Manipulating Human Genes

Should changes affecting future generations be banned?


Recent news from China announcing the births of the first genetically modified babies has shocked scientists worldwide and intensified a long-simmering debate about whether genetic changes that are passed down to succeeding generations of humans — so-called germline editing — should be permissible. Some predict a dystopian future with a superior human species boasting “designer” traits such as exceptionally high IQ or extraordinary athletic ability — most likely available only to wealthy parents who can afford the technology. But many prominent scientists argue that making changes at the embryonic stage may be the only hope for certain parents carrying a genetic disease to bear a healthy child. Twenty-nine countries, including the United States, forbid the use of germline editing to produce genetically modified children. Some ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles