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1 How did the Price family have a baby girl?
2 Why do some people criticise genetic engineering?
3 What are the characteristics that we may be able to choose in our children in the future?
4 What is one of the big advantages of genetic engineering?
5 What are the dangers of Biotechnology?
6 What does Dr Tim Campbell invite his readers to do?
Critics say that it's wrong for parents to be able to choose the sex of their child. They find the whole idea shocking and unnatural But that’s what people said twenty-five years ago about 'test tube babies' and now that technique has become quite common in many countries of the world.
*You'U be able to design your own baby"
Deciding if you want a boy or a girl may just be the beginning. In ten or twenty years' time, it may be possible to know in advance and even choose other characteristics of your child like build, height, hair and eye colour, and even his or her personality and level of intelligence. In other words, you'll be able to design your own baby.
However, the most important advantage of being able to manipulate the genes of a future child is that it will be possible to eliminate some major illnesses from the baby's genetic make-up. For example, if parents have a hereditary illness in their family's medical history which affects only boys, they can decide to avoid the risk and choose to have a healthy girl instead - or vice-versa.
Many people are worried about some of the implications of these innovations and say that scientists like me are playing with nature. They might be right. They say that only rich people will be able to choose what their children are like because these procedures will be very expensive. There is also a danger that, as a result, we will create an even more divided society of rich, attractive, successful people and other people who are seen as social failures, and who will do the jobs that no one else wants to do.