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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News
 

 
February 27 - 'Three-parent babies' could be born in Britain next year

Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

The first three-parent babies could be born by 2015 after the government set out new draft regulations which will allow donor DNA from a 'second mother' to be implanted into a defective egg. 
 
Under the new rules, IVF (In-Vitro Fertilisation) clinics will be able to replace a baby's defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor's egg.  It is controversial because it would result in babies having DNA from three people.

While many doctors and scientists applaud the move, pointing out that it could eliminate terrible diseases, critics argue "mitochondrial transfer" could lead to designer babies.
 
Dr David King, director of the pressure group Human Genetics Alert, said: "If passed, this will be the first time any government has legalised inheritable human genome modification, something that is banned in all other European countries. The techniques have not passed the necessary safety tests so it is unnecessary and premature to rush ahead with legalisation.  The techniques are unethical according to basic medical ethics, since their only advantage over standard and safe egg donation is that the mother is genetically related to her child. This cannot justify the unknown risks to the child or the social consequences of allowing human genome modification."
 
However most health experts and scientists have backed the government claiming it heralds a new era in genetic medicine.  Professor Peter Braude, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at King's College London, said: "I am pleased that the Government has been brave enough to follow through on their promises given during the 2008 revision of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, to bring before Parliament an option to help a small but deserving portion of society blighted with the spectre of transmitting mitochondrial disease to their children.
 
 

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