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Made-to-Order Babies - Motherlode Blog -

The idea of the "designer babies" is not that far fetched....

The question has roared back into the headlines this month, first with the birth of the octuplets — which to so many of us seems like Exhibit A of IVF-run-amok — and now by a story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal about the potential use of something called preimplantation genetic diagnosis to choose physical traits in a baby, like hair color and eye color.

P.G.D. was created so that parents who carried genes for life-threatening disease could be assured of having healthy children. Embryos created by IVF are tested at the three-day stage, and only those that are free of disease are transferred to the uterus. Theoretically, one could look for any gene in those embryos. And the reporter Gautam Naik quotes Fertility Institutes, a Los Angeles Clinic, as saying they will begin to offer exactly that service, allowing couples “a pre-selected choice of gender, eye color, hair color and complexion,” whether or not they were also screening for serious illness at the same time.


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