Scientists are now predicting within 40 years they'll be able to make a baby from DNA scraps, such as those left behind on a used coffee cup. That means a person can capture someone else's DNA, such as a celebrity's, without their even knowing it, and use it to make a child.
The key to this futuristic scenario is technology that can turn regular cells into sperm or eggs cells. The technique has already proven successful in laboratory mice. Whether it can be replicated in humans remains to be seen.
If so, the possibilities boggle the mind. In his book, The End of Sex and the Future of Reproduction, Henry Greely, a Stanford University law professor who works in bioethics, speculates the technology will allow parents to choose among 100 embryos and pick the one they like best as their child.
That would be possible, he theorizes, because a woman's DNA sample could be turned into 100 eggs, each fertilized by a man's sperm. After that, the genetic code of each of the 100 embryo could be analyzed for dangerous diseases, such as Sickle Cell Anemia and Cystic Fibrosis, as well as non-life threatening genes, such as ones pertaining to appearance, intelligence and athletic ability.
Once the couple has chosen the embryo they like best, it's then implanted in the woman's uterus to grow to term and be delivered by the mother.
As if that isn't enough of an ethical conundrum, then there's the question of what to do with the remaining 99 embryos.
This technology would also allow same-sex couples to have a child that is genetically their own, by turning a man's DNA into an egg or a woman's DNA into sperm.
Dr. Crystal Moore, a Chesapeake, Virginia pathologist told CBN News she believes the notion of taking average DNA from a human being and turning it into sperms or eggs is a bit far-fetched.
"It is theoretically possible, but I do not not believe that the medicine is currently at a state where it could actually be done," she said.
However, she says bioengineering, the process of removing a diseased or other gene from an embryo and replacing it with another more desirable gene, is much more of a reality and should be taken very seriously.
"Certainly now with our ability to understand the human genome and locate where certain diseases are encoded in that DNA, that's important information," she said, adding children with these diseases "suffer miserably" and require life-long care. "So here we can see a positive use, if it's possible to extract the gene that has the disease on it," she said, " Who doesn't want a healthy, wonderful child?"
However, Dr. Moore says the same ability to prevent disease can be twisted. "If we're not helping with disease, and we want to choose blue eyes or blonde hair or six feet tall, that's certainly is a matter that brings up ethical considerations."
"Engineering a population" is not a "good use of the science," she said, but "the science is not at a state where that can be done yet."