Patented Fertility Calculator Could Create The Perfect Baby

Patented Fertility Calculator Could Create The Perfect Baby

A consumer genomics company has developed a patent for helping future parents choose traits for their child.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 4 october 2013

23andMe, a company that analyzes customers’ DNA and provides info about their health and ancestry, has recently received a U.S. patent for a system that can help future parents choose the traits they want for their would-be children.

The patent, titled Gamete Donor Selection Based On Genetic Calculations, describes a system of computing the likely genetic outcomes of the combinations of the customer and the donor and then identifying which combinations would most likely result in the desired traits. In effect, the technology can be used to identify the donor who matches the desired genetic profile and in turn create a baby with the traits that the parents had in mind. The system is more specific than the general or broad kind of selection that is being done in fertility clinics.

Some of the traits mentioned as examples in the patent include height, weight, hair color, risks of congenital heart defects, estimated life span, among others.


The technology raises several ethical concerns, but it can potentially help future parents have healthier babies by screening out donors with genes predisposed to specific illnesses.

According to an article on the company’s website, 23andMe applied for the patent some five years ago to cover the technology that supports one of the company’s existing tools, the Family Traits Inheritance Calculator, a tool that tells customers the potential traits that their child may inherit from them. At the time of the filing, the company was already aware of the potential applications of the technology in fertility clinics, but 23andMe claims that it has no plans of using the patent in that way.



Plastic Wind Trees Are Bringing Sustainable Power To Residential Homes

Work Today

Amazon Is Experimenting With A 30-Hour Work Week

The online retailer is launching a pilot program that will allow a technical team to work with a considerably shortened schedule

Fitness / Sport Today

How The Rio Olympics Stood For More Than Just Games

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the finest moments beyond sports


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Retail Today

Mobile Travel App Embraces Cognitive Computing

The Orlando Tourism Board is looking to IBM Watson to provide personalized local recommendations for visitors


Floyd Hayes

Experiential Marketing Creative

Automotive Today

Bike-Friendly Apartment Building For Swedish Cyclists

A residential space is being designed for commuters to easily transport goods

Advertising Today

Nike Takes Over An Entire City Block With A Giant Running Track

The Unlimited Stadium is shaped like a 100-meter sole print of the brand's LunarEpic sneaker

Gaming Today

Fortune Cookie Service Brings Bad News To Your Doorstep

To promote their new delivery service Blackbox, the creators of Cards Against Humanity are delivering unfortunate messages in an edible form


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Arts & Culture Today

This Picture Frame Could Be The Lava Lamp For A New Generation

Slow Dance makes real objects appear to move in slow motion

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Airport Mural Puts Passengers In The Clouds

The installation in an Amsterdam terminal lets travelers float through a series of billowing 3D digital shapes

Automotive Today

DevBot Is An Intelligent, Driverless, Electric Car

The unmanned test vehicle from RoboRace is a preview of upcoming AI race models

Fitness / Sport Today

Turn Any Wearable Into A Mental Health Tracker

Cognition Kit is a software platform that lets people track and better understand their cognitive states


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Augmented / Virtual Reality Today

AR Ski Goggles Make Racing Down The Slopes Even More Immersive

Israeli startup RideOn weaves digital overlays into the thrill of skiing with an unconventional pair of protective eyewear

Advertising Today

Japan Wants To Make 2020 Olympic Medals From Recycled Electronic Waste

The Tokyo Games could showcase the first-ever gold, silver and bronze awards made from discarded phones and computers

Culture Today

This Small Town Has Become A Hide-and-Seek World Championship Destination

An old abandoned village in Northern Italy has become a massive playground for over one hundred competitive players

No search results found.