In future it may be possible to design your own baby just as you design your cloths. This kind of baby is known as designer baby, the term coined by journalists but not used by scientific community. The couples can select the physical, biological attributes such as the sex, color, IQ or even height for their children by the help of genetic engineering and In-vitro fertilization techniques.
Legally Approved Techniques Used in Designing a Baby
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis:
• Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is very expensive procedure and currently used by couples with high risk of passing the serious genetic disease to their offspring.
• This preimplantation genetic diagnosis is done on a number of embryos created using IVF techniques.
• Genetic variants associated with the disease are checked using one or two cells taken out from eight-cell stage embryo.
• Embryos free of these genetic variants are selected and introduced into the womb.
• Preimplantation genetic diagnosis does not involve the modification of embryo genome.
In Vitro Fertilization:
• Eggs are fertilized with sperms in a test tube.
• Doctors can select the sperm which fertilizes the egg, so the couples can select the sex of their child.
In the future we can also cure some major genetic disorder or diseases in the embryonic stage by replacing the defective gene by the functional gene. Couples can also select the skin color, height or even the other physical attributes. But at present all these genomic modification in an embryo is illegal.
Some Arguments against Designer Baby:
1) Multiple genes are responsible for most of the attributes. Therefore replacing single gene may induce some other type of attribute or it may lead to new form of genetic disorder.
2) Current techniques used in genetic engineering replace the gene at random sites of the genome.
3) There will be no genetic connection between parents and child.
4) This technique is very expensive so can be afforded by rich people; this may lead to a situation where if you are wealthy then you are healthy.
5) This technique will create imbalance in the society between rich and poor, as rich people will be devoid of all genetic disorders.
6) Naturally born babies may face discrimination from designer babies.
7) Children may react against their parents for changing their genome.
8) These kinds of genomic alteration are passed on from generation to generation that is from designer baby to their children.
Some Arguments for Designer Baby:
1) Couples who are not able to have their own children because they will pass on their genetic disorder to their children or child may die before its bon or when they are very young. These couples can have a child by changing the defective gene by functional gene of the embryo genome.
2) Children will be healthier; it also reduces the suffering and also emotional stress, so ultimately will lead to happier children and parents.
3) Using this techniques child can be designed in such a way that the, custom made blood or bone marrow cells can be used to treat their terminally ill elder siblings.
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