Designer Babies Anyone?

If AI and ML wasn’t ground breaking enough, we now may be entering an era of designer babies. The technology here is CRISPR (for those of who don’t know what that is, check out my blog for a relative simple explanation here.

Back in January, Dr.He Jiankui, a bio-physicist from China claimed to ‘deleted’ a gene from twins that would have made them immune to AIDS. More specifically, he claimed to have removed CCR5 gene whose presence is required for the HIV virus to enter the human body. So if the gene doesn’t exist in the body – HIV virus can’t enter the body. None of this has been verified because Chinese authorities placed him under arrest for doing this independently (or perhaps to stop him from sharing this technique).

A recent article from MIT Technology Report says that new research shows that ‘deleting’ this CCR5 genes may make people smarter and improve brain recovery after stroke. So these twins are expected to not only be immune to a deadly disease but should also be smarter.

An important thing to note is this is not like a concept car at Frankfurt Motor Show – it’s not a presentation of what could happen. It’s already happened – it just hasn’t scaled up yet.  CRISPR, exponential improvements in AI/ML, quantum computing – we are probably in the most important decade of over the last millennia!

What social impact all of these will have remains to be seen. 

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