is formed there is going to be a war among human race for jobs etc.
This is what I have learned through this topic . Please do let me know your views.
Drafted by- Sneha Gaikar
Source- http://www.futureforallorg/biotechnology and wikipedia