Designer Babies: Parents can Select Physical Traits at Fertility Institute (CBS News 3/3/09)
For years, reproductive specialists have been helping people become parents, even enabling them to choose the sex of their baby.
One fertility doctor is taking things a step further, offering what some are calling “designer babies,” as Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports.
If you could design your baby’s features, would you? According to L.A.’s Fertility Institute, prospective parents can select eye color, hair color and more.
The technology is called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD. It was created to screen for disease, then used for gender selection. Now this clinic plans to allow parents to select physical traits.
“I would predict that by next year, we will have determined sex with 100 percent certainty on a baby, and we will have determined eye color with about an 80 percent accuracy rate,” said fertility specialist Dr. Jeff Steinberg, director of Fertility Institute.
Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg is a pioneer in in-vitro fertilization.
“I think it’s very important that we not bury our head in the sand and pretend these advances are not happening,” Dr. Steinberg said.
Kirsten and Matt Landon used his clinic to select the sex of their daughter. Choosing other genetic traits intrigues them.
“I would have considered trait selection as an option, but not necessarily have gone with it,” Matt Landon said.
A recent U.S. survey suggests most people support the notion of building a better baby when it comes to eliminating serious diseases. But Dr. Steinberg says using technology for cosmetic reasons shouldn’t scare people away.
“Of course, once I’ve got this science, am I not to provide this to my patients? I’m a physician. I want to provide everything science gives me to my patients,” Dr. Steinberg said.
3 March 2009
Can you imagine a future where parents can pick the eye color, hair color, skin color and height of their new baby? Does that sound like some wild dream of the future? Well, the future is now. One Los Angeles fertility clinic is now offering to design babies to the exact specifications of the parents.
The Fertility Institute is calling this new technology “cosmetic medicine”. Do you want your daughter to look like Barbie? Done. Just order up a tall, light-skinned, green-eyed, daughter with blonde hair and the clinic will do the rest.
This technology is based on something called “pre-implantation genetic diagnosis”, or PGD, which doctors have been using the last few years to identify potentially deadly diseases in embryos. The technology has become so advanced that now doctors can not just spot potential diseases, but they can actually get enough information from an embryonic cell that they can identify thousands of characteristics of a single embryo.
The Fertility Institute anticipates that the very first “cosmetic medicine” baby will be born next year.
So how much does this cost? Only about 18,000 dollars.
While some are applauding this new technology, others are saying that this is yet another dangerous step down the path of transhumanism.
New L.A. Clinic Lets Parents Genetically Design Their New Babyhttp://futurestorm.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-la-clinic-lets-parents-genetically.html
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