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DNA markers can now select a future baby’s eye color, but is it ethical?




Some of the equipment required for one cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), are seen on display as part of an exhibition 'IVF: 6 Million Babies Later' at the Science Museum in London on July 23, 2018.
Some of the equipment required for one cycle of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), are seen on display as part of an exhibition 'IVF: 6 Million Babies Later' at the Science Museum in London on July 23, 2018.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

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Reproductive medicine has long been used to learn about a child’s health.

The science offers many advantages, from genetic testing of embryos for the prevention of medical disorders to assisted reproduction techniques. Some fertility clinics can give prospective parents the option to choose the gender of their baby during IVF treatments. And as technology advances so do our options.

Parents are now close to being able to select embryos based on aesthetic preferences like height, looks and even the color of your future child’s eye. Scientists explain how special traits are determined by a complex interaction of many genes.

But is this pushing science too far? Critics say yes. DNA manipulation is an option that raises ethical concerns. Do you think these kinds of testing create a society that values children with certain looks more than others? Call us at 866- 893-5722 and weigh in.

Guests:

Stephen Hsu, founder of Genomic Prediction, a New Jersey-based clinic that provides genomic tests to improve IVF health outcomes; professor of theoretical physics and vice president for research and graduate studies at Michigan State University; he tweets @hsu_steve

Josephine Johnston, director of research at the Hastings Center, a Garrison, N.Y.-based bioethics research institute, her focus includes genetic testing in embryos