There was an article in the paper today about a couple who culled their embryos of those with a deadly colon-cancer gene. The article said that in order to test a three-day embryo’s DNA, doctors had to remove a single cell. The article went on to say that the effects of removing one cell from an embryo with eight cells was still unknown. EIGHT CELLS. The tone of the article was so prosaic — pure reportage — how blithely we take in facts like THE POSSIBILITY OF REMOVING ONE CELL from an EIGHT-CELL biological entity. How did we get here, and where do we go?

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