GMO Sapiens: Human Genetic Modification on the Table
The new book is called GMO Sapiens: The Life-Changing Science of Designer Babies.
The title was chosen as a portmanteau (or mashup) of GMO and Homo sapiens.
Why write a book on human genetic modification?
As a scientist working on genetic modification in my own lab, I’ve seen that we are in the early stages of a revolution in this area related to human genetic modification.
Unlike in past decades, today the possibility of heritable human genetic modification is very real. Based on all that we now know it is reasonable to predict that someone will attempt to create genetically modified people including designer babies in coming years. The results could be great or disastrous, but in either case (or probably more likely some mixture of the two) the outcomes are going to be revolutionary.
Are we ready for what may come next?
How will this affect individuals and society as a whole?
More thinking, discussion, and transparency are urgently needed. The goal of this book is to move in a constructive direction by educating and stimulating debate as well as dialogue.
At the same time in the book, I am not afraid to tackle the real, but tough issues that are integral to this topic. For instance, it seems that up until now in science it has been somewhat taboo to talk about the possibility of designer babies. However, we don’t have time to close our eyes to the reasonable probability that someone will try to make designer babies in the near future nor to pretend that nothing could go wrong for individuals or society.
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