May 13, 2008

Scientists Make First Genetically Modified Embryo

For the first time, scientists have been able to genetically alter a human embryo. Researchers used an abnormal embryo that could never have developed into a baby to do the project.

The project raises the possibilities that people could be able to create designer babies in the future and scientists could insert certain genes into an embryo to produce babies with certain characteristics, such as higher intelligence and better athletic abilities. Some people think that this is wrong and turns children into designed objects and would create an unequal society where some people would be considered genetically superior while other people who are born without genetic injections would be inferior.

Scientists say that the main point of the project was to find out if a gene injected into an abnormal embryo could be traced in stem cells that are harvested from the embryo. The work could also explain why abnormal embryos don’t develop. Scientists found that abnormal embryos don’t develop well enough to produce stem cells.

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