DailyDirt: Children Are The Future, Engineer Them Well, & Let Them Lead The Way

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The movie GATTACA came out back in 1997, but the technology to breed better people is just now starting to become more practical. We've been able (through in vitro fertilization) to select a desired baby gender for years, so selecting other traits doesn't seem that far off -- even though gene expression is a pretty complicated process. Here are just a few more projects that could lead to designing our kids' genes with more fine tuning. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous, 11 Sep 2013 @ 5:59pm

    The Godwin factor comes into play in 5...4...3...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2013 @ 6:26pm

    I want to see the pseudo moralists try to engineer their children so they develop slowly and mature in their twenties so they don't start having sex at an early age, so they discover that those children need more care for longer meaning they cost more to raise LoL

    Or when the feminists want their male children to be more docile and so they repress genetic aggression to discover they have no drive to do anything and are like sheep.

    Or when gay couples want to make sure their children are all gay too.

    Or fundamentalists want to improve aggressivity and generate an unruly class.

    Well it should be fun to watch.

    As for genetically predisposing people for higher IQ that may be only part of the problem, we have many types of intelligence and some may not even be possible to put together with others because of how they really work, we don't understand what happens, we don't know how it works, so I am very skeptical about this route, it seems a dead end.

    Suppose the gene for math brilliance is related to how the heart works and it produces something that boost the math abilities while weakening the heart. Suppose that verbal skills and number skills compete for the same resources in the brain space or some other thing, I don't think those people really thought this through, when making such claims, but at least they are trying to understand how all works that is at least a good thing, even if it hits a wall.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 11 Sep 2013 @ 7:37pm

    What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

    Mother Nature has had a couple of billion years to get us to our current state of evolution. Now, after 50-60 years since Watson and Crick (and others) discovered the double-helix structure of DNA we think we can do one better? Talk about hubris!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Arthur Moore (profile), 11 Sep 2013 @ 8:14pm

      Re: What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

      Evolution is amazing. Especially since all it's based on is the statistical likelihood of random mutations affecting birthrates. It is neither good nor bad, it's merely based on statistics. And lets face it, everyone wants their child to be above average.

      If you want a good science fiction series dealing with the potential of genetically engineered humans look at Gundam Seed.

      No one is saying that they are ready to start tinkering with human babies just yet, but let me ask you a question. If you could know that your child would have a chronic illness, would you have the test done. How about if it could be fixed? Sequencing a persons entire genetic code is still relatively slow and expensive, but it only has to be done once.

      Here's another thing to think about. Umbilical stem cells. These things are turning out to be hugely important. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few hospitals start offering to store those in case the newborn needs an organ grown in thirty or forty years.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DCX2, 11 Sep 2013 @ 10:17pm

    "Designer" babies? Designed by who?

    I see this talk about "designer babies" in regards to genetic screening. How exactly does screening allow you to create designer babies?

    (roughly speaking) Suppose you have two blue-eyed parents. Blue eyes are recessive, which means both parents have two copies of the blue eye gene. True "designer babies" would allow these parents to have a brown-eyed child.

    In contrast, from what I have seen, genetic screening requires you to mix sperm and egg first, just like nature intended. You can't design your baby to have a specific hair color and a specific eye color etc, but you can choose not to implant embryos that are at risk for Down Syndrome, Tay Sachs, or other terrible genetic diseases. If you and your spouse had a 1/4 chance of having a baby that would die by age 4, wouldn't you want to try to conceive multiple embryos and screen for one that doesn't have the disease?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Leonardo Balliache (profile), 12 Sep 2013 @ 5:24am

    Children are not to make experiments

    Genetic Engineering and children?? Beware. There are many well-meaning scientists but also many unscrupulous trying to fish in troubled waters.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2013 @ 10:01am

    Are we not already breeding intelligence *out* of the population? Once they know what they need to remove from the genome, we should expect to see some designer imbecile infants.

    You'll need to be certified as a dum dum at birth to get a government job in the future. The tests will require you to misspell 'fiat' as 'feet.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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