Cost benefit of intelligence enhancement via embryo selection

There is a cost benefit analysis of embryo selection for intelligence based upon 2016 state of the art.

The case of human intelligence using SNP-based genetic prediction, finding:

  • a meta-analysis of GCTA results indicates that SNPs can explain  and over 33% of variance in current intelligence scores, and over 44% with better-quality phenotype testing
  • this sets an upper bound on the effectiveness of selection: a gain of 9 IQ points when selecting the top embryo out of 10
  • the best 2015 polygenic score could achieve a gain of less than 4.5 IQ points when selecting out of 10
  • the cost of embryo selection is modest, at $1500 + $200 per embryo, with the sequencing cost projected to drop rapidly
  • embryo selection is currently unprofitable (mean: -$673) in the USA under the lowest estimate of the value of an IQ point, but profitable under the highest (mean: $4763). The main constraints on selection profitability is the polygenic score; under the highest value, the NPV EVPI of a perfect SNP predictor is $27b and the EVSI per education/SNP sample is $71k
  • selection can be made much more profitable by selecting on multiple phenotype traits; selection scales near-linearly with equally-valuable traits, and considering an example using 7 traits (IQ / height / BMI / diabetes / ADHD / bipolar / schizophrenia), there is a gain of 2.8x over IQ alone ($4977 to about $14130)

The maximum amount of IQ gain if screening allowed for optimal selection

Chickens have become physically larger because of breeding and farming methods


Don’t miss the latest future news

Subscribe and get a FREE Ebook