Within 30 years we will no longer use sex to procreate, says Stanford professor

Hank Greely believes the reproductive process will commence with parents choosing from a range of embryos created in a lab with their DNA

Tuesday 04 July 2017 13:37
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Hank Greely believes conceiving children in a laboratory could become the norm
Hank Greely believes conceiving children in a laboratory could become the norm

Within three decades people will no longer be having sex to procreate, a professor from Stanford University has said.

Hank Greely, the director of Stanford’s Law School’s Center for Law and the Biosciences, believes the reproductive process will begin with parents choosing from a range of embryos created in a lab with their DNA.

Although this can already take place, Mr Greely believes it will become far cheaper to do so and couples will opt for this method to prevent diseases.

The process involves taking a female skin sample to create stem cells, which is then used to create eggs.

These eggs are then fertilised with sperm cells, resulting in a selection of embryos.

Screening of the embryos would highlight any potential diseases and the Stanford professor believes the process will get to a point where parents can also potentially have the ability to choose eye or hair colour.

“I think one of the hardest things about this will be all the divorces that come about when she wants embryo number 15 and he wants embryo number 64,” Mr Greely said at Aspen Ideas Festive, Tribune reported.

“I think the decision making will be a real challenge for people. How do you weigh a slightly higher chance of diabetes with slightly lower risk of schizophrenia against better musical ability and a much lower risk of colon cancer? Good luck.”

Mr Greely argues that this method of procreation would be cost efficient due to the savings that would be made on healthcare.

He argues that if certain diseases can be avoided any expenditure on this method would be offset by reduced costs on potential treatments.

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