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Germinal choice technology refers to a set of reprogenetic technologies that, currently or that are expected to in the future, allow parents to influence the genetic constitutions of their children. This could be done through genetic screening of blastocysts (early embryos), or through germline engineering, which refers to human genetic engineering used to alter genes in the first cells of the blastocyst.
Screening technologies have been in use since at least the mid 1990’s to reduce the incidence of genetic disorders, and what can be tested for is expected to become increasingly sophisticated by the early 2010’s. Maturation in these fields would increase the range and sophistication of decisions open to parents. Germline engineering and even the engineering of human artificial chromosomes (which presently allow increased reliability) are presently being done in animals.
Germinal choice technologies are controversial. For instance, some critics fear increased social stratification if the enhancement potential of such technologies are available only to the rich, and dismiss the possibility of equal-access as idealistic. However, with the implementation of policies such as Universal health care and the Basic income guarantee, germinal choice technologies could be made available to the lower classes and work to limit, not increase, the substantial social stratification that already exists. This will particularly be the case as such technologies mature, just as cellphones are now commonly used in poor regions that never had access to landlines.