Should Designer Babies Be Allowed

Topics: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Genetics, Sex selection Pages: 7 (1889 words) Published: January 12, 2011
Should designer babies be allowed?


In my case study I will be discussing should designer babies be allowed? I will be looking at what designer babies are, how would they be achieved? as well as the pros and cons of designer babies. I will also review the possible effects that having designer babies has.

Explanation of designer babies
A designer baby is the word used to describe the act of genetically modifying the genes of babies. They can also screen embryos for any disorders and could even been uses for modification of characteristics such as gender eye colour and even intelligence. Advanced technologies have allowed doctors to be able to screen embryos for any genetic disorders to enable them to select healthy embryos. It is now also possible to use these advanced technologies to select the gender of a child. Through In vitro fertilization people believe that we will be able to use the genetic technologies to modify these embryos to choose the wanted characteristics of a child. The term designer babies come from how journalists describe this possible situation but this is not a term used by scientist although in 2004 the term was put into the Oxford English dictionary.

This is a reliable source because the information is written by specialist and I also looked up the word designer baby in the dictionary and used the information I found.

How are designer babies made?

The act of modifying the genes of an embryo for reasons such as to prevent disease or gender selection can be achieved as shown in the diagram below.

This diagram shows the process of genetic screening which is based on the testing embryo for any defects that may be in the genes such as genetic diseases. The process starts with the women being given fertility drugs so that she will product more than just one egg in her next menstrual cycle. These eggs are then fertilised using the father’s sperm to produce embryos. These embryos ant analysed for any genetic defects and from this only the healthy embryos are injected into the uterus. The mother then gives birth to a genetically healthy baby. The transfusion of the umbilical cord blood can be used to help a sick child of the mother.

The fertility institutes

A US clinic based in Los Angeles, New York and Mexico has offered parents to be the chance to select the gender of their next child. The company offer couples to select the gender of their child as well as screen for over 400 hereditary diseases. The company run by Dr Jeff Steinberg will also be offering these couples the opportunity to choose the traits such as hair and eye colour of the child.

The program explains how the procedure of works stating that several eggs are taken from the mother and the sperm is supplied by the father. The egg is then fertilised by the sperm in the lab. After three days several 8 cell embryos will be developed so the specialist doctors can examine the genetic makeup and screen the embryo for any genetic discords and select the desired gender. Only healthy embryos are implanted into the mother so birth can take place as normal.

The company claims 100% sex selection. They say that research and work has be carried out from the 1980’s and 1990’s that has provided method of offering the chance of a desired gender of a child and state that outcome ranges from “excellent to virtually GUARANTEED.”
The information used is from a reliable source because it is from a company that specialise in gender selection and genetic screening.

Scientific Understanding on gender selection

It is known that the gender of a baby is determined by the sex chromosome carried by the sperm. This is when the X chromosome uniting with the X from the female and resulting with an XX pregnancy therefore being a female baby. If the...

Bibliography: (2002) (2001-2010 The Fertility Institutes) (last modified on 31 January 2010) (By Priya Johnson Published: 7/13/2009)
Complete idiot’s guide to understanding cloning (Jay D. Gralla, Preston Gralla) 2004
Gautam Naik Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A10 (Wednesday, 4 October, 2000,) (8/1/2009)
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