What are the origins of designer babies

Everything you need to know about designer babies

Thanks to new research and technology, we are one big step closer to theDesigner babies come in recent years. This article will tell you everything you need to know about designer babies.

But let's start with the normal process. To have a child naturally, we need a woman and a man. The woman's egg provides one set of chromosomes and the man the other. After a successful fertilization, all the necessary information is available to create an embryo. This one starts to grow slowly and over time it becomes a baby.

Let's assume that the father has green eyes. Accordingly, he carries the gene for green eyes on one chromosome and a gene for brown eyes on the other. The sperm has a 50% chance of getting the brown eye, as only one of the two genes can fit.

The same applies to all the other approximately 20,000 genes that research assumes that they make up a person. Of course, this principle also applies to women and the egg cell. If the woman carries the gene for brown and blue eyes, then the child can get the eye color from the pool of both parents.

For example, if none of the parents has a blue eye gene, there is a very high probability that the child canno get blue eyes. Although there are very rare exceptional cases, these do not occur very often.

A baby whose appearance, features, etc. have been selected through genetic engineering is called a designer baby. Imagine you are given a kind of menu card on which you can put together your dream baby. You can choose the baby's size, eye color, skin color, and even IQ.

History of the designer babies

The idea of ​​designer babies was first introduced by Dr. Jeff Steinberg, an IVF pioneer in the 1970s. Long before Watson & Crick discovered the famous double helix structure of DNA in 1953, a scientist named Frederick Griffith was working on a project that enabled others to point out in 1928 that DNA is the molecule of inheritance.

Fourteen years later, a scientist named Oswald Avery continued Griffith's experiment to find out what the hereditary molecule was. In this experiment, he destroyed the lipids, ribonucleic acids, carbohydrates and proteins of virulent pneumonia. In the mid-1990s, embryologist Jacques Cohen pioneered a promising new technique to help infertile women have children. His technique, known as cytoplasmic transfer, was designed to "save" the eggs of infertile women who have repeated themselves.

Adam Nash was born in October 2000 and is the world's first designer baby to be born through pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Both of his parents were unaffected carriers of Fanconi anemia, a genetic disorder that they passed on to their daughter. Rescuing her daughter Molly required a bone marrow transplant from a suitable donor. The PGD procedure consists of in vitro fertilization of embryos and implanting healthy embryos in the uterus so that pregnancy can begin. In this case, they selected healthy embryos that could also be Molly's donors. The procedure was successful and helped give Molly a second chance at a healthier life.

This is how a designer baby is created in the laboratory

  • An embryo is through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) generated.
  • A cell is removed from the embryo within the first five days.
  • This cell is genetically checked and advanced reproductive technology allows doctors to diagnose possible problems early and only select healthy cells

However, at the moment only two types are legally possible:

  • Selection of the sperm that an egg cell should fertilize, so you can determine the gender and genes of the designer baby
  • Genetic Preimplantation Diagnosis (PGD)

The pros and cons of having a designer baby

Benefits of a designer baby

  • Extension of the service life
  • Genetic diseases (hereditary diseases) can be eradicated in this way
  • Family illnesses, such as being too small, bad skin or hair, are a thing of the past
  • It enables the child to live a healthy life
  • Reduces the death rate in children
  • Designer babies are an option, not a must
  • In this way, children can receive genes that their parents do not have
  • Parents can choose their gender to keep the boy and girl balanced
  • Reduces / eliminates the chance of deformity
  • Allows parents to have a child who normally couldn't have one
  • Allergies can be prevented
  • Biologists learn a lot about genetics

Increase in life expectancy

It is expected that designer babies will have a significantly longer life expectancy than conventional babies. It is estimated that these can age approximately 30 years.

Positive influence

The changes can give the child a significantly higher life expectancy, health and intelligence. The appearance and size can also be positively influenced.

Early change in life

You can raise your child and teach him a lot and see that he will get an academic degree through a lot and good learning. However, you can have this behavior, the intelligence, these mental abilities "implanted" into him.

Genetic disorders are reduced

When creating a designer baby using genetic modification, the chances of genetic problems can be significantly reduced. It is not only the chance to reduce possible illnesses, but also the chance to significantly increase the chance of your designer baby's chances of survival.

You have the choice

You can determine a large part of your baby before the birth. You also have to say what should and shouldn't be done. If you only want to make adjustments in the event of possible illnesses and leave the other options untouched, that's no problem.

The ethical point of view should not hold back science and technology in this industry, as it can completely eradicate known diseases in future generations.

Disadvantages of a designer baby

  • Genetic engineers are human too, mistakes can happen
  • If something goes wrong, the embryo will die
  • The technology is still too new, "teething problems" can arise
  • A baby cannot consent to be a designer baby, the decision is made by the parents
  • Parents can use genetic engineering for superficial purposes, e.g. to create models.
  • A two group society could emerge, designer babies and regular babies
  • Due to problems with the new technology, even the baby's family tree (e.g. his children) could get into trouble
  • It could be that people are becoming more and more similar and thus becoming more average
  • The cost of designer babies isn't exactly cheap
  • Ethical and moral concerns
  • Wanting to play God
  • Killing embryos that can become humans
  • Adapted people will be superior to normal people
  • Removes genes that would have been good for the child
  • Personality is changed

Still in the experimental phase

Since this technology is still in the development phase, complications can also arise in designer babies. It still takes a lot of time and research to reach a level where creating modified babies is safe.

Mistakes could also lead to new, unknown diseases that never existed but that have arisen as a result of changes in babies. A random mixture and a disease could arise that brings great problems for mankind.

Ethical and moral issues

Are designer babies ethical? It is the same question of whether or not to abort a baby. An abortion removes the embryo, a mistake in the removal or modification of the embryo can also lead to its death.

Violation of the rights of the undrilled

When a designer baby is born, you change their life and you make that decision without their consent. They change his physical, mental and emotional state for his entire life.

Social separation

The more designer babies there are, the more society is divided. People with adjustments will feel superior to normal people. There can be hostile camps between "normal" and "modified".

11 facts about designer babies

  1. The technique of gene therapy: If parents want to have a child with desired characteristics, they can have it with the help of gene therapy techniques. It can also be used to treat diseases.
  2. Primary benefits of a designer baby: The main benefit of having a designer baby is that the baby has a lower risk of developing an illness. The specific genetic disease is examined beforehand.
  3. How to get embryos: The evaluation for the designer baby can only be carried out if the embryos or egg cells are available via IVF or vitro fertilization. It is considered one of the assisted reproductive technologies.
  4. Selection of genetic traits: With a microchip, at least 1,500 different genetic traits can now be tested at once. It is said that this offers great advantages over traditional techniques.
  5. Genetic engineering: The human gene pool can have a deleterious effect if the designer baby is introduced through genetic engineering.
  6. Non-Medical Reasons for Choosing a Designer Baby: Some people want designer babies for non-medical reasons. You can decide on the hair color, gender, intelligence, athletic ability and cosmetic properties by having the proposed application of pre-implantation.
  7. The controversy behind a designer baby: The controversy still resides in how people view the use of designer babies. The process caused by non-medical purposes is viewed negatively in society.
  8. Choosing the gender of a designer baby: Since 2009 it has been possible for parents to choose the baby's gender, as it affects the X and Y chromosomes.
  9. Risks Associated with a Designer Baby: The risk of developing a new disease is increased when the genetic modification is applied to new organisms. With the development of genetic engineering, we are inviting new risks, the consequences of which are unknown. Life, as we know, is becoming programmable. These changes are happening quickly over the next decade. Additionally, things can get even crazier in the distant future.
  10. Where does the definition of "designer baby" come from: The term “designer baby” was borrowed from “designer clothing”, which describes the disapproving effect of transforming babies. Liberal technophiles, libertarians, and transhumanists are the people who support them. This process of creating a “designer baby” is often questioned for ethical reasons.
  11. Are designer babies allowed in Germany?: At the moment no designer babies are allowed in Germany.