Health

The Perfect BabyTM

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanJul 19, 2008 5:12 AM

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Genetic Future points me to a Nature News story, Making babies: the next 30 years. He highlights this section:

There's speculation that people will have designer babies, but I don't think the data are there to support that. The spectre of people wanting the perfect child is based on a false premise. No single gene predicts blondness or thinness or height or whatever the 'perfect baby' looks like. You might find genetic contributors but there are so many environmental factors too.

The details are important here. Height is a tough cookie; it seems like there are going to at least hundreds of loci which control most of the normal human variation (if not thousands). But blondness is a bad example; pigmentation is only controlled by a few loci. Getting a fix on OCA2, SLC45A2, SLC24A5 and KITLG will get you what you want. That doesn't mean the parents don't have to have the variation necessary, they do, but they can probably guarantee a little blonde beast if they have the potentiality. And it seems that this really isn't a function of the genetic future, the number of embryos parents would need to guarantee a little Aryan baby if they both have Aryan blood isn't that high (probably 10-100 embryos depending on the purity of Aryan blood of the parents). In any case, read the Genetic Future post for the bigger picture.

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