Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How 'bout those egg prices?...

Every now and then I see a trend with long term implications I am reluctant to contemplate.
That $100,000 seems like a large sum of money for human eggs today. But suppose that choosing the right egg results in a smarter child with a responsible, calm, and motivated disposition. The boost in life time income could be many times that initial $100,000 investment.

The value from choosing "premium" eggs will soar as plummeting costs of DNA sequencing technologies bring about an explosion of discoveries about genetic variations for controlling intelligence and personality. The ability to choose between eggs based on detailed genetic profile of donors will greatly increase the probability of getting some desired genetic outcome.

The initial genetic screening of potential donors still doesn't control for the randomness of which portion of a person's DNA went into each egg. But that will become a solvable problem. Fertilization of multiple eggs and genetic testing of each embryo is already possible today. Once we know what thousands of genetic variations do to determine IQ, personality, physical attractiveness, and many other attributes screening of multiple embryos will become very desirable. At that point expect to see skyrocketing prices for donor eggs with the most desired attributes. [More]
While we built a moral Maginot line to defend against government-sponsored eugenics, we ignored the power of science to make a desirable end a market commodity.


Anonymous said...

George Orwell book I read in College? I can do it with seed corn, but would I want it done to select my grand children? It could reduce our social problems, but hardly an act of faith.

Ol James said...

That just takes the fun out of it. It's sort of like getting a present that you have no earthly idea what it will be. For me,if you want a smart kid, then teach them. You want a handsome one..don't marry an ugly spouse.
Messing with crops and flowers is fine..to a degree. If the Good Lord wanted us choosing how our offspring should act, think, look and the like by using genetic make-ups..well we would be right up there with him.

Anonymous said...

One man said to the other man,

With your looks, how did you ever make those two beautiful daughters?

Other man said, "I didn't make them with my face"!

(True story)