Designing the Baby You Want


A personal genetics company, located in California, was recently awarded a patent on a project which would allow a person to design the traits of the baby that was wanted, yet the business has promised not to do anything with the technology.

The Mountain View, CA Corporation, 23andMe, has stated the patent which is a plan that would allow individuals to be able to pick the characteristics they would prefer to give to their baby and also be able to subdue the traits they do not want passed on. So their child would have the specific eye and hair color of choice and there would be a limit to predisposition to certain diseases.

Basically what this company is saying is it can do is certain sperm or ova can be selected so as to cause a higher chance of having a baby with features wanted by the potential parents, explained a bioethicist that works for a Belgium university, in an recent essay that was published.

A spokeswoman for 23andMe stated that the company never has pursued the idea, and did not have any plans to do so in the future. She also wrote that the patent is not any type of guarantee that the potential baby would even contain all the traits that the parents wanted, this would be something impossible to do, but what the company is now able to do is simply a technique to help improve the chances that the child will have the characteristics the parents want.

A service of the organization which is linked with the patent displays a simple, menu which shows people how to pick and choose traits for a child, things such as preferring a baby with a small risk of a certain type of cancer or with having a high chance of brown eyes.

Yet people can feel assured. The corporation has stated it will not use the technology it possesses.

The spokeswoman also stated that when the company first announced the knowledge and filed the patent, it was believed there would be interest of some kind at fertility clinics. Yet that idea was never followed through with and there are no such plans to do so now.

The patent was filed in Dec. 2008,  and it was meant to protect the knowledge that funds a function the company currently does give which is known as the Family Traits Inheritance Calculator. That service lets parents make an image of their own genome and then it pinpoints the various risks of passing certain diseases or vulnerability to the illnesses onto the potential child or children they may have.

Yet the linguistics of the patent goes past the Calculator, the firm stated. Designing a baby is not what the company says they have planned, but what the company does, still helps parents choose various things they want to see in their baby.

Any individuals who go to 23andME are able to receive personal information about their own health and also about their ancestry. The material lets them become more involved in taking care of their own health and well-fare. It also give the people more understanding of themselves, their  health, their personalities and what their ancestry is, the company explained.

Even though 23andMe claims they are not in the business for potential parents to design the baby they want, who knows what the future will hold.


Written by: Kimberly Ruble

Web MD

FOX News

ABC News


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