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Remember the sci-fi thriller GATTACA? For those who never saw the film and/or eschewed all pop culture
in the late 90s for some reason, it was a popular movie that came out in 1997 about genetically modified
human beings. Now some literally genetically modified human babies born that same year are entering
their senior year of high school.
The first successful transfer of genetic material for this purpose was published in a U.S. medical journal in
1997 and then later cited in a Human Reproduction publication in 2001. Scientists injected 30 embryos in
all with a third persons genetic material. The children who have been produced by this method actually
have extra snippets of mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, from two mothers meaning these babies
technically have three parents.
Its still unclear whether all 30 babies turned out healthy. The Institute for Reproductive Medicine and
Science (IRMS) at St Barnabas, participants of the experiment, finally began following up with at least 17
of the now teenagers earlier this year, according to the UKs Independent. Weve reached out to IRMS to
get those follow up results but have not heard back yet.
While we dont know the identity of these genetically modified teens, or even how they are doing health
wise at this point, the ethics of creating designer humans is still very much a hot button issue. Modifying
humans genetically to create some superior race of people or simply to chose one preferred visual trait
over another has been debated among scientists, politicians and others ad nauseam. The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration no longer even allows such genetic modification to embryos, citing them as a
biological product and thus under its jurisdiction. They put the kibosh on this practice back in 2002.
However, these original embryonic modifications were for parents who would potentially pass on severe
genetic diseases to their children if it werent for scientific intervention.
These teens could potentially pass on their genetically modified material to the next generation. So even if
no other humans are legally able to be created this way in the future, weve already introduced
biologically modified genetic material into the population with the potential to affect large swaths of future
generations to come via reproduction. Well be sure to update you, should IRMS release any information
on the health of these teens.


For me theres no need to create genetically modified human beings, theres no need for it to be
perfected, what God created let it be that way. Scientists know what its pros and cons of this, who knows
if theyre trying to experiment and study about this but how I wish this needs to be stopped. Choosing best
traits and genes and creates perfected human being is such a mess. According to that article it may lead
to human failures, and it can passed to everyone what if it brings deadly disease. My point of view of this
was just focus on the better technologies, invent cure on diseases and save the world from global
warming than experimenting on human genes. Yes, it may be applicable to animals that we consume but
experimenting it on humans, I strongly disagree.