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Author Topic: Will we one day have a say in our children's height?  (Read 2337 times)
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« on: February 06, 2014, 05:53:00 AM »

Recently I had been reading up online about research related to height, and came across the article posted above. According to this article scientists are getting quite good at predicting human height via analysis of DNA. Of course, there is still room for improvement, but with the rate at which scientific research is progressing, I'm sure that these predictions will get more and more accurate.

This got me thinking - if we can one day (perhaps even soon) use DNA to accurately predict a person's height, wouldn't the next step be to apply knowledge of DNA's relation to height to germline gene therapy? For those who do not know, germline gene therapy is a way of adding or altering genes to an early embryo to elicit a particular characteristic. There are companies that currently offer couples the chance to choose the eye color or gender of their child, for example. So, in theory, the knowledge of how DNA composition affects human height can be utilized to alter the height of a child conceived by a short man and woman.

Now of course, there are ethical issues involved with this. The term "designer baby" comes to mind. But I think it is something worth thinking about. My personal opinion is if I were to have a child (especially a boy), I would want this for him because I wouldn't want him to have to "suffer" the side effects of being short that I have, especially in the confidence and women departments. I would "choose" for him to be, maybe slightly above average height, certainly not a towering giant.

Needless to say, such a process would be useless to increase anyone's height who is reading this right now, but I thought it an interesting topic to ponder and discuss.
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