Designer babies may be closer to reality than you think. A California company has a new patent on the books that could someday help you determine the family traits you would like to pass on to your child.
The company is called ..."23 and me"...and it's developed a DNA testing kit. It allows customers to test for and predict odd things like bitter taste perception or lactose intolerance. It can also detect eye color and muscle performance.
But, Marcy Darnovsky, executive director for the Center for Genetics and Society at Berkeley, says even though it's still a little sketchy, the science behind it could be dangerous.
"They say we should be seeking to pre determine the traits of our children or breed better babies that starts to get us into scary territory. We need to have a serious conversation as a society about what conditions should be eliminated," says Darnovsky.
The concern is this type of testing could create a new world of genetic priorities, and therefore a new kind of inequality and prejudice.
In a statement, the company "23 and me" says the "family traits inheritance calculator is used by our customers as a fun way to look at such things as what eye color their child might have or if their child will be able to perceive bitter taste or be lactose intolerant. The tool offers people an enjoyable way to dip their toes into genetics. It aligns nicely with our goal to introduce people to their dna and help them better understand the science of genetics, which can sometimes be complicated."
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