is a designer baby? What is genetic engineering? A designer baby is a baby
whose genetic makeup has been selected in order to eradicate a particular
defect, or to ensure that a particular gene is or is not present. Genetic
engineering, sometimes called genetic modification, is the process of altering
the DNA in an organism’s genome. Leading scientists and bioethicists feel that
it is time for a serious sit down on the designer baby idea. Designer babies
are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. Designer babies are
not an issue but more of a revolution for genetically ill people.
Genetically modifying an embryo brings
on many new options in prevention of certain diseases and the opportunity to correct
certain genetic mutations or abnormalities that could cause trouble for the
baby and soon to be expecting parents. In some families, heritable diseases are
a common nuisance that causes trauma and stress. Genetic corrections could
possibly be made to remove these traits. Genetic modification does not stop at
correcting genetic abnormalities. It also allows parents to pick certain genes
they want or do not want their child to have. Eye color, gender, hair color,
and ethnicity are just a few of the barriers shattered by genetic mutation.
The process of genetic engineering
is quite interesting. To help explain the process insulin will be used as an
example. First, a small piece of circular DNA called a plasmid is extracted
from the bacteria or yeast cell. A small section is then cut out of the
circular plasmid by restriction enzymes, also known as ‘molecular scissors’. The
gene for human insulin is put into the gap in the plasmid. Scientist then put
the gene into a new cell and it continues to split rapidly and make daughter
Some argue that genetically
modifying a child is morally improper and that the risks of the trial outweigh
the social benefits. I personally disagree. They also argue that genetic
modification of human reproductive cells prior to gestation in the womb is
unsafe and that different methods are safer and more dependable. There are many
dangerous processes that have become common in the world of science that are
not considered to be useless or unneeded. Examples include, radiation, x-rays,
and even surgery were once deadly. Now they are revolutionary methods that save
lives every single day. I believe that genetic modification (to a certain
extent) could do the same in the long run with a little testing and revision.
Although their arguments are
somewhat valid, they are not completely truthful. It is not “morally improper”
to “design” a baby. Designing a child could reduce stress on the children and
parents in future situations. Everyday suicides caused by bullying or
self-hatred happen. Being able to decide how your child looks could prevent
deaths caused by the unrealistic beauty standards of today’s society. Abusive
ways are also common in parents that are unhappy with their child’s appearance.
Genetic modification could stop that and decrease the rate that parents give
their child up for adoption. Genetic modification solves many issues caused by
today’s ruthless social views.
The experiment is dangerous and
risky, but the benefits outweigh the risks on an unimaginable scale. Genetic
modification has many pros. They include a better understanding of genetics for
biologists, increase in human lifespan up to thirty years, and it reduces the
risk of inherited medical conditions like anemia, obesity, diabetes, and
DNA modification could also open
doors for lgbt couples that wish to start a family. Having a baby that
resembles both parents in lgbt families was pretty much impossible. With
genetic modification, the parents can choose the traits their child receives so
that it will look similar to its parents. They could choose the eye color of
one of the parents or even the height of one of the parents. This also applies
to infertile couples that wish to have a baby.
Though genetic modification is a
wonderful idea, some rules need to be put in affect before this process is
completely open to the public. Rules should include how and why this process is
to be done. Couples should have a valid reason for wanting to change their
baby’s genetics. Certain restrictions should be in place on how many genes can
be altered or mutated. The government should not be allowed to say who does and
does not qualify for genetic modification without a good reason for not
trusting the parents to make that decision for themselves. I also feel that
there should be a limit on the number of things that can be modified or change.
For example, a couple wants to have a baby with green eyes, red hair, and
freckles. They should only be able to change one thing whether it be the eyes,
the hair, or the freckles. They should not be allowed to change everything
about their future child because if they did they would eventually lose the
sense of individuality and natural beauty completely.
Some people feel that genetic
modification is risky and takes away individuality. That is completely false.
Genetic mutations could stop problems before they happen and is an overall
beautiful procedure that could ultimately save lives and make us an even more
advanced species. Many families would love to forget the burden of diabetes,
aids, sickle-cell anemia, and many more diseases that run in the family. Many
LGBT families would love for their children to hae some of their traits and
features so that they would feel more attached and connected to the future
baby. Though the whole “designer baby” idea needs to be closely looked at, it
is a great idea and should be pursued by biologists and DNA specialists.
Genetic modification is a great way to solve global and local dilemmas.
Overall, genetic modification will open many doors and provide opportunities to
billions of people that are not lucky enough to have “perfect” genes.