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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default UK may approve creating babies with DNA from 3 people

    By Associated Press

    Britain may allow a controversial technique to create babies using DNA from three people, a move that would help couples avoid passing on rare genetic diseases, the country's top medical officer says.

    The new techniques help women with faulty mitochondria, the energy source in a cell, from passing on to their babies defects that can result in such diseases as muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, heart problems and mental retardation. About one in 200 children is born every year in Britain with a mitochondrial disorder.

    For a woman with faulty mitochondria, scientists take only the healthy genetic material from her egg or embryo. They then transfer that into a donor egg or embryo that still has its healthy mitochondria but has had the rest of its key DNA removed. The fertilized embryo is then transferred into the womb of the mother.

    Some groups oppose artificial reproduction techniques and believe the destruction of eggs or embryos to be immoral. British tabloids jumped on the procedure when it was first announced in 2008 and labeled it the creation of a three-parent baby -- the mother, the donor and the father -- a charge scientists claim is inaccurate because the amount of DNA from the donor egg is insignificant.

    "Scientists have developed ground-breaking new procedures which could stop these diseases being passed on," Britain's chief medical officer, Dr. Sally Davies, said in a statement on Friday. "It's only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can."

    Similar research is going on in the U.S., where the embryos are not being used to produce children.

    Earlier this year, the U.K.'s fertility regulator said it found most people supported the new in vitro fertilization methods after a public consultation that included hearings and written submissions. Critics have previously slammed the methods as unethical and say there are other ways for people with genetic problems to have healthy children, like egg donation or tests to screen out potentially problematic embryos.

    In a response to the public consultation, the charity Christian Medical Fellowship said the techniques were unethical. "We do not consider that the hunt for `therapies' that might prevent a small number of disabled children (with mitochondrial disease) being born justifies the destruction of hundreds if not thousands of embryonic human lives," the group said. It also said there were lingering concerns about the safety of the techniques.

    British law forbids altering a human egg or an embryo before transferring it into a woman, so such treatments are currently only allowed for research. The government says it plans to publish draft guidelines later this year before introducing a final version to be debated in the U.K. Parliament next year. Politicians would need to approve the use of the new techniques before patients could be treated.

    If British lawmakers agree, the U.K. would become the first country in the world where the technique could be used to create babies. Experts say the procedures would likely only be used in about a dozen women every year.

    "Many of these (mitochondrial) conditions are so severe that they are lethal in infancy, creating a lasting impact upon the child's family," said Alistair Kent, director of the charity, Genetic Alliance U.K., in a statement. "An added option for families at risk of having a child with such a condition is welcome."
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    I've been following this in the news. Interesting days / discussions ahead!
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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  3. #3
    Unchained VF5150's Avatar
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    I swear man, the world is more like GATTACA every day! Andrew Niccol was way ahead of his time.


    "out of the seven threads he's started here, four have been closed for being cluelessly ponderous as well as outright insipid"
    -chefcraig on me

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    Tsssk.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
    Thatcher, 1980


  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post

    SNIP

    Some groups oppose artificial reproduction techniques and believe the destruction of eggs or embryos to be immoral.

    SNIP
    Am I the only one who gets incensed by a sentence like that?

    This is protecting the health of a soon-to-be baby. What's more moral than that?

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    We've been able to do all sorts of apparently 'immoral' things for decades, in the name of science. But we don't, because we put various safeguards in place.

    I've read the data on this and, as far as I can make out, it will only affect a tiny number of families with serious inherited, genetic conditions. As long as it remains carefully monitored, I think it has the potential to be a very good thing.

    Personally, I think we should be more concerned about medics 'playing God' with regards to keeping people alive who are desperate to die, those people whose existence (I struggle to refer to it as a 'life') is one of sheer misery, pain, and hopelessness.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
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  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    I am lucky to have had 2 healthy sons with no apparent genetics issues (other that a lack of interest in school work, of which I take the blame )

    But, if I knew I carried some horrible genetic condition that could make my child's life miserable, I'd either 1) forgo having children, or 2) adopt.

    To introduce a 3rd party gene into the mix... I don't know. Are people that desperate to have biological children? What is something goes wrong with the genetic mix and there is a more profound issue/medical problem?

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokgtar View Post
    To introduce a 3rd party gene into the mix... I don't know. Are people that desperate to have biological children? What is something goes wrong with the genetic mix and there is a more profound issue/medical problem?
    I'd like to think that with the amount of time, money, and expertise being applied to researching this, that any (scientific) problems inherent in the process would be ironed out.

    In answer to your question though...Yes, people ARE that desperate to have their own biological children. It's a fundamental part of our make-up, isn't it, the desire to reproduce, to pass on our genes (even if they are faulty)...It's an urge that many of us find impossible to resist, irrespective of logic.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
    Thatcher, 1980


  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    I know we are all different, and there are some who I am sure are desperate...

    I personally would not have a child if I thought I was highly likely to give them something that would cause them pain.

    I don't know you Dibs, but I respect you. If you or someone you know has been in this position, I won't even pretend to try to tell you or them what they should do. I'm only speaking for myself. God speed to technology; one can only hope they get it right without creating undue suffering and misery.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokgtar View Post
    I know we are all different, and there are some who I am sure are desperate...

    I personally would not have a child if I thought I was highly likely to give them something that would cause them pain.

    I don't know you Dibs, but I respect you. If you or someone you know has been in this position, I won't even pretend to try to tell you or them what they should do. I'm only speaking for myself. God speed to technology; one can only hope they get it right without creating undue suffering and misery.
    Bless you, hun!

    No, I haven't personally been in exactly this predicament. But, I suppose, as a woman, I'm aware of just how strong and compelling the biological urge to have one's OWN offspring can be. And I'm sure it's the same for a lot of men too.

    I don't think anyone would deliberately want to cause any of their children pain...I suppose a great many (prospective) parents live in hope that either (a) their progeny will be fortunate enough not to inherit the condition in question (after all, it isn't necessarily the case that they will inherit it), or (b) that medical science will find a way to deal with it, should the worse happen.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

    "Whatever you do, wherever you go, there you are..." Edward Van Halen 1986

    "You spend the first part of your life trying to make your mark, and the second part just trying to cover up your tracks"... Weesfreewheelin, 2012

    "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom"... Shirley Conran, 1975

    "You turn if you want to...The LADY is NOT for turning!"...Margaret
    Thatcher, 1980


 

 

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