Designer Babies

Welcome to my final catalyst conference! I’m ecstatic that you landed on my page and want to learn more about the research, science, and effects of the possible phenomenon of designer babies. Please answer the all the quick survey questions to enhance you experience, compare thoughts to our GOA peers, and enjoy the educational journey this conference entails!


In 1997 director Andrew Nicole envisioned a world through his cinematic piece, Gattaca, where people with enhanced genetics received superior jobs, wealth, homes, and opportunities.

Nicole’s futuristic movie contrasting the frustration between those who are not genetically enhanced and those who have the privileges of being so, is no  in the unforeseeable future. Instead with CRISPR CAS-9 technology, the specific, efficient, and least expensive way to edit human DNA, Nicole’s plot could soon become a reality.

Survey⇒When does Gattaca Become a Reality? Survey

What is CRISPR CAS-9 Technology?

CRISPRCas9 is a unique technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome by removing, adding or altering sections of the DNA sequence. It is currently the simplest, most versatile, precise, and cheapest method of genetic manipulation and is therefore causing a buzz in the science world.

The idea of geneticists being able to complete this process seems mind blowing and quite confusing. For a more in depth version of how CRISPR CAS-9 works, I have included an image and video (0:00-2:20) for a more visual experience.

With CRISPR CAS-9, genome editing has the potential to cure diseases by disrupting internal disease-causing genes, correcting disease causing mutations or inserting new genes with protective functions. The technique can be used in biomedicine to develop tissue-based treatments for cancer and other diseases. The technique has also shown that can correct the mutation causing cystic fibrosis in intestinal stem cells derived from patients. However, what happens if people take advantage of the ability of genome editing…..

Designer Babies 

What is a designer baby?

A designer baby is a baby that is enhanced through a genetic screening or genetic modification process. In some cases, the embryo is first screened before it is implanted in the body, or other gene therapy techniques help create the desired type of characteristics in the baby. While CSPSR CAS-9 has solely focused on hopefully solving genetic diseases, the future of designer babies is possible


I would like you all to share your ideas on my Padlet of some possible traits either you or others would be interested in changing in one’s child. Feel free to think of ideas from diseases, physical features, traits, etc. Also, comment on other’s ideas, thumbs it up if you agree, and spread the positive energy! I went ahead and started the brain storming process 😉

Share Your Ideas!



Beneficial and Harmful Effects of Designer Babies

Clearer Image of Pros and Cons

Focusing on Marked Gap in Society

It is true that when you create a designer baby, your baby will have marked differences as compared to those babies who are born in an absolute natural disposition which can create a large gap in society similar to the fantasies created in Gattaca. If a large number of parents decide to opt for the medical technology to create a designer babies the world will divide into a classes of genetically modified babies and natural babies. As a result, those “designer babies” might feel superior, be offered better jobs, better insurance rates, and more opportunities to generate wealth.


The Ethical Issues

This semester the Bioethics global online academy course has judged, approved, or dismissed new medical advancements based on the four main principles of bioethics.

  1. Beneficence
  2. Maleficence
  3. Justice
  4. Autonomy

I have included a short video  that briefly touches over what these four principles mean.

*While five principles are mentioned in this video, it’s important to note that the four (beneficence, maleficence, justices and autonomy) will always be given priority in research*

Justice and Autonomy

I believe that the practice of generating of designer babies violates the principles of justice and autonomy. If the principle of justice is achieved than each participant should be treated with an emphasis on equality. This means that genetically modifying babies should produce equal results and hope to create more equality in the world; however I think that creating a new class of humans will cause more economic and social division. I also believe this medical practice would violate the principle of autonomy because ultimately the parents would change the life and mind of a living human being without taking the person’s permission or choice in regard. In this case, you will alter your baby’s mental, emotional and physical makeup for life, without your baby having any say in whether or not it is something your baby wanted or not.

What do you think?

Last Survey! 

Thank you for your participation in this project! 

-Kelsey Russell

Share this project
  1. April 27, 2018 by CC Yin

    Hi Kelsey! This project is so interesting! In the past, I’ve talked about designer babies at school and such, but I’ve never really seen it as a real possibility. Your project brings great awareness to technology and you do a great job of looking at the topic from a bioethical perspective. The video and survey is also super interactive. Great job!!

    • April 27, 2018 by Kelsey.Russell

      Thank you CC! I’m happy to know that I was able to bring a futuristic idea to you into present day knowledge 🙂

  2. April 28, 2018 by Julia.Leet

    Hey Kelsey, your project is so cool!! I think Bioethics is fascinating, and a super important thing to talk about now with all of our scientific advancements. I love all of the videos you included; they helped me understand your topic much more. Genetic enhancements of babies gives me a bad gut feeling, but it is much harder to come up with ethical reasons as to why it’s wrong. Thanks for making me think!

    • April 30, 2018 by Kelsey.Russell

      Thank you Julia!

  3. April 29, 2018 by Anne.Ballard

    Hey Kelsey! I love your project! This is a concept that I had heard of before, but more as conspiracy theory. I didn’t realize how close we are to making it happen. One question I have for you is what the cost would be fore parents to genetically modify their baby’s genes? That could contribute to the class divisions in society and could cause controversy in the medical field. Great job!

  4. April 29, 2018 by Cassidy.Mott

    Hi! I thought that this project was very interesting and have had many debates on this subject in my biology/science classes. I think that there are so many perspectives and ways to look at it that can change your mind. Where do we draw the red line for gene editing? How can we edit genes to the point where it does not change the personality of the future child? Overall I loved your project and thought it was very interesting.

  5. April 30, 2018 by Mailie.Saito

    Hi! I think your project is so interesting. I’ve heard of designer babies and wanted to know more about it but never got around to researching so I learned a lot from your presentation. The videos you added really helped me understand the topic a lot more and was very engaging.

    • April 30, 2018 by Kelsey.Russell

      Thank you mollie! I’m happy the videos helped

    • April 30, 2018 by Kelsey.Russell

      Thank you Cassidy! it’s always hard deciding where we draw the line and especially who draws the line.

  6. April 30, 2018 by Rachel Dauby

    Whoa! Super cool! Your presentation is very clearly written and I love all of the media you embedded, and your consideration of the ethical dilemmas behind CRISPR. well done!

  7. May 01, 2018 by Hyunsuh.Kim

    The movie GATTACA was very thought provoking indeed! There is definitely several moral questions that we need to raise when it comes to genetics. Very helpful videos and graphics, well done! * I think the survey has a minor error in the description of the range, because the minimum says ‘Decades’ and so does the maximum. Just a small mistake!

  8. May 04, 2018 by Ben.Arriola

    Hi! This is such a unique and fascinating topic! I loved how you referenced Gattaca! It was a very interesting visualization of the topic. Do you think the principle of autonomy if parents decided to edit a gene that could be dangerous? For example, if parents were able to ‘edit’ out birth defects or genetic predispositions for certain diseases?

  9. May 05, 2018 by Kelsey.Watkins

    So cool! It is so interesting to think about a future where you can design your baby and how fundamentally different our society would be. Theoretically if you could choose the characteristics of your child without the fear of creating more injustice would you? I have thought about this before I think I would say no, but in reality it seems too cool not to try (in an ideal world). However I would feel morally compromised. Anyway, great job!

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