By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Picture this: you walk into the headquarters of a company called 23andMe, which specializes in analyzing people’s DNA. In their advanced office sits a high-tech computer that has a long menu of physical baby features like eye color, nose shape, hair type, gender, and height.
After selecting all your favorite ones, you submit your list to 23andMe, and 9 months later, there is a new member of the family that looks just like you wanted!
Seems totally impossible, right? Well, get ready to have your mind blown. According to the company 23andMe, they have patented technology to make this absolutely possible!
Don’t go running to your parents and asking for a new brother or sister just yet, though, because the company is not planning to let people use it. “When we originally introduced the tool and filed the patent there was some thinking the feature could have applications for… clinics,” said Catherine Afarian, a 23andMe spokeswoman. “But we’ve never pursued the idea, and have no plans to do so.” Aww, what rubbish! If people could use the tech though, how would it work?
First, the company would take some special materials from any soon-to-be parents, and ask them what they want their bundle of joy to look like. Then, with futuristic technology, they can alter a growing baby’s DNA to match what the parents want. If they did this however, it wouldn’t be guaranteed that the baby will look exactly how they want. As Ghent University biochemist Sigrid Sterckx explains, “What is claimed is not a cast-iron, foolproof method guaranteeing that the eventual child will have all the [physical features] on the parents’ shopping list, an impossible task, but merely a method of improving the chances that the baby has the right characteristics.”
As cool as that seems, the company is aware this process makes several individuals feel uncomfortable or even bothered, which is why they don’t plan to design babies any time soon.