UK Gov Backs IVF Technique That Uses DNA From Three People
2013 06 28

By Ian Sample | TheGuardian

The government is to push ahead with plans that would allow doctors to prevent major childhood diseases by creating IVF babies that have genetic material from three people.


The controversial procedure, called mitochondrial transfer, uses a snippet of DNA from a healthy female donor to prevent mothers passing on devastating genetic disorders such as muscular dystrophy and heart and liver conditions.

Pioneered in Britain by researchers at Newcastle University, the procedure targets diseases caused by faulty mitochondria – the tiny power units inside our cells. The disorders tend to affect parts of the body that need the most energy, including the heart, brain and muscles. Around one in 6,500 people is born with a mitochondrial disorder, making such conditions more common than childhood cancer.



Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, announced the move at a briefing in London on Thursday. "It’s only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can," she said.

A consultation by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published in March suggested the public was generally supportive of the technology. Draft regulations are expected to be ready this autumn.

If MPs approve the regulations, due to be debated in parliament next year, Britain would be the first country to endorse the radical treatment. Before the end of 2014 doctors would be able to apply for permission to offer the procedure on the NHS.

But some groups oppose the procedure because one approach involves the destruction of IVF embryos. The technique also crosses a line in medicine because it makes genetic modifications to an embryo that will pass down to all future generations. That raises the risk of unforeseen complications affecting generations to come.

While the procedure has been shown to work in animals, it has never been tested in humans. For this reason, Davies said any babies born through the process must be followed up to ensure they are healthy. "This is not a decision to take lightly," she said.



[...]

Read the full article at: guardian.co.uk




Related Articles
Dawn of the designer babies with THREE parents and no hereditary diseases
Harvesting eggs from aborted babies to create IVF babies? Ten years later the story still horrifies
Mouse cloned from drop of blood
Making Babies After Death: It’s Possible, But Is It Ethical?
Revisiting the ‘Crack Babies’ Epidemic That Was Not
World’s first GM babies born


Latest News from our Front Page

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »