Rapid progress in genetics is making “designer babies” more likely and society needs to be prepared, leading scientists have told the BBC.

Dr Tony Perry, a pioneer in cloning, has announced precise DNA editing at the moment of conception in mice.

He said huge advances in the past two years meant “designer babies” were no longer HG Wells territory.

Other leading scientists and bioethicists argue it is time for a serious public debate on the issue.

Designer babies – genetically modified for beauty, intelligence or to be free of disease – have long been a topic of science fiction.

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