Designer Babies or Genetically Modified Babies are those babies whose natural genetic makeup is altered or modified by replacing it with the desired genetic material. Designer babies are made to fulfill the desired characteristics as per the necessity of the parents. Therefore, an inferior gene is removed and is replaced by the superior gene with better adaptability for disease resistance, long term Immunity, long life expectancy, and the list goes on and on.
How Designer Babies are designed?
Initially, Designer babies undergo Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD or PGID). In this process, genetic profiling of embryo takes place before implantation and incase of oocytes profiling takes place before fertilization. Meaning, either embryo or oocyte is looked for non-required part of the gene or character which needs to be changed as per the required traits.
Now genetic modification proceeds and area of non-required character is modified with the desired character obtained from the third-party donor of mitochondria which possess the required gene needed to be replaced. Therefore, the required traits are now incorporated into the embryo or oocytes. to the embryo or oocytes.
Following are the steps on how to design a baby:
1. Identification by Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)
The embryo for implantation is selected by Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), It is obtained from In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). PGD helps in the identification of defects possessed by the gene such as mutation, cancer-causing gene, disease-related alleles.
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), plays a crucial role when parents either one or both of them carry the heritable disease or Sex-linked disease such as hemophilia, color blindness. Sex-linked diseases are best treated using PGD and according to the research conducted over time shows the best result, though the process involved is much more complicated and scientific.
2. Modification and Incorporation of Required Genetic Material
It involves the main process where you get to design a baby, simply choose the traits need to be manipulated or replaced with a superior trait. Design a baby doesn’t mean overall phenotypic and genotypic manipulation but only specific and selected change.
Now genetic modification proceeds and area of non-required character is modified for the desired character through gene-editing technique and the gene possessing required character is obtained from the third-party donor of mitochondria which then possesses the required gene needed to be implanted.
Therefore, the required traits are now incorporated into the embryo or oocytes. After years of trial and error, World got its first glimpse of a designer baby, Adam has been called “the world’s first savior sibling” and “the first designer baby“.
3. Implantation of embryo in Ovary
Genetically Modified embryo with desired characteristics is now implanted into the mother’s womb for further development into a Designer baby. From the days of implantation into the uterus, it goes for a journey of 9 months or less depending upon the surroundings and ecology.
4. Defects and Problems associated with Designer Babies
The technology used in Genetic engineering has not advanced as of now, research and development are undergoing process but still, it is slow as compared to the tech world. Designer babies might draw a line of segregation in the upcoming era, segregating from inferior or natural with superior or Artificially modified.
The process involved is labor-intensive and requires great intelligence and advanced technology, therefore makes it highly expensive work of art and can only be achieved in highly developed countries.