26 March 2013

"Three-person embryos" are now possible

The [British]government is considering whether to propose legal changes that would allow radical new treatments for families at risk of incurable genetic diseases that involve the creation of so-called "three-person embryos".

A national consultation released on Wednesday by the UK's fertility watchdog found public support for techniques that involve introducing DNA from a third person to embryos which could prevent mothers from passing on devastating diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, to their children.

If ministers and MPs give the procedures the green light, Britain would become the first country to offer treatments that lead to children being born with DNA from three people: their parents and a woman donor. The amount of DNA from the donor is tiny compared with the parents...
Scientists have developed two techniques to prevent faulty mitochondria being passed on to children. Known as maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer, they both involve transferring the genetic material from the parents into an egg donated by a healthy woman.
The treatment is controversial on several grounds, not least that the genetic modifications in the embryo pass down to all future generations. The techniques have never been tried in humans, but have worked in animal studies.
Further details at The Guardian.


  1. A fundagelical has just had his head explode.

    (More! More!)


  2. Hey, this Christian fundie is thrilled about this! I have a family history of breast cancer. If there were a genetic plug-in that would prevent passing on that trait to my kids, I'd be all over it. God made us open source, we're free to tinker with our bodies.


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