New Baby Boomer
When I stumbled upon this article, I was reminded of the IVF procedure in Mendel’s Dwarf. The article details a new method of “cloning” and how this could improve genetic research and offer otherwise infertile families a chance to have children. Some positive snippets:
-“[The process is] far more efficient than the Dolly technique, with fewer side effects, which makes it more acceptable for human use.”
-“we have the technology that can actually produce a child.”
-“although the technology for reproductive cloning in humans doesn’t exist, with this breakthrough we now have a working technology whereby anyone, young or old, fertile or infertile, straight or gay can pass on their genes to a child by using just a few skin cells,”
While I’m not looking to have children (like them, don’t want any), I find myself excited about this discovery, excited for those who want kids but biologically can’t. It’s also fun to think about how a story like Mendel’s Dwarf would be different if this technology were used.
However, matters could easily be complicated:
“These offspring are chimeras – a genetic mix of two or more individuals – because some of their cells derive from the embryo and some from the skin cell…’if we had a few skin cells from Albert Einstein, or anyone else in the world, you could have a child that is say 10 per cent or 70 per cent Albert Einstein by just injecting a few of their cells into an embryo,'”
Reading that, the notion of “designing” children (a little Crick, a dash of Disney, a BUNCH of Brad Pitt or whatever) is even less far-fetched and scarier. I mean, what would stop a person from taking a sample of some famous individual’s skin (handshake or…otherwise?) and using that to create (effectively) the offspring of that famous person? Would the “mating” behaviors of humans be cast off with an artificial means of sexual reproduction? Sure, you still need a host to carry the child, but how long will that last?