Editing embryo genes to choose height, eye color... for children?

According to a survey, more than half of Britons polled supported the idea of editing human embryonic DNA to prevent serious diseases; 38% of people want to edit genes to choose characteristics for their children such as height, eye color ...


The survey also shows that younger generations prefer to "redesign" babies than older people, according to the Guardian.

The Committee on Education for the Advancement (PET) launched a survey in the UK on fertility and genomics. The market research company Ipsos conducted this poll. The results showed that 53% of British people surveyed support editing the human embryo's genome to prevent children from developing serious medical conditions.

Only 36% are in favor of creating "designer" babies. However, views on this gene-editing technology differ significantly by age.

38% of 16-24 year olds and 31% of 25-34 year olds support gene editing from embryos to allow parents to choose characteristics for their children such as height, eye color and hair.

In the UK and many other countries, it is illegal to perform genome editing on embryos. However, restrictions could be lifted if research shows the procedure can safely prevent serious illnesses.

Genome editing has been hailed as a potential tool for dealing with a range of genetic diseases, from cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy to neurodegenerative disease (a rare condition that gradually destroys the nervous system) ).

In principle, the faulty genes that cause disease could be edited in in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos, allowing those embryos to develop into healthy children.

Despite the tremendous progress in this area, scientists say more work is needed to perfect the genome editing and ensure it doesn't cause unintended changes to the DNA. Because the edits will be made in the embryo, the altered DNA affects every cell in the child's body and can be passed on to future generations.

In a report on the survey's findings, PET said that if genome editing is to be used for medical use, it must be done in a "scientifically and ethically rigorous" manner.

John Harris, emeritus professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester (UK), said he supported the "maximum possible choice" of parents in choosing physical traits. of your child if the features are not harmful.


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