Designing Babies : Blog Of The Nation Genetic engineering: advances in molding our own babies.

Designing Babies

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Imagine a world in which we could design our own babies. What would that world look like? My first inclination is to say that it would be a reflection of what our society prizes most -- extreme athleticism, bodily perfection, and high intellectual achievement. You could conceivably imagine a Mensa candidate who can dunk like Jordan and win the Miss. America crown. But on second thought, I wonder if some parents-to-be, for the sake of building character, would deliberately opt for an abnormally large nose or blindness, or a child that is hopelessly uncoordinated. Hmm...

Advances in genetic research promise to mitigate the effects of disease; but, 20 years from now, science may also give us the opportunity to engineer what our children will look and be like. Today, we'll talk about the implications and ethical concerns of this kind of technology. Ronald Green, author of Babies by Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice, and Marcy Darnovsky, the associate director at The Center For Genetics and Society, join us to field your questions. So tell us, do you desire a world in which everyone is genetically "perfect"? If you have questions or concerns about the ethics of genetic engineering, or what this technology means, leave them here.