Rogue Scientist Defends Gene-Edited Babies – And Reveals a Second Pregnancy

Speaking at a genetics conference in Hong Kong earlier this week, embattled Chinese scientist He Jiankui said he was “proud” to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, despite receiving near-universal condemnation from his peers. Speaking publicly today for the first time, the scientist offered new details about his unauthorised, clandestine project – including news of another woman who is pregnant with an edited embryo. Read More >>

giz asks
When Will We Have Designer Babies?

Within 20 to 40 years, sex will no longer be the preferred method of reproduction. Instead, half the population with decent health care will – no shitting you – have eggs grown from human skin and fertilised with sperm, then have the entire genome of about 100 embryo samples sequenced, peruse the highlights, and pick the best model to implant. At least that’s what Stanford law professor and bioethicist Hank Greely predicts in The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction. But skin-grown humans aside, how long until we have “designer babies”? Read More >>

It’s Official: For the First Time Ever, US Scientists Have Edited the DNA of a Human Embryo

American scientists have accomplished a major first: For the first time on US soil, a human embryo has been genetically modified. The details of the breakthrough, which was leaked to the press last week, are reported in a study published today in the journal Nature. Read More >>

This Controversial Doctor Wants to Use ‘Three-Parent’ Embryos to Treat Infertility

Last autumn, John Zhang made headlines after his fertility clinic announced that for the first time a baby had been born using a new technique requiring three genetic parents. The baby’s mother carried the genes for a fatal nervous system disorder called Leigh syndrome, but Zhang had been able to keep the disease from being inherited by her son by swapping in a donor’s mitochondrial DNA, the teeny bit of DNA where Leigh syndrome is housed. Since the technique is illegal in the US, the baby had been born in Mexico, where, as Zhang explained in a comment he might live to regret, “there are no rules.” Read More >>

Newcastle Fertility Clinic Has Just Been Granted Permission to Make ‘Three-Parent’ Babies

A fertility clinic in Newcastle was just granted permission to start performing what’s known as the ‘three-parent baby’ technique, a controversial in vitro fertilisation procedure that prevents genetic diseases from being passed on to children by giving them three genetic ‘parents’. Read More >>

A New Fertility Technique Could Make ‘Designer Babies’ a Reality

Designer babies are the kind of hypothetical conundrum that drive scientists crazy. What if, you ask, it becomes so easy to pick and choose which traits we desire in our children that we wind up creating a class of genetically engineered super humans and basically begin living out a real-life performance of the novel Brave New World? Yeah, what if, most scientists would respond. Read More >>

Why We’ll Eventually Have to Accept Designer Babies

This month a historic summit on human gene-editing gave the go-ahead for scientists in the US to experiment on human genes — only if it doesn’t result in a pregnancy. It’s a surprisingly progressive stance. But make no mistake, human trait selection is coming. Here’s why we’ll eventually accept the prospect of genetically modified “designer babies”. Read More >>

Predict What Your Future Children Look Like in “Virtual Embryos”

Remember those slightly horrifying sites that mash up two faces to tell you what your hypothetical babies might look like? With genome sequencing and "virtual embryos," we might actually be able to do that—using science. Read More >>