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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Brave new world

I've never been able to work up much outrage over human cloning, so this sure doesn't bother me much:

News that scientists have for the first time genetically altered a human embryo is drawing fire from some watchdog groups that say it's a step toward creating "designer babies."

But an author of the study says the work was focused on stem cells. He notes that the researchers used an abnormal embryo that could never have developed into a baby anyway.

"None of us wants to make designer babies," said Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

"None of us want to make designer babies." Well, why in the world not? I can have my car custom designed. I don't have to take any old TV set off the Best Buy floor. I can even have a stupid hamburger done "my way." But I have to settle for any baby that comes along?

The fear usually raised is that people will choose blonde, blue-eyed male babies, finishing what Hitler tried to start. But the most likely outcome of designing babies is that genetic weaknesses will be found and eliminated. People will live longer, healthier lives. What's the problem?


Bob G.
Tue, 05/13/2008 - 9:50am

Hey, if you can engineer out the "bad" genes that cause Alzheimers, cancer, autism, diabetes, MS, Muscular Dystrophy, arthritis (my favorite), and even hair loss (sorry Jean Luc...that one's for YOU, Leo), I'm OK with that.

But ANY genie let out of ANY bottle is always harder to get back in, and we ALL have to be comfortable with THAT as well.