Tag Archives | Three Parent In Vetro Fertilization

Fertility Method For Creating Three-Parent Baby May Become Legal

The old conservative canard that “it takes one man and one woman can make a baby” grows ever more out-of-date. The Telegraph reports:

Members of the public are being asked whether families with a genetic risk of incurable conditions like muscular dystrophy should be allowed to use the DNA of a third party to create healthy children. Although the resulting babies would inherit a small fraction of their DNA from the donor and not their mother or father, the procedure would spare all future generations from a host of rare and debilitating conditions.

The technique is currently forbidden as a treatment, but a public consultation launched today will help inform a decision by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, on whether the clinical benefits outweigh any ethical concerns. Should Mr. Hunt decide to give the treatment the green light the technique could be written into law as early as next year, making Britain the first country in the world to allow human trials.

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‘Three-Parent’ IVF Babies On Their Way

File-Oocyte_granulosa_cells

Oocyte with surrounding granulosa cells.

Jessica Hamzelou writes for New Scientist:

A review of technologies that create three-parent embryos to avoid mitochondrial disease has found no evidence that the methods are unsafe, calling for further research. Medical charities have followed up the report with a call to the UK’s health secretary to prepare to regulate the technology in clinics.

A fertilised egg has 98 per cent of its DNA held in its nucleus. Half of this will be from the mother and half from the father. The remaining 2 per cent is what’s known as mitochondrial DNA – DNA in the cells’ “powerhouses” that are found outside of the egg’s nucleus, and are inherited solely from the mother.

Gene mutations in a woman’s mitochondrial DNA can cause mitochondrial disease in her children. The effects can range from mild, almost symptomless disease to serious and often fatal conditions. Researchers are aiming to avoid these serious conditions using donor eggs with mutation-free mitochondria.

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