Looking good, plenty tight, tell me is there anymore room, for me, in those genes!? Ginuine may have been ahead of his time…no wait. Oh, GENES! Yes, genes, are basically the building blocks of the human being. They hold the traits from our parents that make up who we are. They can determine our hair color, our skin color, and our potential for getting disease or cancer. These genes hold the DNA, which in turns hold the blueprint of our potential futures. For decades, scientists have been studying genes and how to manipulate them in hopes of curing illnesses and combating the plagues that can harm society. Genes, in other words, are a big deal.
For decades people have played with the notion of designer babies. Designer babies are the children of the atom with whom scientists can manipulate genes to the will of the parent in order to ensure a child was more likely to be a certain height, to have a certain level of intelligence, and to be free of any hereditary diseases. This would lead to the more perfect human, free of any shortcomings that could develop in child birth. The implications are vast, and hints at a master HUMAN race; of genetically altered and enhanced human beings. In other words, the X-Men, minus Jubilee. Nobody likes Jubilee. You can hear the theme song in your head right now!
Gene manipulation was previously thought to be science fiction and the plot device to so many 90’s movies. Then, researchers in China edited the genome of an embryo, in an attempt to try and stop a gene that would potentially give the child a rare blood disease. Yeah, that’s a lot of “ifs” with not a lot of absolutes. And though it may not be perfect, it is the beginning of the path to gene manipulation and it in turn gets us closer to the idea of the designer baby. If you thought cloning was bad, humans may soon have the ability to make future generations, anything the parents want them to genetically be. You know that fun character customization you get to do for Skyrim? Yeah, imagine doing that for your future child. And forget the class and economic implications, as this would surely be an expensive procedure, and thus limiting the healthy, super humans to the rich and famous, but this could potentially lead to a whole new type of human.
Putting aside speculation of mutants, this type of research has an even greater potential to eliminate diseases at their source. Ailments that would be widespread or incurable can now be eradicated. The common cold could be a thing of the past, and HIV would be just a tale in our history books. Defects and abnormalities at births could be eliminated and infant mortality would decrease if not be all together gone from the equation. The possibilities are endless and also scary, as we move ever closer to engineering the perfect human being. Hopefully with awesome mutant, super powers. Minus Jubilee’s.