Skip to Content
Uncategorized

One Step Closer to Designer Babies?

Researchers at the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute and Fukui Prefectural University in Obama, Japan, have created transgenic (genetically modified) versions of zebrafish by growing and genetically modifying sperm in the lab, according to a report in New Scientist….
January 28, 2004

Researchers at the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute and Fukui Prefectural University in Obama, Japan, have created transgenic (genetically modified) versions of zebrafish by growing and genetically modifying sperm in the lab, according to a report in New Scientist. “To our knowledge, this is the first time that sperm cells have been cultured entirely in vitro and used to produce a transgenic animal,“ said NIH researcher Shawn Burgess. Zebrafish are a common aquarium fish that share many of the same genes as humans.

It’s very early days for the technology, and no one’s near to doing anything like this for mammals yet. But further development of such a procedure could eventually open the door to correcting genetic diseases before birth. The NIH news release refers to “pre-fertilization strategies for human gene therapy,“ but most people would call it “designer babies.” That’s a phenomenon that would present sticky ethical issues, as bioethicist Gregory Stock explained in a TR interview last year.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

It’s time to retire the term “user”

The proliferation of AI means we need a new word.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Sam Altman says helpful agents are poised to become AI’s killer function

Open AI’s CEO says we won’t need new hardware or lots more training data to get there.

A brief, weird history of brainwashing

L. Ron Hubbard, Operation Midnight Climax, and stochastic terrorism—the race for mind control changed America forever.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.