A must-read at the Huffington Post:
Scene: A laboratory setting. A scientist begins constructing a new individual by combining parts from two different humans. A new part from one or two additional people is then added. At some point, an electric shock is administered. The scientist observes the composite for a few moments, looking for signs that it is on its way to becoming an autonomous being. It stirs. It’s alive.
If this sounds unsettlingly familiar, it should, but not because it is a replay of Frankenstein. The procedures described, currently under evaluation by the British Human Fertilisation and Embryo Authority (HFEA) for the prevention of “mitochondrial diseases,” would carry profoundly negative implications for the future of the human species were they ever implemented, and thus warrant much wider concern than they have attracted up until now. In particular, they will facilitate a new form of eugenics, the improvement of humans by deliberately choosing their inherited traits.