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Making Babies On The Assembly Line 21

Erik Gryphon writes: "It looks like Aldous Huxley was right; in the future babies will come off an assembly line according to the New Scientist. The story here gives details of a chip for in-vitro fertilization. Now the question is, do we really need 16,00 Britney Spears?"
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Making Babies On The Assembly Line

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as someone who has adopted a child... governments do very little to encourage, and much to discourage, being an adoptive parent. Quite frankly, the hurdles that are placed in the path of adoptive parents are enough to discourage even a loving family from considering adoption. On top of having to get a lawyer, court hearings, paperwork, unbelievably intrusive personal investigations, multiple visits and home studies by social workers... in most states, courts are more than willing to give custody of an adopted child back to a parent, parents, or blood relatives, even after a child has been with an adoptive family for up to a year.

    So, yes, I can see why this option would be attractive to some people. Good medical plans will probably cover it (they never cover adoption, obviously), and despite the medical difficulties, it will overall be simpler and easier than going through the unbearable legal hurdles that adoption entails.

  • All this is about is an automated way to try and boost the success of in-vitro fertilization, where a couple having trouble conceiving provide their own eggs and sperm and technicians try to get fertilization to occur in a petri dish. The egg gets re-implanted in the female who then carries it to term.

    So other than the picture in the article, how does this get us "16,00" Britney Spears?
  • An AC made a joke about this and got modded down but I thought it was funny and brings up an intresting anime/huxley-esque idea, making copies of girls/guys for 'recreational' purposes? Genetical engeneering in the future will allow fine manipulation of genes to enhance/reduce or enable/disable certain natural functions and adding natural immunity to viruses/bacterias thusly creating perfect sex toys.

    I just need to make clear that this is a VERY disturbing idea for most people, fortunately I'm not one of them since I happen to think that this will happen one day (`a la' "6th Day"), want itor not - it will happen.

    Well, there goes my karma but if we're playing God to make wheat and soy beans grow healthier why not play God to make enough Britneys to go around? :)

    All browsers' default homepage should read: Don't Panic...

  • Sadly I can only see the downsides to this than any upsides for a baby factory. So what's going to happen? What purpose would this actually serve is society? Sure many people who can't have kids would stand to gain a child, but at the same time I think of all those kids who are abandoned, left in foster homes, killed, etc., and I cant come to a logical conclusion for this.

    Now if I were in the military, sure maybe I'd look into making my own "Dark Angel" like kids, but when I think of the ethics behind it all I say it stinks.

  • When I first read the title for this ("Making Babies on the Assembly Line"), I thought that I'd have to get a job at that factory, or at least buy their products (a happy worker is a good worker...). Then I read the article.


  • by Alik ( 81811 )
    How do you expect every geek to have his own Britney-clone love slave? It's just not possible without mass-production. (Besides, I'm pretty sure she's a Beta anyway. Maybe even a Gamma.)
  • Is it ethical for parents to have children 'naturally'? Surely they deprive potential adoptees of adoption. If not, then why is it different from factory line babies in the sense you raise?
  • Something like this would need artificial wombs to reach A Brave New World levels of scariness, since without artificial wombs you still need a woman who's willing to carry the embryo/fetus for 9 months, with all that entails. And if you had artificial wombs, you could do all sorts of scary stuff even without a chip like this, it would just be a little harder...

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose that you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
  • Yes, but only if they can be bred without vocal chords.
    Won't help - they'll just get a larnyx transplant [].
  • I read it and thought the same thing, and I thought to myself "I've seen people try to make puppies, but..."

    - - - -

  • (Besides, I'm pretty sure she's a Beta anyway. Maybe even a Gamma.)

    "Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green..."
    -Aldous Huxley

    I don't think she's a Beta. Everybody knows the Alpha children are the most physically enodowed! But then there is the lack of intelligence to consider...(one might even go so far as to call her an Epsilon Semi-Moron if he were so inclined)
  • Various of Britney's body parts have already been engineered and fabricated in say nothing of the homogenous corporate music product marketed as her "art." She looks and sounds like McDonald's fries smell and taste. (Both are designed to play your hot buttons like the Mighty Wurlitzer and thereby extract your cash.) Nonetheless, something tells me all the horrified ethicists will take a personal exemption when they get old and realize these bio-assembly line techniques will also be used to grow them new parts to replace their worn-out ones. What a bunch of blather.
  • I don't think she's a Beta. Everybody knows the Alpha children are the most physically enodowed!

    Nah, Lenina Crowne was described as "quite pneumatic," and she was a Beta. If that doesn't scream 'sexpot' I don't know what does. I'd probably rank Brittney as a Beta minus. She's at least intelligent enough to do what she's told, provided money-making is involved.

  • Well its an interesting article, but I think that the technology in Brve new world is someway of yet. The technology for producing placenta like tissue is going to take a while.

    Of course I can see lots of uses for this in agriculture. This was the interest behind all the animal cloning work, and the same would be true with this sort of "mass production" technology.

    As for 16,000 Britney's all you have to do is go to a Britney gig and you will find large numbers of clones....

  • You kids have it easy these days. When I was your age I had to walk to school uphill both ways and have sex to keep the human race alive. Now you just wait for a blue light special at K-mart, shell out $29.99 and you're a father.

    I can't wait to tell that one.

  • I guess you'd need either a long assembly line, a slow assembly line, a combination of both, or just doing it really, really fast.

    Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I
  • Java Server slashdotted.
    Could not connect to JRun Server
  • It seems like this procedure could be of tremendous use for farm animal breeding programs. They're already using weird things like artificial insemination with frozen sperm and choosing sperm donors from a catalog.

    It seems like researchers in the middle of farm country would have concentrated on that.

    It honestly seems like they're researching the wrong problem if you apply this to humans. More contraceptive research is needed. People shouldn't have children accidentally.

    Moreover, I can't see why women would want to have this done to them, to be treated like a cow, only good for breeding.

  • do we really need 16,00 Britney Spears?

    Yes, but only if they can be bred without vocal chords.

    Ryan T. Sammartino

  • that would make humans not so special if they manufacture them on a production line, and would these children be tagged with three numbers? Did you stop to think that maybe we are doing this because all the genetic food that is produced causes humans to be sterile? Making babies is easy but are these scientist ready to listen to 1,0000 screaming babies, yea right.
  • The main problem with the idea of modifying humans to give everyone "even footing", is the fact that it simply isn't going to happen. If it ever becomes legal, what probably going to happen is that the rich will be the only ones who can afford it, so they will engineer their own children to be the next Einsteins, Beethovens and Michelangelos. The probability of it being used to help normal folks is prety slim.

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.