Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On the radio: NPR's On Point

I'll be on live (I think) for an hour starting at 11 AM eastern. If you dial in, you might be able to ask me a question on the air :-)

WBUR On Point. (More on the show and its host here.)

"To join the conversation on the air, call us at 1-800-423-8255 during a live broadcast."

Genius Babies

The internet headline was “engineering genius babies” out of China. Not true. But the reality is very interesting. We’ll check it out.


Nita Farahany, Professor of Law, Philosophy, Genome Sciences & Policy at Duke University School of Law, and a member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.

Lee Silver, Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, Co-editor of the journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society, Fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and author of “Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World” (1997).

Dr. Steve Hsu, member of the core team at BGI’s Cognitive Genomics Lab, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University.

Here's the audio:


Brett Olsen said...

Looks like you're on the evening show at 7:00 pm eastern. At least right now it's about something else!

Brett Olsen said...

Very interesting! It seems like the other panelists wanted to talk about a slightly different topic than you did.

LaurentMelchiorTellier said...

A reminder that everybody has heard of string theory, and nobody has heard of or thought about basic embryo screening. Even the first-step implications are unexplored for the vast majority of well-educated people, and they're so close in the future that they're not even the future anymore.

Anonymous said...

Steve , good job . I listened the entire episode live.

Han said...

I listened the entire hour live. Good job Steve.

tractal said...

What's the projected cost of sequencing in 10 years? If its pretty expensive, but not outrageously expensive, won't that result in a situation where the rich get even better kids, even if the government subsidizes the practice? You're looking for the best embryo so it seems reasonable to check as many as you can afford, which would have dramatic social consequences as long as the cost of a spell check is more than trivial.

LaurentMelchiorTellier said...

1000 USD should be crossed in the next handful of years, to say nothing of 10. In 10 years, the most expensive part may IMHO be the IVF.

But I agree, even at a price of a few tens of thousands of USD, PGD will come first to the wealthy and technosavvy. But, the initial advantages will also IMHO be small. It will start off expensive, we won't be sure what to select for, and imputation will still be WIP.

But, that will still be something. What you're mainly doing is not selecting FOR the healthiest 1%, but selecting AGAINST the sickest 30%. Obvious diseases and abnormalities. And that's imho the noblest calling of PGD. The difference of life between a "normal" child and a sick child is huge!

That number will then slowly move to 50%, 70%, etc. Decades and decades of hard work. When we finally start selecting the smartest few zygotes, PGD won't be new or scary anymore....

5371 said...

You really think all births will be through IVF, on this planet?

LaurentMelchiorTellier said...

No more or less than all births happen in hospitals.

Engineer Dad said...

"What is the scholar, what is the man for, but for hospitality to every new thought of his time? Have you leisure, power, property, friends? you shall be the asylum and patron of every new thought, every unproven opinion, every untried project, which proceeds out of good will and honest seeking. All the newspapers, all the tongues of to-day will of course at first defame what is noble; but you who hold not of to-day, not of the times, but of the Everlasting, are to stand for it: and the highest compliment, man ever receives from heaven, is the sending to him its disguised and discredited angels."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Read at the Masonic Temple, Boston,
December 2, 1841

Blog Archive