Is it possible to choose a baby based on its genes? Should we choose a baby based on its genes? Designer Babies What is PGD? Sperm and egg cells are put together outside of the body. This is in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The cells divide. This creates an embryo. The embryo is grown in an incubator for a short time. Each cell contains genes. sperm + egg embryo It is possible to take one cell from this early embryo without damaging it. Looking at genes from this cell shows which genes the baby would have. For example, is there a gene for a serious disease? PGD or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis involves choosing embryos for their genes Dr Bob did this first in 1990 The chosen embryo is then implanted into the mother and grows inside her womb. Taking one cell and reading its genes allows us to choose only the embryos with genes that the parents want for the baby Choosing a boy or a girl by PGD is possible but not normally allowed in the UK Currently, PGD is mostly used to find embryos that do not carry a serious inherited disease. Mum baby Healthy ill Seriously Dad So it is possible to choose a baby’s genes But which genes should we be able to choose?