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

Europe's AI Act concept
Europe's AI Act concept

A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of

The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.

Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot
Uber Autonomous Vehicles parked in a lot

It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.

If they ever hit our roads for real, other drivers need to know exactly what they are.

supermassive black hole at center of Milky Way
supermassive black hole at center of Milky Way

This is the first image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy

The stunning image was made possible by linking eight existing radio observatories across the globe.

transplant surgery
transplant surgery

The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus

The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration 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.