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.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.
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]