Cyberpunk Review » Designer Babies, Only in L.A. (for now)

March 4, 2009

Designer Babies, Only in L.A. (for now)

Sources: MSNBC, now everywhere.

Designer Baby

One day, you will give birth to a freak of your own design.


‘Build-A-Bear’ but with babies. A fertility clinic in Los Angeles is giving prospective parents a chance to mod their babies via genetic manipulation. The technique, called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), allows parents and doctors to screen out potential gene-borne diseases and other “defects,” but soon could be used to increase the chance of a baby to have certain “choice” attributes like height, hair color, and even IQ.

Such genetic screening has been around forever, but in a much more natural form (discovered by Charles Darwin). It was even discovered that you could “choose” the gender/sex of your offspring with a timing method. But with the mapping of the human genome and genetic screening, it is now possible to fine-tune the looks and abilities of your children.

Master race, anyone?


Gattica, here we come! Maybe. The idea of spawning a Frankenstein-baby may be scary or exciting, but it may not catch on due to some major problems to be worked out. First off, the PGD process does not guarantee success; It only increases the odds that a child will have selected traits. Secondly, they have to use in vitro fertilization which doesn’t always work. And at $18K US per attempt, you can only afford one attempt.

Then, you have to deal with all the “eugenics” issues that will inevitably arise. An assembly-line master race may not be possible just yet.

Of course, that can all change when the machines take over…

This post has been filed under Bio-Hacking, News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.


March 4, 2009

v01d said:

Screening embryos isn’t genetic modification. And as to my knowledge, this is done from long ago: when fertilization occurs in-vitro, a number of embryos could be obtained, from which only one will be selected (by screening). Current laws don’t allow the remaining embryos to be discarded, so they are “cryogenicly” stored.

And isn’t it “gattaca”?

archangeleon said:

While it isn’t genetic modification per se, it is greatly tilting the odds in one direction or another that the child will/won’t have a particular trait. But right now, this is probably the closest commercially available method that is closest to it. Plus, I imagine that with genetic sequencing in the advanced state that it is, the selection and screening process is much more “high resolution” than it used to be. So while it isn’t full-on genetic modification, it’s a whole hell of a lot better than what we had before.

And yes, it is “gattaca”.

March 5, 2009

SolidFake said:

yes, gattaca, awesome movie

I heard that already possible are: eyecolor, hair color, gender and hereditary diseases

18k? Better buy a car, guys :D

March 7, 2009

isamu242 said:

I can only imagine the misanthropic pranks pulled on the engineers like hacking genetic templates to make the next twenty children off the assembly line model Adolf Hitler or female versions of Rush Limbaugh. :)

March 8, 2009

theo said:

“…Assembly line model Adolf Hitler or female versions of Rush Limbaugh.”

Bad commenter, no cookie. ;)

April 1, 2009

Brian Reinbolt said:

That picture reminds of the birth scene in “Amazon Women on the Moon”.

April 2, 2009

John said:

You are a retard

June 21, 2009

Normal Guy said:

They’re all retards.

July 2, 2009

Stormtrooper of Death said:

I have the 6th day on DVD. VEry good movie, the extra documentary is even better. Strange, the beloved dog of my wife and her 2 kids is getting older and we all do know, that one day, the nice dog will die.

I supposed to my wife, to clone our dog, so our 2 kids, will have the same dog as a puppy, and exactly the same dog. It is legal here, to clone your beloved dog,…

she did not like that idea. Dont know about the kids…

Anyhow, strange, the 6th day is just another Sci-fi cyberpunk movie, but i myselve asked the same question to my wife:

shouldnt we just clone our dog ? So, he comes back as a nice puppy 100% pure the same ? kids will be happy. playing with puppy, that will grow up the same dog.

my wife, doesnt like clone-tech or computers. she hates internet, and loves nature….

yeah, my wife.. anyhow i love my wife. But yeah, designer babies, are illegal in europe. cloning animals is legal. thats the big difrence.

January 31, 2010

Organic Baby Clothes said:

This mucking around to select in or out certain traits is risky. We don’t know what associated safety nets are in with those genes. A few decades down the road we will all look the same and the slightest environmental change will threaten the species far worse than if we hadn’t wiped out our diversity.

August 10, 2010

Felicti said:

Some ‘designer’ babies are born because an older sibling is sick with a fatal disease. They can pick an embryo, that will have something exactly the same that can cure the disease. You have to think about what it would feel like to be that baby. They were picked purposely above all the embryos not because of WHO they were but because of WHAT they were. They had genetic supiriority over all the other embryos. You were born for someone else. They will never be sure why they were born. For love, or for science?

Gage said:

Are people really that ugly?

March 25, 2012

Commo sense said:

I think designer babies should be put to rest, the world should not have people who are supposed to be better than others these babies they would create would be little snobs at heart, ad a horrible shell of a person

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