Test Tube Babies As Predictor of Future Intelligence Enhancement of Babies

For the next decade or two it will be far easier, cheaper and more effective to use gene sequencing to select the most intelligent embyro for test tube babies. Embryos are already having their genes sequenced to select against genetic diseases. It will be an easy step to gene sequence for intelligence and select on that genetic information. There are likely a few thousand genes that make up the genetic basis of intelligence.

Being able to genetically engineer intelligence in embyros will require modifying hundreds to thousands of genes. This will not be possibly with high degrees of accuracy and low error rates for several years. It could be easier to add genes to cells as DNA plasmids. Instead of editing the DNA of the cell just add desired genes as a small loop to enable constant production of the desired proteins in the body. Adding DNA would not need to be perfect, because failed additions would just mean only 90% of the cells had the modification but 10% had no change. This would be more forgiving than requiring all good edits.

The countries with more IVF and more genetic screening will likely be ahead in the use of intelligence selection of embryos and then with genetic engineering of embyros and adult for intelligence.

A Science fiction author Ted Chiang predicted a genetic editing competition to boost intelligence over the next few decades.

Effective embryo selection is nearing

The cost of embryo selection is modest, at $1500 + $200 per embryo, with the sequencing cost projected to drop rapidly. Embryo selection cost will drop in future.

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

Chickens have become physically larger because of breeding and farming methods

In 2014, I gave a talk at Transhuman Visions in 2014 where I said older Tiger Moms would be the driver of early adoption of genetic intelligence enhancement after the lifting of the One child policy in China.

The United States’ utilization of IVF is substantially lower than that of other developed economies. The US performs far fewer IVF cycles per capita than most European countries and Japan.

Asia has the largest share of the IVF market in terms of the number of IVF cycles performed in 2018 due to the large target population, low cost of treatment as compared to developed regions, and availability of advanced technology. Japan, China, and India were the main markets.

China had more than 40 million patients with fertility problems in 2016. China forecast 25 percent of the population will be 60 or older by 2030, up from 13 percent in 2010.

By 2025, China should have about 1 million IVF births per year.

More than a half million babies are now born each year from IVF and ICSI from more than 2 million treatment cycles performed.

In Europe, Spain remains the most active country in assisted reproduction. In 2015, a record 119,875 treatment cycles were performed in Spain. In Europe Spain is ahead of Russia (110,723 cycles), Germany (96,512) and France (93.918).

IVF accounts for
1.5% of babies born in the U.S.
over 4% in Australia.
Denmark has 10% of babies from IVF

Overall, the slightly more than 200,000 IVF cycles we perform per year underserves the 7 million U.S. women with infertility.