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University of Bristol
Wellcome Trust
Recommended by:
Society of Biology
PEEP for Physics & Ethics at GCSE
 

Designer Babies

Introduction

For couples who are at risk of having a baby with a serious genetically inherited condition, the options are:

• To have the baby, test to see if it has the condition (post-natal screening);

• To test the foetus for the condition during pregnancy (pre-natal diagnosis);

• To create an embryo outside the body and test it for the condition.

Assisted reproduction techniques and human genome mapping have made it possible to take a cell out of a 2-3 day old embryo, when it is at the 4-8 cell stage and test the cell for the presence of various genes.

This technique is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or embryo biopsy and in the UK it can be done legally if it is the interest of the embryo to do so. For example parents may wish to test the embryo for genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington's disease.

It is ethically more problematic when this type of genetic testing is done to try to create a baby who can be a tissue donor for another person, for example a sick sibling or to select for other traits at the request of the parents.
 

 Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or embryo biopsy

 

What's your opinion?

Average rating

Current rating: 2/5 (from 1 votes cast)

Read comments

NOT RATED Oliver Nicholls 26-02-09 09:34
Very interesting
NOT RATED Annonymus 12-03-09 13:29
Designer babies is not right but i think if the baby was going to have a serious illness, their parents should be able to remove that gene.
Carla Gray 14-03-09 20:19
Although i think this is good to prevent medical conditions, for any other reason it is completely wrong
NOT RATED Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah 14-09-09 09:27
If every parent was to choose how they're baby was then we wouldn't be unique.
But i do agree it would be a good cause if we were able to get rid off such diseases such as huntington's disease.
:)
(Im 14 xD)
NOT RATED ... 24-06-10 14:51
i totally agree with the 14 year old, children shouldn't be messed with just to suit the parents desires
NOT RATED Baffed'Child 06-10-10 20:32
I agree, designer baby thingy is extreemly dangerous and is not a procedure that people should use for their own desires. i am also 14 and we are at the moment studying about genetic diseases, and huntingtons disease is a horriable disease and it would be nice to get rid of it :)
NOT RATED Wise 18 year old 22-03-13 12:31
I'm 18 so... yeah.

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