FDA Considers 3-Person Embryo Fertilization

Procedure could prevent children from inheriting genetic diseases from mothers

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The FDA is considering an experimental fertilization technique that makes it possible to create a baby from the DNA of three people, with the goal to bypass genetic disorders from the mother.

This week, the FDA will weigh both sides of the case for a procedure that could prevent mothers from passing along genetic diseases, but also open the door to the possibility of designer babies, experts and critics argue.

In the fertilization technique, researchers remove the nucleus DNA from a donor’s eggs and replace it with the DNA of the mother. This means that a child born to this mother inherits traits like her eye color, but not traits from her mitochondrial DNA, where genetic disorders originate. That would come from the healthy donor.

Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov from Oregon Health & Science University in Portland and his colleagues have produced five healthy monkeys from this approach, and Dr. Mitalipov wants FDA approval to test the technique in women with gene disorders that can lead to blindness and organ failure.

“We want to replace these mutated genes, which by nature have become pathogenic to humans,” Dr. Mitalipov told the Associated Press. “We’re reversing them back to normal, so I don’t understand why you would be opposing that.”

Critics argue that making genetic changes through a procedure like this could have unintended health consequences, and that the process helps only a small number of women with these disorders, who could opt for other methods to have healthy children.

[AP]

2 comments
MartinHarvey
MartinHarvey

7 billion people on the planet. If your genes are so horrific that you are literally removing them from your child, take a hint and adopt. We don't need more people on the planet. We need fewer.

Ulises_Jofre
Ulises_Jofre

Obviously, biotechnology will produce a new nature, radically different and hardly imaginable nowadays. Even so, will life always be life? Indeed, is the life that is in a cell  the same life that is in a monkey or a human being, natural or freaky engineered? And beyond the marvellous medical benefits, what place will the whole of human beings and their traditions have in this new biotech nature? What place those societies that do not integrate fully within these biological products? Will biotechnology inevitably produce a new species, will humanity diverge again as the branch of a tree? Is  the current production-economic system demanding these changes, its driving-force? Or rather, is the goal to maintain an excellent health of the population? Is the latter credible in a world that is full of competition and enmity, full of greed searching for beauty? Is it credible when there is hunger in a planet full of protein, where human beings are hungry meanwhile a weed of the field lives without problems? Along these lines, there is a peculiar book, a public preview in  http://goo.gl/rfVqw6 Just another suggestion for leisure, far away from dogmas or axioms