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The Nobel Prize Sperm Bank
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In 1980 rich businessman Robert Graham founded the Repository for Germinal Choice in Escondido, California with the hope that he might help create the next generation of Nobel Prize winners. He promised the seed of such winners to his would-be clients.

One of Graham’s first sperm donors was William Shockley, the Nobel prize winner who created the transistor and, like Graham, was an enthusiastic eugenicist.

Although the sperm bank fell short of Graham’s dream, it did produce 200 children, and offered women something they didn’t have before: a menu of genes to choose from.

Hear a discussion with editor David Plotz about the strange and telling history of the “Nobel Prize sperm bank” and the future of genetically-engineered kids.

Guests:

David Plotz, deputy editor of the online magazine Slate.
His new book is “The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank.”

Jennifer Waddell, who is seven months pregnant with twins. She received both donor eggs and sperm.

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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