Progress and prospects: gene therapy for performance
and appearance enhancement

Kiuru M, Crystal RG.
Department of Genetic Medicine,
Weill Medical College of Cornell University,
New York, NY, USA.
Gene Ther. 2008 Mar;15(5):329-37.


While medical therapies aim at reversing, reducing or eliminating diseases, the goal of enhancements is to improve performance or appearance beyond normal levels. Distinction between the two interventions is not always clear as they often present as a continuum. Gene therapy typically aims at treating or preventing disease, but the technology can theoretically be employed for enhancement. Some of the gene therapy enhancement strategies include improving performance by increasing muscle mass, endurance, memory, and cognition and bettering appearance by controlling weight, height and hair growth. In addition to the technical challenges of making enhancement strategies safe and effective, genetic enhancement presents significant ethical/societal questions that must be addressed.
Eugenics talk
Gene therapy
'Designer babies'
Psychiatric genetics
Gene doping in sport
Eugenics before Galton
Human self-domestication
Selecting potential children
Mood genes and human nature
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Do smarter brains really run faster?
Transhumanism/Brave New World?
'The Principle of Procreative Beneficience'
The commercialisation of pre-natal enhancement
Gene transfer in athletic performance enhancement
'Everybody in the world is my friend' hypersociability in Williams syndrome

and further reading

BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
MDMA: Utopian Pharmacology
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World