Expert says children will soon have more than one biological parent

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It may sound like something out of utopian science fiction, but one prominent futurologist says we’re not very far from breaking the genetic mold that has hitherto been the building blocks of human life.

In an extensive interview with Washington PostFuturist Amy Webb has predicted that reproductive science will dramatically change the way children are born — and may even change the maximum number of biological fathers a person can have.

“What we’re talking about here is a technology that unleashes our ability to be more selective and to design life on purpose,” Webb said, discussing her new book “The Genesis Machine,” which she co-wrote with geneticist Andrew Hessel. “Maybe it means that someone is using their own genetic material to mature the fetus; it may open opportunities to choose traits from more than one parent.”

The author and founder of the consulting firm Future Today Institute admitted that while scientists and future scientists like her don’t yet know the full applications of gene-editing technology like CRISPR and others that are sure to follow, she believes in the “possibilities” and “optionalness” that could soon be given to those who Deciding to procreate can be a great and net good.

As always, the issue of genetic engineering often leads directly to discussions about potential government abuse. But Webb dismissed these concerns, sarcastically to WaPo That “all roads on this path lead to eugenics” – check the name of the 1997 science fiction film Gattaca.

Webb suggested that while those for whom the future is their work “need to acknowledge the geopolitical advantages that some countries may attempt to achieve by raising the intelligence and physical qualities of their populations”, this does not mean that we should reject synthetic biology wholesale.

“Thinking about making pregnancy easier for people who really want to be parents is something we should embrace,” she said. WaPo. “Currently, the formation of a child depends on chance and serendipity, or money enough for a lot of money [in-vitro fertilization] courses. It is very difficult to have a child in 2022. It should not be like this.”

It’s a really exciting prospect, especially given the prevalence of maternal illness and even death in general and mothers of color in particular.

There is no reason not to imagine, design and fund technology that would make conception and carrying fetuses through to the end of pregnancy and childbirth as safe as, say, cosmetic surgery – and with this kind of technology at our fingertips, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to how The advent of reproductive science is decades down the road.

Read more: Futurist Amy Webb says the baby industry may go crazy and the smartphone will die [The Washington Post]

More on our not-too-distant genetic future: Can we hack ourselves to indulge in sex-maniacs, like our bonobos cousins?

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