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时间:2007-01-24 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:maopaihuo_211   字体: [ ]

Imagine being able to override1 Mother Nature and hand-pick the physical appearance and intellectual traits of your unborn child. Well, thanks to modern science, what may seem far-fetched now could be the norm for parents 25 years down the road.

They are so lovable, so innocent, 10 little fingers, 10 tiny toes, to every parent’s eye, pure perfection. But what if you could tinker with perfection, choose your baby’s hair color, eye color, brainpower, how athletic2 they’ll be.

You have specified3 hazel eyes, dark hair and fair skin…

What seems like science fiction in the movie Gattaca is already happening. Through invitro fertilization, parents can actually choose to have a girl or a boy.

We can already look for the genes5 that, er, influence all sorts of trivial traits, like our eye color or hair color. In 25 years, some geneticists believe parents will be able to select for genes that help with intelligence, memory, even talents like playing the piano.

The question is whether or not people want to use the technology for that purpose.

We posed the question at a gathering7 of pregnant moms and found a lot of resistance.

I think once you started choosing, you know, how your baby should look like, and what it should be or what the sex should be. You take the excitement out of the unexpected ….

But here is the thing, when we asked the mummies that if it would be ok to change their baby’s genetics to avoid a disease, the answers changed.

I would say Yes. But again I’m being a hypocrite, but I think health is the most important part.

And that ability for a parent to shape their child’s health may be the biggest advance 25 years from now. Theoretically science could provide the genes to make babies super-resistant to diseases. Here’s how, a few years back, scientists mapped out the human genome, it’s a lot like a giant codebook, a catalogue of the genes in the human body.

We have all the information, and now everybody is poring over it with computers and trying to figure out what it all means.

Experimenting on mice, scientists are trying to figure out which genes do what. They’ve already isolated8 genes that make some people more susceptible9 to certain cancers. Eventually parents would be able not only to choose an embryo10 without that defective11 cancer gene4 but to go in and change the genetic6 code.

We've perfected that technology in mice, there is absolutely no reason why that same technology couldn’t be applied12 to human embryos13.

No reason except for ethical14 concerns that genetic modification15 could change everything.

Our view of children, our view of parenthood, our view of our relationships with each other, and therefore our view of what, what it means to be human. And we don’t really want to mess with them, I think, until we are very, very convinced that the benefits outweigh16 the risks.

And who will get the benefit? In 25 years, many worry only rich Americans will be able to afford genetic tinkering.

There is going to be a growing gap between the haves and have-nots, and so the children of the rich really might be beautiful and the children of ordinary people won’t have access to the same sorts of expensive technologies.

Will that happen in 25 years? It all depends on how people decide to handle the technology.



1.override v. –rode; -riden; -riding 1. to ride over or across 2: to prevail over; also: to set aside <override a vote>
2. trait n.1.a distinguishing quality (as of personality) 2. an inherited characteristic
3. tinker v to repair or adjust something in an unskillful or experimental manner
4. athletic adj. 1: of or relating to athletes or athletics17 2: VIGOROUS; ACTIVE 3: STURDY, MUSCULAR
5. in vitro adv or adj. outside the living body and n an artificial environment
in vitro fertilization
6. hypocrite n. a person who pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have: Charles was a liar18 and a hypocrite who married her for money.
7. pore pored; poring v. 1. to read studiously or attentively19 <pore over a book> 2. PONDER, REFLECT
8. susceptible adj. of such a nature as to permit


1 override sK4xu     
  • The welfare of a child should always override the wishes of its parents.孩子的幸福安康应该永远比父母的愿望来得更重要。
  • I'm applying in advance for the authority to override him.我提前申请当局对他进行否决。
2 athletic sOPy8     
  • This area has been marked off for athletic practice.这块地方被划出来供体育训练之用。
  • He is an athletic star.他是一个运动明星。
3 specified ZhezwZ     
  • The architect specified oak for the wood trim. 那位建筑师指定用橡木做木饰条。
  • It is generated by some specified means. 这是由某些未加说明的方法产生的。
4 gene WgKxx     
  • A single gene may have many effects.单一基因可能具有很多种效应。
  • The targeting of gene therapy has been paid close attention.其中基因治疗的靶向性是值得密切关注的问题之一。
5 genes 01914f8eac35d7e14afa065217edd8c0     
n.基因( gene的名词复数 )
  • You have good genes from your parents, so you should live a long time. 你从父母那儿获得优良的基因,所以能够活得很长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Differences will help to reveal the functions of the genes. 它们间的差异将会帮助我们揭开基因多种功能。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 生物技术的世纪
6 genetic PgIxp     
  • It's very difficult to treat genetic diseases.遗传性疾病治疗起来很困难。
  • Each daughter cell can receive a full complement of the genetic information.每个子细胞可以收到遗传信息的一个完全补偿物。
7 gathering ChmxZ     
  • He called on Mr. White to speak at the gathering.他请怀特先生在集会上讲话。
  • He is on the wing gathering material for his novels.他正忙于为他的小说收集资料。
8 isolated bqmzTd     
  • His bad behaviour was just an isolated incident. 他的不良行为只是个别事件。
  • Patients with the disease should be isolated. 这种病的患者应予以隔离。
9 susceptible 4rrw7     
  • Children are more susceptible than adults.孩子比成人易受感动。
  • We are all susceptible to advertising.我们都易受广告的影响。
10 embryo upAxt     
  • They are engaging in an embryo research.他们正在进行一项胚胎研究。
  • The project was barely in embryo.该计划只是个雏形。
11 defective qnLzZ     
  • The firm had received bad publicity over a defective product. 该公司因为一件次品而受到媒体攻击。
  • If the goods prove defective, the customer has the right to compensation. 如果货品证明有缺陷, 顾客有权索赔。
12 applied Tz2zXA     
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • This cream is best applied to the face at night.这种乳霜最好晚上擦脸用。
13 embryos 0e62a67414ef42288b74539e591aa30a     
n.晶胚;胚,胚胎( embryo的名词复数 )
  • Somatic cells of angiosperms enter a regenerative phase and behave like embryos. 被子植物体细胞进入一个生殖阶段,而且其行为象胚。 来自辞典例句
  • Evolution can explain why human embryos look like gilled fishes. 进化论能够解释为什么人类的胚胎看起来象除去了内脏的鱼一样。 来自辞典例句
14 ethical diIz4     
  • It is necessary to get the youth to have a high ethical concept.必须使青年具有高度的道德观念。
  • It was a debate which aroused fervent ethical arguments.那是一场引发强烈的伦理道德争论的辩论。
15 modification tEZxm     
  • The law,in its present form,is unjust;it needs modification.现行的法律是不公正的,它需要修改。
  • The design requires considerable modification.这个设计需要作大的修改。
16 outweigh gJlxO     
  • The merits of your plan outweigh the defects.你制定的计划其优点胜过缺点。
  • One's merits outweigh one's short-comings.功大于过。
17 athletics rO8y7     
  • When I was at school I was always hopeless at athletics.我上学的时候体育十分糟糕。
  • Our team tied with theirs in athletics.在田径比赛中,我们队与他们队旗鼓相当。
18 liar V1ixD     
  • I know you for a thief and a liar!我算认识你了,一个又偷又骗的家伙!
  • She was wrongly labelled a liar.她被错误地扣上说谎者的帽子。
19 attentively AyQzjz     
  • She listened attentively while I poured out my problems. 我倾吐心中的烦恼时,她一直在注意听。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She listened attentively and set down every word he said. 她专心听着,把他说的话一字不漏地记下来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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