Author argues U.S. must lead way on bioengineering
While perhaps not yet a majority — many parents says they would bioengineer their children if they could, to create the perfect, or more perfect child. Now, that parental dream is closer to reality, but no one is quite sure what the implications may be.
Nearly a decade after the human genome was decoded, scientists are only now beginning to understand its implications.
One of the leading thinkers in this field is the biotech entrepreneur Gregory Stock. A biophysicist by training, his 2002 book makes the case that full-scale genetic engineering is on the way — whether we like it or not.
And, Stock believes, if the U.S. doesn’t lead the way in developing those advances, other nations will.
“Between a third and two-thirds of the population — and even higher if you look at China or Thailand and other eastern cultures — of parents say if they could enhance the genetics of their children, enhance their either cognitive or physical capabilities, they would absolutely do it," he said.
But engineering traits to “improve” people remains a thorny issue.
“It sounds so compelling, ‘take out a little bit of this, that, it’s going to be the best of you,’” Stock said. “But actually, we don't have a clue what creates exceptional capabilities."
While Stock’s attitude is full-speed ahead, he admits, “it’s going to get weird."
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