Designer Babies One Step Closer As Ethics Committee Gives A Go?

in technology •  2 months ago

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We are definitely entering a weird new world where cars will drive themselves, AI will be taking over a lot of our work load even making decisions for us in some cases, cryptocurrencies will be mainstream, holograms will be real and more.

One of the weirder capabilities that we will have is of high tech genetic modification. This is kind of a grey area as far as morality is concerned because genes are the foundational basis for life itself and editing them might be like playing with life itself.

There are many different applications of genetic modification ranging from medicine, agriculture, research to even industrial applications, but today I want to talk about a futuristic use case of creating ‘designer babies’.

If that term confuses you, let me quickly explain what it means. In simple words, a designer baby is a baby whose genes were modified when it was in the embryonic stage to produce particular desirable traits.

Designer Babies of The Future

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Technology has always made the seemingly impossible, possible. With our current technology, there is not much we can do as far as designer babies are concerned but scientists think that we might some day be able to do more, much more!

Not only could be determine the cosmetic changes in a baby like the colour of eyes, hair, skin, general appearance, we will also be able to make it immune to many, many diseases. Of course it can’t be immune to all the diseases, but every single one that it can be immune to is a risk averted.

On top of that, even though some scientists doubt it, some others suggest that one day we might be able to even enhance things like strength, intelligence, and other abilities, though doing that would be no simple feat as we just don’t have any clue about how many genes come together to bring out those traits in a child. But it remains to be seen.

Of course, this raises a lot of concerns as well. If this technology were available to the general public in the future, and parents chose to enhance other traits of a baby rather than just cosmetic ones, it could create a great divide. Designer babies could have unprecedented advantages over non-designer babies and our very civilisation would then be divided.

Ethics Committee Gives A Green Light

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The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCB) recently came out with a report on the ethical issues of human gene editing which states that editing human embryos is morally permissible if we take several key factors into consideration.

The considerations are pretty logical as well and is something that regulators in the future will definitely have to mull over. For starters, the report states that any such modification will be such that it doesn’t harm the lineage of the genetically modified human.

Another one of the important factors is that genetic modification should not increase divisions in a society which is highly likely if people start using this technology to enhance the abilities of their children. This has the potential to disrupt the very fabric of society, and not in a good way.

The different countries of the world will have to come up with their own regulations (since NCB doesn’t have a jurisdiction to draft laws) and even the simple uses of the technology should only be allowed after much discussion and assessment.

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That's right, friend, the technology is very advanced every day. Good content congratulations.

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That it is! Thank you :)

Well agree and do not agree. There is nothing more exciting than receiving it as God sends it to you, without knowing how to color your skin to your hair, your eyes, but if it is applied to the part to prevent diseases excellent

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Well, as they say, you can't control what people do. They will use the available technology like they see fit.

I can understand the desire to make sure that babies are born with immunities to diseases but I struggle with the designer baby idea. If you plan out what you child is going to look like you are taking the natural process out of the equation and changing the heredity factors. The fact that many kids are born looking like they are part of that family is a good thing. Why would we want to change that? I can see that it will possibly be a popular procedure as vanity plays a big part in many peoples lives.

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You answered your own question. Vanity. Most will do it just because of that alone.

But there are also some really meaningful benefits. Making babies immune to thousands of diseases even before they are born? That is something that every parent would want right?

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polio is natural.
arsenic is natural.
meningitis is natural
snake-bite is natural.

Day is not too far where may be robots can give a birth to baby :) Hats off to the new upcoming technologies.

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Don't know what crazy things are in the future!!

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Absolutely !

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Thanks for this!

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Thank you!

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Thank you so much :)

Yes my friend, we are entering into a amazing world. You write so well.

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We sure are!! Thank you so much.

"Another one of the important factors is that genetic modification should not increase divisions in a society which is highly likely if people start using this technology to enhance the abilities of their children."

Should not but oh boy it will - the rich will always have the best resources to play with

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I know right! It is in the hands of the governments of the world that such a thing shouldn't even begin.

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But we can't stop the future from coming our way. This tech is so powerful that the money in it for those who go for it is just too much for human nature to resist. Someone will always go for it, forcing the rest to follow.

I think this tech fill follow the route of phones and smartphones. Where early versions were only bought by rich, then everyone could afford them since there'll be mass production and I don't think this kind of technology will be resource heavy at all.

It will open a lot of doors for us and improve our survival chances if not used without caution so if we only consider our race it's good as we take evolution to our own hands. If we can't find aliens, we'll create them ourselves :) "Who wanted wings?!"

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But there are some things that are a huge no, no. Like nuclear weapons for example. If genetic modification can be used to create superhumans for example, the governments would surely stop it at all cost because that would be a threat to national security.

But yeah, safer applications of the tech will go the route of smartphones as you say. Becoming cheaper with time and one day, being as common as phone are today.

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"If genetic modification can be used to create superhumans for example, the governments would surely stop it at all cost because that would be a threat to national security." - Or perhaps they will use it for their own elite soldiers. More likely even.

"Like nuclear weapons for example" - yet many countries have them, they're just not being used. I think same will apply here. Governments will have them, perhaps in secret even for a start but as the tech gets more adopted by mainstream the idea of elite, superhuman soldiers will be more acceptable by the public and it will eventually see broad daylight.

So some changes will be illegal and only allowed for government, rest will be fair game for commercial use.

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You make a very good point. Come to think of it, that's exactly how things might end up happening! Scary really!

@sauravrungta technology is changing the world ans it will be good technology that car will be driven by themselves only .. hehehe

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Technology is always changing the world.

I'm following you. Please follow back.

any time I hear someone use the word 'ethics' I check my wallet..then back away.
far away.

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hahaha!! Money trumps ethics for most of the people I guess.

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one person's ethics is another person's belly laugh.

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It sure is!!

Guess Mark Twain was right.

It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.

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haha exactly!

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As funny as it sounds, it is just the simple truth. Reality this days is totally unpredictable. No one can be sure of anything anymore and to me, that's the beauty of science and technology

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