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Designer Babies Essay

1059 words - 4 pages

Designer Babies
Since the time DNA was discovered, genetic modification has been advancing in our world. Around the late 20th century designing babies became a new topic. Genetic engineering is a powerful and potentially very dangerous tool. To alter the sequence of nucleotides of the DNA that code for the structure of complex living organisms, can have extremely ill effects although the potential benefits can be huge. Today’s advances in gene therapy make it possible to remove bad genes and replace them with functioning genes in cells lacking this function. Though these techniques are available, they are still in experimental stages. Somatic cell therapy uses bad genes to target the affected areas for genetic treatment. This technique is beneficial in the treatment of cancers and lung, blood and liver disorders. Since the treatment is localized, any unwanted effects of this are not passed on to the next generation.
These advances in genetic engineering make the possibility of “designer babies” a reality this process to design a baby to the parent’s specification is called “germline engineering” and it would allow parents to pick the genes they want for their future child. How far this could go is unpredictable; theoretically humans could for example be made more efficient requiring less food but able to work harder. Every parent wants their child to be special and this is the method many parents are looking for. When the choice to change every characteristic of a child is available, many would not refuse. Why have average children when it is possible to have one with perfect health, one whose good looking, intelligent and every other desirable characteristic parents could want?
This may sound like a perfect fix, there are many ethical dilemmas that would arise if parents had the option to genetically engineer their babies. There are many strengths and weaknesses to creating a couples child. Some of the weaknesses are the cost; it ranges from 2 to 30 thousand dollars depending on if you want to only choose sex or other traits. Some other questions one may ask about designer babies is, Are the technologies of genetic modification and selection safe enough to be used on humans? As of now techniques of genetic modification introduce genes at random places in the genome. People should be concerned about the possibility that an inserted copy of a gene may arrive in the target genome in a way that disrupts the function of another gene crucial for survival.
Many people feel genetic engineering is an interference with natural conception. Some believe that once the egg gets fertilized by the sperm the human is created and should not be messed with because it was created specifically to be a new person. If you change the...

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