Designer Babies Becoming Reality?

Interesting article on designer babies. Who knew that 4 years ago, I’d start a book on this very subject. I still, at times, have to pinch myself that GOING NATIVE came out at the very time designer babies started to gain international attention.

A debatable issue, sometimes a hotly contested one, with people on both sides. Where do you stand? I’d love to hear your thoughts/opinions.

Here is the link to an article in Popular Science.


Human Gene Modification

Interesting article that looks at human gene modification from both sides. The Pros are presented from some and the Cons from others.

From what I see, the Pros are presented from the view point of health, curing disease, stopping suffering. The Cons are more from a moral view…taking God’s will into our own hands, gene discrimination, the ever present slippery slope.

Going Native is presented more from the view of gene discrimination though it is presented with the outward physical attributes as the guiding factors.

In the debates, the movie Gattaca was mentioned. I have never heard of it but will definitely look it up. Another take on an ‘what if’ in regards to manipulating genes.

Take a look and let me know what you think.


Only The Perfect Shall Be Allowed to Live

Below is an article about DNA manipulation in utero and one man’s take on it. What do you think about this? Though my book, Going Native, is a work of fiction, I wrote it from the standpoint of a society developing where children whose DNA manipulation wasn’t successful were treated as ‘lessers’ in a sense. Lower on the totem pole. Would I be opposed to such if it could keep a child from being born with a genetic disease? In my heart, I have to say as a parent how could I?  Only problem, I think, is that the human race has not proved itself to be very trustworthy, not to be speak of government intervention, money, greed from the very doctors who made the discovery.

Have we opened Pandora’s box?  What say you?


Doctors at a British fertility clinic will begin screening embryos for cosmetic defects, the first time a license to do so has been issued in the country.

A business man and his wife applied to London’s Bridge Centre family clinic for screening procedures to ensure an embryo would be created without the father’s genetic eye disorder–the man and his father both have an eye condition which gives them a severe squint.

Prof. Gedis Grudzinskas, with the Bridge Centre clinic, told the Telegraph UK that he believes the HFEA’s decision to permit screening for an eye disorder marks the beginning of a widespread relaxation of screening rules, Prof. Grudzinskas said. “We will increasingly see the use of embryo screening for severe cosmetic conditions.”

He said he would screen embryos for hair color or any cosmetic condition that caused distress to parents.

“If there is a cosmetic aspect to an individual case I would assess it on its merits. [Hair colour] can be a cause of bullying which can lead to suicide. With the agreement of the HFEA, I would do it.”

This is just baffling to me. Designer jeans are nothing more than the acting out of a desire to be fashionable and “with it.” Designer babies are even more nefarious, solely appealing to the ego. These parents don’t seem to be interested in having a child of their own as much as building a lab specimen. Remember that in order to create the perect child, many other imprefect children will be created and destroyed.

And the notion that hair color is a life changing factor because it leads to bullying and therefore suicide? By that logic no one should be born as any personal factor will lead to bullying. Bullies don’t bully because of a specific thing about a person; they bully because they want to bully. If someone wants to tease and pick on someone, they will. Everyone has something they’re sensitive about; bullies will find it and exploit it. No amount of genetic perfection will prevent that. By John Smith, Jr., May 8th 2007