Thursday, August 27, 2009

Designer Babies with Three Biological Parents

Successful experimentation with monkeys shows promise for creating humans with transplanted DNA from egg to egg, to manipulate genetic traits, including presumed defects believed to lead to disease.

For background, read Designer Babies Available Upon Request

UPDATE 10/25/12: Lab 'Creates' Human Life with 3 Biological Parents

-- From "DNA swap could cure inherited diseases" by Mark Henderson, The Times (London) Science Editor 8/27/09

The technique is controversial . . . because the children it creates would inherit genetic material from three parents. The mother and father would contribute most of their child’s DNA but a small amount would come from a second woman donating healthy mitochondria.

Such children would be the first produced by germline genetic engineering, in which genes introduced by artificial means would be passed to successive generations.

Although more than 99 per cent of a cell’s DNA is carried in the nucleus, a small amount resides in the mitochondria — tiny energy-producing structures inherited from the mother — and it is mutations in this mitochondrial DNA that can cause disease.

. . . the technology could be applied “pretty quickly” in humans, and that his team would apply to an internal ethics board and the US Food and Drug Adminstration for permission to try it with human eggs.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.