The Future of Fertility

Having babies is the most primal of human acts. But, new technology is making it increasingly possible to intervene in that process.

Whether our attempts to hack procreation will be for the better or the worse is up to us to decide. Science may allow us to one day eliminate genetic diseases and take our species to the stars. Meanwhile, science fiction has no shortage of cautionary tales regarding the pitfalls of reproductive engineering.

These nine stories, part of a special series from Discover, explore the groundbreaking work shaping the future of our species. 


Human Gene Editing is Controversial. Shoukhrat Mitalipov Isn't Deterred

A research team in Oregon wants to use CRISPR to end inherited disease — even as fears mount over designer babies.

George Church Wants to Make Genetic Matchmaking a Reality

Once enough humans have their genomes sequenced, we can end inherited disease — if we all play along.

Forget Sex in Space. Having Babies There Is The Real Struggle

Colonizing space means reproducing there. We still don't know if that's possible. 

Cloning's Long Legacy — And Why It'll Never Be Used on Humans

Cloning a person is dangerous, ethically dubious and ultimately unnecessary.

The Quixotic Quest to Birth a Baby Northern White Rhino

Humans drove northern white rhinos to functional extinction. Now human fertility tech may pull the species back from the brink.

Catch Up On The CRISPR Revolution (ebook)

This revolutionary new DNA editing tool lets scientists add, remove and alter genes with relative ease.