The Need to Regulate Designer Babies Scientific American

The Need to Regulate Designer Babies Scientific American -...

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On March 3 the cover story of the New York Daily News trumpeted a simple imperative to “Design Your Baby.” The screaming headline related to a service that would try to allow parents to choose their baby’s hair, eye and skin color. A day later the Fertility Institutes reconsidered. The organization made an “internal, self regulatory decision” to scrap the project because of “public perception” and the “apparent negative societal impacts involved,” it noted in a statement. The change of heart will do nothing to stymie the dawning era of what the article called “Build-A-Bear” babies. The use (and abuse) of advanced fertility technology that evokes fears of Gattaca, Brave New World and, of course, the Nazis’ quest for a blonde, blue-eyed race of Aryans continues apace. A recent survey found that about 10 percent of a group who went for genetic counseling in New York City expressed interest in screening for tall stature and that some 13 percent said they would be willing to test for superior intelligence. The Fertility Institutes is still building the foundation for a nascent dial-a-trait catalogue: it routinely accepts clients who wish to select the sex of their child. The decision to scrap the designer baby service came just a few weeks after Nadya Suleman, a single, unemployed California mother
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2011 for the course BIOL 1362 taught by Professor Loeblich during the Spring '08 term at University of Houston.

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