I love science, but sometimes it totally freaks me out. There are certain things that just shouldn’t be monkeyed with. Although there have been some amazing developments in regards to fertility and procreation, sometimes science seems to cross the line into something more akin to a Philip K. Dick novel than what nature has dictated over thousands of years. This new procedure is one of those bizarre — and scary — scientific concepts that may be reality soon: meet the three parent baby.
CNN reports about a new in vitro fertilization technique that uses DNA from not two people, but rather three, essentially creating a three parent baby. The reason for this scientific movement actually comes from a worthwhile fight to prevent mitochondrial diseases. As CNN states, “The new embryo will contain nuclear DNA from the intended father and mother, as well as healthy mitochondrial DNA from the donor embryo.” But the DNA won’t be determining eye color, hair color and skin tone; they will apparently use such a minimal amount of donor DNA that they won’t even affect the main genetic markers.
The British government is supporting this cutting edge technology, and it will be presented before parliament next year for approval. “Mitochondrial disease, including heart disease, liver disease, loss of muscle coordination and other serious conditions like muscular dystrophy, can have a devastating impact on the people who inherit it,” said the UK’s chief medical officer, professor Dame Sally Davies. And they would like to get approval sooner rather than later, Davies said. “It’s only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can.”
Do you think that this procedure raises ethical issues, or do you think the benefits that could come from it are worth it?
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