Eugenics and enhancement in contemporary genomics

Authored by: Silvia Camporesi , Giulia Cavaliere

Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138211957
eBook ISBN: 9781315451695
Adobe ISBN:


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The year 1989 marked not only the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also the birth of the first test-tube baby selected with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD allows the screening of early embryos before implantation, and its first use marked the beginning of what, following geneticist Lee Silver (1997), we refer to as ‘reprogenetics’, or the use of genetic technologies in the context of reproduction to select what kind of children to bring into the world. In this chapter we draw on three examples – PGD, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and CRISPR genome editing technologies – to provide an overview of the discussion of reprogenetics at the intersection of enhancement and eugenics.

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