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Genetic Engineering & Designer Babies. By: Robin Saville and Ashley Lewis. Overview. Definition Different techniques Video Pros Cons Social, Ethical, & Political issues. What is a designer baby?.

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genetic engineering designer babies

Genetic Engineering & Designer Babies

By: Robin Saville and Ashley Lewis

  • Definition
  • Different techniques
  • Video
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Social, Ethical, & Political issues
what is a designer baby
What is a designer baby?
  • “A baby whose genetic makeup has been artificially selected by genetic engineering, combined with in vitro fertilization to ensure the presence or absence of particular genes or characteristics”.
  • Term created by journalists and society, not scientists
different techniques
Different Techniques
  • In vitro fertilization
    • Fertilizations of the egg by the sperm in test tubes, outside the mother’s body
  • Sperm sorting
    • Taking the sperm of the father and separating into male and female chromosome carriers and then artificially inseminating the mother with the “right” sperm
different techniques1
Different Techniques
  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
    • Screen embryos for a genetic disease
    • Only selected embryos are implanted back into the mother’s womb
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
    • An ultrasound examination to determine the sex of the fetus
  • Traditional Methods
    • Eating dairy food for a girl
    • Salty food for a boy
    • Conceiving at a certain time or position
germ line therapy vs gene therapy
Germ Line Therapy vs. Gene Therapy
  • Germ line therapy
    • “Cure” genetic disease in embryos by replacing faulty sections of DNA with healthy DNA
  • Gene therapy
    • Modify the faulty genes in the cells of a grown child or an adult
    • Used for diseases like cystic fibrosis
  • Reduce baby’s chances of being born with serious diseases
  • Reduced chance of next generation inheriting genes with diseases
  • “Savior” sibling
    • Adam Nash
    • Charlie Whitaker
  • Playing God
    • Unnatural process
  • Disrupts level of biodiversity in human race
    • Cosmetic reasons
  • Reduces child’s freedom and say
  • Eugenics
    • “The study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits”.
    • Widens gap between the rich and poor
    • Unreasonable fear or hatred towards foreigners
    • Gender discrimination
    • Discrimination against disabled
social issues
Social Issues
  • Term was created by journalists and society rather than scientists
  • A better term would be “selected babies”
  • Will be the babies be socially accepted?
  • Google and Amazon removed advertisements for sex selection products and services
ethical issues
Ethical Issues
  • Where do we draw the line?
  • Human traits are controlled by multiple genetic factors
    • If you change one gene, how will it affect the others?
    • Athleticism and intelligence affected by environmental factors
  • Discrimination
    • Tall versus short
    • Gender
  • Whose right is it to declare what the better trait is?
ethical issues1
Ethical Issues
  • Is it ethical to allow parents to choose disabilities for their children?
    • Sharon Duchesneau & Candy McCullough
    • Deaf designer baby
political issues
Political Issues
  • Prenatal diagnosis, sperm sorting, and traditional methods are not affected by the law
  • Laws governing the use of PGD, for specifically nonmedical sex selection, varies around the world
    • Not illegal in US and Australia
political issues1
Political Issues
  • PGD and sex selection is permitted where gender of the child is connected to a certain genetic disorder
    • Ex. Disorder is only passed onto male children
    • United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, and Germany
  • “Savior siblings”
    • Should parents be allowed to do this?
  • Pros and Cons of Designer Babies. (2012). Buzzle. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • Designer Babies Debate. (2011). Buzzle. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • Naik, Gautam. (2009). A Baby, Please. Blonde, Freckles—Hold the Colic. WSJ. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • What is a designer baby? (2002). Bionet. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • Keim, Brandon. (2009). Designer Babies: A Right to Choose? WiredScience. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • Steere, Mike. (2008). Designer Babies: Creating the Perfect Child. CNN. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • “Designer Babies” Ethical? (2009). CBS. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.
  • Genetic Engineering. (2010). FutureHumanEvolution. Retrieved April 12th, 2012.