I don’t dig into Discovery News for everything newsworthy, but for a blog-length breakdown of technology they do a pretty good job. At #WatchOutForTheRobots, we take Wednesday to break down some potentially troubling – yet fascinating – developments in technology.
Today, three-parent babies.
I first heard about the procedure on CNN this summer, but the topic itself seems to be picking up steam, and it more than worthy of consideration from a moral perspective. I am on neither “side of the fence” on this one, but I think that it represents a potentially insidious shift towards genetic engineering that we may not be able to stop. This shift could be for the better, or could be for the worst – but only careful calibration and testing will provide us with insight to make the best guess there.
In speaking with a genomics startup today in the dating / matchmaking space (in this case about how DNA might relate strongly to the “chemistry” we feel around a new partner, or the affection we maintain in a long-term relationship), the point was hammered home again: There’s practical uses for genomics, but the same ideas that drive us to improve may drive us to crafting something outside our present notion of “human” – a process that some experts deem to be inevitable.
Frankly, I think that the UK’s movement to legalize this procedure will in fact put us one more foot forward down a slippery slope that I hope we have the insight and foresight to monitor.