Designer Babies


A designer babies is a baby whose genetic makeup has been selected or altered, often to include a particular gene or to remove genes associated with disease. This process usually involves analysing human embryos to identify genes associated with disease, and selecting embryos which have the desired genetic makeup - a process known as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Other potential methods by which a baby's genetic information can be altered involve directly editing the genome - a person's genetic code - before birth. This process is not routinely performed and only one instance of this is known to have occurred as of 2019, where Chinese twins Lulu and Nana were edited as embryos, causing widespread criticism.

Genetically altered embryos can be achieved by introducing the desired genetic material into the embryo itself, or into the sperm and/or egg cells of the parents - either by delivering the desired genes directly into the cell or using gene editing technology. This process is known as germline engineering and performing this on embryos which will be brought to term is not typically permitted by law. Editing embryos in this manner means that the genetic changes can be carried down to future generations, and since the technology concerns editing the genes of an unborn baby, it is considered controversial and is subject to ethical debate. While some scientists condone the use of this technology to treat disease, some have raised concerns that this could be translated into using the technology for cosmetic means and enhancement of human traits, with implications for the wider society.

Customized Baby:

If you would go by the progress that is happening in the field of creating designer babies, you can easily compare it to something which can more aptly be referred to as creating a customized baby. Just the way that you can today create your very own customized pizza or sub by ordering a particular type of base or bread, the toppings, and the sauces, you can also do the same for your baby. For instance, you could choose from a pre-determined list of items that you wish your baby to have or not have. When you opt to go for a designer baby, you would be asking for things such as blue or green eyes (or a shade that you want your baby’s eyes to be), blonde hair (or the shade that you want your baby’s hair to be), no illness, the person’s gene pool to get that lean look or curved figure, lactose intolerance quotient and much more. According to 23andMe, a personal genetics company, you can also buy a baby genetic predictor tool that the company has created. The company has specific guidelines where it tells you how, as a mother, you can choose from various options of preferences and screen through the sperm that potential donors have, in order that your baby will possess those particular traits that you are looking for. 

You can opt for a particular shade of eye color and a level to which you want to reduce your baby’s risk to being affected by certain types of diseases. GenePeeks is another company which is coming out with more advanced options in the field of genetic mutation and design. It has developed a technology known as Match Right, which is currently available at certain fertility clinics. It will help you to screen the sperm from various possible donors to understand the resultant outcome when that particular sperm is matched with yours. As a result, you will know exactly what type of baby you will have when you choose to match with a donor to create a designer baby. The tool has a search option which will also let you look for any predictable diseases that your baby might be at risk of in the future as well as any specific traits that your baby may pick up or have. Once you finish the designing process, your to-be baby will then go through a series of production steps. Some of these steps may also be carried out in a laboratory, and not inside the womb.


Facts About Designer Babies:

Whether you are planning to have a designer baby or you simply want to know more about it, here are a few facts about designer babies that you should know:
·         Most parents who want to opt for the option of a designer baby look for various illnesses that could be prevented in the baby. The most common diseases that the parents look for are cancer, blindness, mental illness, and more.
·         1 out of 10 people who opt for having a designer baby feel that they can improve their baby’s overall intelligence and his height.
·         3 out of 10 people who opt for having a designer baby feel that they can make their babies immortal.
·         32 percent people who opt for having a designer baby want to do so in the hope that they can prevent various health issues in their babies.
·         Countries such as India, China, and the UK, do not support the process of designer babies and have, in fact, made it an illegal.
·         The technology that helps to create designer babies is not one hundred percent safe. At the moment, it is still in its experimental stage and there is much to be developed and tested.
·         If the process of creating a designer baby is not done properly, it could result in an accidental termination of the baby.
·         In many cases, parents opt for having a designer baby only to create superficial benefits for the baby. Many parents opt for the process only to get a certain type of look, such as having a baby with blonde hair or blue eyes.
·         There is a debate that says that creating designer babies can lead to a gap in society, where babies who are born in a regular way will have a marked difference compared to babies who are born as part of the designer baby series. Such babies who are born as designer babies may look better, think better or even have lesser chances of falling sick.


Advantages:

1. Can Increase Overall Life Expectancy.

2. Reduces Chances Of Various Genetic Disorders.

3. Reduces Chances Of Inherited Diseases.

4. Provides Scope Of Better Understanding For Medical Professionals.

5. An Overall Positive Influence On The Baby.


Disadvantages:

1. Ethical And Moral Aspects.

2. Violation Of Your Baby’s Rights.

3. Not An Error-Free Process.

4. Can Create A Marked Gap In Society, Leading To Classes.

5. Takes away from the child’s individual personality.




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