Mommy?

link


A machine that spins together DNA on demand.

Throughout human history, the sound of a baby being made has been composed of moans and groans. The great symphony of nature conducts humans, as we twist our legs around each other and exchange fluid. But the sound of a baby being made in the 21st century will be composed of a low hum. Flailing legs will be replaced by robotic arms choreographed to JavaScript.

Machines, like the one pictured above, will spin together the code of our children. The uterus will no longer be a place for breeding; it will be a place for pleasure and incubation. Sperm and eggs will be combined in a lab and potential children will be selected for traits and compatibility. After reaching a stable state, embryos will be injected into the human mom, where life will form.

If you’re like me, this makes you uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. We all know that a machine is not a mom. No matter how realistic Siri’s voice gets and no matter how soft robots become, there will be no replacing the embrace of a mother. However, synthetic biology (like the process described above) is not attempting to replace the relationship between mother and child; it’s attempting to replace the relationship between child and disease.