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The Designer Baby Era Is Not Upon Us

The researchers, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov from Oregon Health and Science University, had altered the gene behind an unspecified inherited disease in a number of one-cell embryos. These embryos weren’t allowed to develop for more than a few days, and there was never any intention to implant them into a womb. The story fueled another cycle of discussion about designer babies, and fears that a Gattaca-style world was just around the corner. But the full details of the experiment, which are released today, show that the study is scientifically important but much less of a social inflection point than has been suggested.

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