The future of the future

From The New York Times:

“A geneticist, an oncologist, a roboticist, a novelist and an A.I. researcher walk into a bar.” That could be the setup for a very bad joke — or a tremendously fascinating conversation. Fortunately for us, it was the latter. On a blustery evening in late September, in a private room at a bar near Times Square, the magazine gathered five brilliant scientists and thinkers around a table for a three-hour dinner. In the (edited) transcript below — moderated by Mark Jannot, a story editor at the magazine and a former editor in chief of Popular Science — you can see what they had to say about the future of medicine, health care and humanity.

I. WILL WE ENGINEER OUR CHILDREN, AND OURSELVES?

MARK JANNOT: For years, many pregnant women have undergone amniocentesis to test for rare metabolic disorders and other fetal issues. And couples who use in vitro fertilization can screen the embryos for genetic abnormalities. What sorts of advances in genetic screening and manipulation are coming, and where do you see that taking us?

CATHERINE MOHR: When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband and I were joking, “Well, if she gets the best of both of us, she’ll be a superhero, and if she gets the worst of both of us, she’s not going to make it out of first grade.” And so we were rolling the genetic dice, which you do when you choose to have a child.

More here.

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