Science on Tap presents ‘Designer Babies’

Monday, March 20, 2017 Mary White
by: Tonya Lowentritt

DESIGNER BABIES – Southeastern Louisiana University Professor of Biological Sciences Mary White will deliver the next Science on Tap presentation titled “Designer Babies: Is Science Catching Up with Science Fiction?” on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Tope La Catering.

     HAMMOND –Reproductive technologies and their relationship to science fiction will be the topic of Southeastern Louisiana University’s next Science on Tap presentation on Tuesday, April 4.
     Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences, the presentation titled “Designer Babies: Is Science Catching Up with Science Fiction?” by Professor of Biological Sciences Mary White, will be held at 7 p.m. at Tope La Catering, 113 East Thomas St. in Hammond. The lecture is free and open to all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
     White said advances in reproductive technology will be discussed, including genome modification, so-called three-parent babies, and progress on “uterine replicators,” as named by science fiction’s Lois McMaster Bujold.
     “In 1932 Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ introduced us to a future where babies were grown not born. Cloning and genetic/developmental modifications were commonplace, and children had no concept of parents,” White said. “‘Mother’ was a dirty word. Science fiction has since given us similar scenarios in books and movies as diverse as ‘Boys from Brazil,’ ‘Dune,’ ‘Tomorrow’s Child,’ ‘Gattaca,’ and even an episode of ‘Star Wars.’”
     White said such reproductive technologies probably seemed completely outrageous 85 years ago.
     “While we can’t yet grow human fetuses without mothers, in vitro fertilization has become commonplace, genetic modification of embryos is occurring, and cloning is certainly a possibility,” White added.
     For information on this or future Science on Tap presentations, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 985-549-3740.

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