By: Megan Grimshaw & Lindsey Ruderman
What are designer babies? How are they made? Are there any benefits?
A child is considered a designer baby when the parents genetically modify the traits of their unborn baby.
There are many steps in creating a designer baby. To start the parents need to have an embryo created with in-vitro fertilization(IVF). Then a single cell needs to be removed for genetic testing within the first 5 days of creation. After seeing what the genes in the embryo are, the parents can decide if they want to keep it or get rid of it and try to get another embryo with "better" traits. Currently this process, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis(PGD), is being used to determine if the baby will have a genetic disease or choose the sex of the child.
The benefit of this method is future parents are able to determine if their child will have.
What risks are involved? Are there any disadvantages? How and what organisms does it affect?
Along with any other procedure there are risks and disadvantages that go along with designing a child. Since the parents can get rid of the embryo if they don't like the way their child is going to look, it causes a lot of embryos to die. Choosing to design a baby when the parents have other kids could also affect the behavior in their older child. Having a "perfect" brother or sister can cause jealousy and fighting within the family. Another side affect of this process is the child could have the chance to not be as independent as children whose traits are not chosen. Finally, not everyone can afford to create multiple in-vitro embryos and that could lead to problems in a child's social life in the future. Having "perfect" children walking around with average kids will cause rivalries between families and jealousy between kids.
Designer babies affect humans by allowing the child's parents to determine some of the physical traits have before they are born.