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Biotech Medicine United Kingdom

UK Government Proposes Rules To Allow 'Three-Parent Embryos' 146

sciencehabit writes "The U.K. government today issued proposed regulations that would allow researchers to try a new and controversial in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure in patients. The technique could allow women who are carriers of mitochondrial disease to have healthy, genetically related children. But it also transfers DNA from one egg or embryo into another, a form of genetic alteration that could be passed on to future generations. Altering the genes of human egg cells or embryos in IVF procedures is now forbidden in the United Kingdom."
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UK Government Proposes Rules To Allow 'Three-Parent Embryos'

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  • by aphelion_rock ( 575206 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:53PM (#46361907)
    I can see the merit in this for removing a defective gene.
    How long until people start hand picking the genes for the next super generation. The next super athlete, scientist, beauty queen...
    Add in some DNA from neanderthal man and you can see what other interesting characters we could come up with for our entertainment..

    Once Started, how are you going to police this?
  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @04:57PM (#46361945) Homepage Journal

    You'd have a point if mitochondrial DNA did all that shit. Thing is, mitochondrial DNA doesn't so any of that shit.

  • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:12PM (#46362139)

    Or, you know, NOT having children also eliminates the perpetuation of a disease.

    Or we could solve the problem instead of simply going "oh you should just not have children."

    Why some people think this planet is in such dire need of more inhabitants that they'd go to lengths such as these just blows my mind.

    Because it's an inherent drive in most living creatures. Feel free to start with yourself, however.

    Before we bring more life into this world, we need to address the suffering of those who are already here.

    Addressing the suffering of those who are here has no bearing on bringing in more life, nor are they mutually exclusive.

  • by JazzHarper ( 745403 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:24PM (#46362257) Journal

    Under the proposal, the donor of the egg would have no parental rights. That is logical, since mtDNA carries very little information, compared to nuclear DNA.

    There is no genetic modification involved so there is no "intellectual property" vested in the DNA of the offspring. From that standpoint, this is no different from conventional in-vitro fertilization.

  • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @05:36PM (#46362437)

    I find it incredibly offensive to say that women should be forced to condemn their children to suffer from a preventable disease,

    Then don't have kids. It's still an elective choice.

    or be prevented from bearing genetically-related children, simply because some people think the cure is "unnatural".

    By its very definition of how it's done is unnatural and the long term consequences to the gene pool unknown.

    How about you don't have kids? We don't need any more AC trolls in the world.

    We started messing with the "gene pool" when we started giving people things like glasses, surgery, antibiotics, and immunizations to enhance their lives.

    Most people will have children regardless. Your stance is effectively condemning those children to a diseased life.

    My elective choice would be to take all the people like you, ship them to an island that was devoid of any modern medicine, and let you "evolve" naturally. Enjoy dying at 35!

  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:47PM (#46363271) Homepage

    a kid with three parents may well have a hard time fitting into a legal system that assumes only two

    A kid with three legal parents, perhaps, but that's not what's being discussed.

    For instance, how would the divorce issues work out (custody, support, etc)?

    Surely it would be dealt with in exactly the same way as egg donation, sperm donation, adoption, surrogacy etc. The two legal parents will be the legal parents, and no-one else gets a say.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner