Keeping an eye on Communist, Totalitarian China, and its influence both globally, and we as Canadians. I have come to the opinion that we are rarely privy to truth regarding the real goal, the agenda of Red China, and it's implications for Canada [and North America as a whole]. No more can we rely on our media as more and more information on China is actively being swept under the carpet - not for consumption.
Friday, January 8, 2016
A Chinese company is pioneering the technology tolet parents pick their smartest embryo
January 14, 2014
No one knows what genes make people smart. But the chance to figure that out is just kind of hanging there: 50-80% of what determines IQ is thought to be inherited.
Shenzhen-based BGI is seizing that opportunity. Itscognitive genomics divisionismapping the genes(pdf) of math geniuses. Researchers will then compare those against a sample from the general population, isolating which genes turn people into string theory whizzes.
This could, in theory, be used to predict an embryo’s intelligence. Though BGI’s CG unit doesn’t do genetic testing of human embryos or in vitro fertilization,other divisions of BGI do. If CG’s research bears fruit, it could—again, in theory—let parents select the smartest embryo to give birth to.
Most children are within 13 IQ points of their parents’ combined average. Two or three out of every hundred childrenturns out way smarter, though, as Stephen Hsu, a CG lab member, told Wired. Creating a bunch of embryos raises the possibility of generating a sperm-egg combo that creates a super-smart baby.
Thatcreeps out many Western scientists(paywall), as the Wall Street Journal reported last year. “People believe it’s a controversial topic, especially in the West. That’s not the case in China,” Bowen Zhao, head of CG, told the WSJ. (There are others who feel differently, including a King’s College professor who is cooperating with CG.)
But as CG’s Hsu envisions it, it’s regular people—not governments—that will embrace this technology.
“Imagine what a couple might pay to ensure that they get the best out of 10 or 50 possible offspring, optimizing over their choice of heritable attributes,” he wrote on his blog, comparing the cost of a Harvard degree or private school with the few thousand dollars it takes to fertilize and implant embryos.
In a way, the US is already dabbling with this technology. A private lab in New Jersey allows couples to screen embryos for genetic diseasesbefore implanting, reports Slate. The same sort of thing could happen with brain disorders. As BGI’s Chris Chang told The New Yorker, CG’s research could help us understand the genetic underpinnings ofAlzheimer’s or schizophrenia (paywall).
But sparing a baby from disease is different from picking Einsteins out of petri dishes so you can scrimp on Harvard tuition. Those ethical objections about eugenics would very probably prompt many governments to ban embryo selection procedures—a move that would ultimately be self-defeating, says CG’s Hsu.
“There are going to be countries that say this is part of our national health-care service and everyone is doing it,” he told the New Yorker. “And eventually it would become unstoppable, because the countries that initially outlawed it would have to come around. How could they not?”