Is China Engineering Genius Babies? Not Exactly.
Sexual reproduction is a genetic crapshoot. Out of hundreds of eggs and millions of sperm, one joins one to produce a baby whose natural endowments could reflect the best traits of both parents—or the absolute worst. To procreate through intercourse is to take a wild roll of the DNA dice. And the stakes could hardly be higher. One stray allele could mean the difference between a healthy baby and one with a debilitating disorder.
What if science offered a way to stack the odds in favor of a healthy, gifted child? The idea is as thrilling as it is alarming. But how realistic is it? Last week, a widely shared story in the magazine Vice suggested it’s imminent and inevitable—just not in the hidebound United States.
The article, headlined “China Is Engineering Genius Babies,” reports that our superpower frenemies in the East have hatched a grand plan to breed a crop of hyperproductive smartypants. Here’s an excerpt: