Having only two biological parents will soon be “so 2020”, so old-fashioned. At least that’s what futurist Amy Webb, who has co-authored a new book, suggests, “The Genesis Machine”, with geneticist Andrew Hessel. They evoke there the possibilities and pitfalls of synthetic biology.
With our colleagues from Washington Post (Source 1), the futurist evoked the future of procreation, which she imagines to be very different from what we know today. If until then, a baby was usually conceived from the DNA of a man and a woman, the “Synthetic biology offers us other optionss”, estimate Amy Webb. “In forty years, I think there may be several parents for one child, or a 70-year-old and their 60-year-old spouse decide to have a baby”, She adds.
note that babies with three biological parents have already emerged, in particular to prevent the transmission of genetic diseases localized in the DNA of mitochondria, the “energy factories” of our cells.
At the evocation of a near future to that described in the science fiction film “Welcome to Gattaca”, Where eugenics is pushed to its paroxysm, the futurist is reassuring. While geopolitical systems are to be expected to use these new technologies to increase the intelligence of their populations or to favor certain physical traits, genome manipulation also has its positive and ethical aspects. “The opportunity to make pregnancy easier for people who really want to become parents is something we should grab ”, she believes. “ Conceiving a child today is based on luck, or having enough money to complete many cycles of in vitro fertilization. It’s incredibly difficult in 2022 to have a baby, it shouldn’t be so”, a conclu Amy Webb.