Hy­brids: end to in­her­ited dis­ease?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

ORE­GON: Sci­en­tists have pro­duced four baby mon­keys who each have three bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents.

They used an in vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion pro­ce­dure de­signed to stop the spread of in­cur­able in­her­ited dis­eases.

Sci­en­tists be­lieve the break­through could lead to the first ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered chil­dren within a few years.

But crit­ics say it is a step to­wards an era of hy­brid chil­dren and erodes the sanc­tity of life.

The tech­nique in­tends to help women who carry ge­netic dis­eases. It in­volves trans­fer­ring healthy DNA from the mother’s egg cell into an egg do­nated by an­other woman.

The Amer­i­can team who pro­duced the macaque mon­keys say the tech­nique could be used to erad­i­cate po­ten­tially fa­tal for ms of in­her­ited epilepsy, blind­ness and heart dis­ease.

The dis­eases are caused by mu­ta­tions in the mi­to­chon­drial DNA which is passed down from moth­ers to chil­dren. It can only be passed on via moth­ers’ eggs, not through sperm.

The re­searchers used “hy­brid” eggs with the mother’s nu­clear DNA and fully func­tion­ing mi­to­chon­drial DNA from the donor. This al­ters the DNA in­her­ited by fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, though the chil­dren in­herit phys­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics from their real mother. – Daily Mail

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