Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Pretty Genes for All

BeautifulPeople.com promises to match beautiful people up with other beautiful people for the purposes of matching sperm and egg donors with infertile couples or single women, reports AOL News' Lisa Flam. The site, originally a dating site — for pretty people only — is also considering letting unattractive people join its new fertility forum. Flam quotes one of the site's founders, Robert Hintze, as saying in a statement, "Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people. But everyone — including ugly people — would like to bring good-looking children into the world, and we can't be selfish with our attractive gene pool." The dating site has 600,000 members, and so far about 150 of them have said they'd be interested in donating sperm or eggs, Flam says. Bioethicist Art Caplan called the site a form of eugenics, Flam adds. "It's pure, utter nonsensical baloney, at best," Caplan tells Flam. "The genetics of attractiveness is something that we understand almost nothing about. There's no guarantee that attractive parents will produce attractive children."

Summer Johnson at blog.bioethics.net adds that the site is "hilarious and fascinating hucksterism at its finest."

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.