Skip to Content
Biotechnology

Americans are okay with gene-editing embryos to create healthier babies

The US public approves of gene-tailored babies but fears that the wealthy will use the technology first, leading to inequality.

The survey: The Pew Research Center asked 2,537 US adults how they felt about changing the genetic characteristics of babies using gene-editing tools.

Wide public support: Surprise. Seven out of 10 people said they think changing a baby’s genes is an appropriate use of technology, but only if it’s to treat or avoid a serious disease.

But only for healthy tots: When asked, only 20 percent thought making “more intelligent” humans would be acceptable. Most believed that using gene editing to increase intelligence would be taking things “too far.”

Top fear: Americans may be generally okay with genetically modified babies, but they still think negative results are more likely than positive ones. Survey respondents ranked inequality as their top worry. More than half think it’s “very likely” that gene-edited babies will only be available to the wealthy.

Deep Dive

Biotechnology

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?

There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain.

The quest to show that biological sex matters in the immune system

A handful of immunologists are pushing the field to take attributes such as sex chromosomes, sex hormones, and reproductive tissues into account.

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.