Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sell Your Genes! Make Big Money!

A recent column by David Brooks discusses how people can sell their sperm or eggs for big bucks if they have the right characteristics. Smart, tall, healthy, athletic, well educated people can get the highest prices at sperm banks and egg banks. Apparently, the buyers want to make sure that their off spring will have the best genes. According to the article "An ad in The Harvard Crimson offered $50,000 for an egg from a Harvard woman." There seems to be a market (supply and demand) for just about everything. The article is America's new pastime: gene shopping.


myreia said...

What is the world coming to when people don't want their own traits and genes carried on by their offspring.It's one thing if you are not able to concieve a child together in the natural way because of an unfortunate condition but its another if you choose to try and create your own offspring through science. It's sad to know that there are so many people with so little self-confidence.At this rate we would have a very attractive and banal world to look forward to.

Cyril Morong said...

Thanks for dropping by. Interesting point about self confidence. Maybe people are afraid that their kids will fall behind, especially if other parents are doing it. Then we get a genetics arms race. The next thing you know Captain Kirk is fighting Ricardo Montalban. (sorry, that is a joke for the Star Trek generation) We might all start to look alike, think alike, etc.

It may not be that anything is wrong with the world. Parents have always tried to give their kids a better life. It could just be that the means to do that are changing radically.

carrie said...

I hope these people that are shopping for the perfect sperm or egg have thought or educated themselves on the development of children. Yes they may have bought the smartest or most atheletic genes there are but there environment and surroundings play an important role of what kind of human being they turn out to be.

Cyril Morong said...


Thanks for dropping by. When did you post your comment? Was it recently?

You make a good point that genes don't tell the whole story. But holding all other factors constant (ceteris paribus), better genes lead to a more successful life.