Designer Babies

By: Julia Schultz

My question: How will people be able to use genetics to choose the traits of babies?

Through my research I found out that, there is a scientific tool called, CRISPR-Cas9 that scientists use to change the genes in babies, to prevent things like breast cancer, heart disease and other medical things that the parents might have passed on to the baby. This tool helps so that the baby doesn't carry that bad gene.

Scientists think that they could use CRISPR-Cas9 to change the traits in babies for other reasons too, like maybe eye color or hair color could be changed in the baby.

By using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool the scientists can cut out part of the DNA and then put in new DNA, this tool is kind of like when you copy and paste something on your computer. This allows scientists to take out DNA and put in the DNA that is correct. This editing tool could one day help scientists to create a designer baby, for example the scientists could take out the DNA code for brown eyes and put in the DNA code for blue eyes if you wanted your child to have blue eyes.

The scientists still cannot try CRISPR-Cas9 on humans yet because for one it is still not proven completely safe even tho scientists have tried it on mice. And two if scientists even were able to create a designer baby safely, that child would have a mutation in them and if that child had children the trait/ DNA would then be passed to the baby and the mutation would keep going throughout generations which could soon possible cause a problem.

So in conclusion, scientists think that CRISPR-Cas9 could be a tool that could one day help create a designer baby, but since there are to many things that could go wrong using the tool on humans for that purpose, scientists still can not try the tool on humans.


Time frame- 1:20 to 3:13

Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9


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"Genetically Engineered Babies. Germ Line Engineering with CRISPR Leads to Designer Human Embryos | MIT Technology Review." MIT Technology Review. N.p., 05 Mar. 2015. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

"Should We Tweak an Embryo's DNA? It Can't Say Yay or Nay." Fusion. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

"No Designer Babies, but Summit Calls for Cautious Research." No Designer Babies, but Summit Calls for Cautious Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2015.

"Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2016.