For the first time in our nation’s history, the United Kingdom received approval from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority to genetically change human embryos for research purposes. Designer babies may soon become a reality.
“I understand that they’re not actually alive, but shouldn’t human embryos have rights just like any other human being?” said Alexa Saldena, a nursing major. “They’re probably just going to throw away the embryo when their done with it and that’s not right.”
According to CNN, the purpose of this research is to have a better understanding of the early stages of development. It still remains illegal for these genetically modified embryos to be implanted in women.
This research raises many concerns of whether or not designer babies may be the next step. Designer babies are children who have been genetically engineered to be free from certain diseases and have certain traits or characteristics, according to Live Science. It’s almost as if the parents are going shopping for genetic traits.
When scientist re-work the genetic makeup of a human embryo, they can also directly manipulate the embryo’s DNA, the British Broadcasting corporation reports. DNA is the framework of all living things and it contains our genetic information. It is hard to believe that when scientist learn how to exactly manipulate a person’s eye color or intelligence, they wouldn’t want to take the next step of implanting these modified embryos into women.
There are many who believe that allowing scientist to manipulate human embryos is a huge win for the world of science. However, scientist are not taking a second to think if doing this is morally correct. An embryo has the potential to become a human being and scientist should have more respect for that.
“Currently, around 50 percent of fertilized eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible,” the Telegraph reports.
It is believed that this research can help scientist have a better understanding of the causes of miscarriages and birth defects. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the reasons why a miscarriage occurs, usually cannot be identified. This research could possibly help women better understand their own body and help doctors prevent miscarriages.
“I understand the immediate benefits of this research,” says Lisa Lebron, another nursing major at MSC. “However, scientist are known to take things too far and the next thing you know, there going to be turning babies into robots.”
Once we give scientist permission to probe at human embryos, they will eventually try to take the next step just because they can.