“Digital Fetus” Program Allows Parents to “See” Their Unborn Child Before She’s Conceived

International   Steven Ertelt   Apr 11, 2014   |   1:15PM    Washington, DC

Everyone is familiar with the impressive 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds that show unborn children in stunning detail. But what about getting a glimpse of your unborn baby before she is even conceived.

Only God knows what someone’s prospective child will really look like, but one company has created a program to give prospective parents an idea. New York-based Genepeeks is about to launch a service in the U.S. capable of digitally combining the DNA of two people to create ‘virtual babies.’

digitalfetusThe only problem with the program is that it could be used for eugenics purposes.

Virtual babies can be screened for diseases to ruling out sperm donors because the technology is 100,000 times more powerful than current screening services. In theory, it could be used to screen babies for traits other than diseases but, for pro-life people, there is a concern it could be used for determining if an unborn baby has a certain disability and aborting if that projected disability is found or likely to be found.

The London Daily Mail has more on this new program.

A breakthrough technology that can create ‘virtual babies’ by digitally combining the DNA of two people is set to launch.

These virtual babies can then be screened for genetic diseases, before ruling out sperm donors or partners who could pose a risk to a potential baby’s health.

Dubbed Matchright, the technology could allow prospective parents to assess genetic risks even before a child is conceived.
The idea behind the technology came around six years ago when founder Anne Morriss, from New York, received a terrifying call.

When her baby was just a few days old, Ms Morriss was asked by a stranger over the phone to check whether the child was still alive.

‘Can you go check and confirm and come back to the phone?’ the voice insisted.

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In shock Ms Morriss did just that. When she returned, the caller revealed that her son – conceived using a sperm donor – had tested positive for an inherited disorder called MCADD,

MCADD (medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency) prevents those affected from converting fats to sugar and it can be fatal if it is not diagnosed early.

This was the moment that Ms Morriss’ life changed. According to a report in the Boston Globe, her shock at not knowing about the sperm donor’s genetic disorder prompted her to start a company, Genepeeks.

What do you think about this? Exciting technology or eugenics concern?