back to article Brit scientists brew up three-parent embryo

British scientists have successfully created "three parent" embryos using a technique they hope will offer "effective treatments for a range of serious hereditary diseases within five years". The research could benefit mothers who suffer from mitochondrial DNA defects which might be inherited by their offspring and provoke any …

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Coat

Interesting but

not the threesome I had in mind.

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Joke

CSA

Jesus, the CSA numpties have enough problems coping with single parents let alone bloody 3 of them!

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Paris Hilton

I've always dreamt of having....

I always liked the idea of being married to a blonde and a brunet but always struggled with the idea of how we could equally share a family....it seems like that fiction could become a reality.

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Boffin

Try some equine mitochondria next time!

Wonder how many times this has been done before, since it is easy to do-- not like it is rocket science or anything to mix and match the little bits, see what the result is 9 months later.

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Coat

Of course,

it would be a lot cheaper to tell the mothers with the damaged mitochondrial DNA to get over themselves and just adopt one of the thousands of children in care needing a good home. Just because a child isn't genetically related doesn't mean you can't be just as "fulfilled by motherhood"as you would be with one that was.

But I'm sure this is valuable research. It is, isn't it? Well worth starving the Physics research for...

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Interesting

I always thought it was a bit unfair that the mother gets to donate half their primary genes but all their mitochondrial DNA. (The sperm needs a lot of mitochondria to propel its little tail but jettisons it as it fuses with the egg).

I suppose it's sweetener for having to lug a foetus for 9 months.

Anyway, it's useful for tracing ancestry which will be broken in this case.

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Coat

@Mathew Holleran

Even worse than that...

Given this is to solve hereditary diseases, there's bugger all chance of the two lady's being twins!

Mine's the snowboard jacket and floppy eared beanie hat.

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Silver badge

Wooo there...

Have these loons thought about the implications?

Can you imagine what the family tree is gonna look like when their great great great grand children end up on BBC212 trying to trace their ancestors?

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Poor futuremen

The spectre of having to deal with not one, but two mother-in-laws raises its ugly head.

I guess this applies for women, too, but frankly - who cares?

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To IanKRolfe

Coming back to Ian... you're an idiot. A lucky idiot who, unlike me, has not watched their first born child die aged just shy of 7 months from a genetic condition.

If you had an informed opinion you might know that many genetic diseases are 'recessive' and are not passed on to every child. For example, Spinal Muscular Atrophy which killed my beautiful daughter, is a genetic condition for which 1 in 40 people are carriers - you might be a carrier yourself and not know it. If you happen to marry someone who is also a carrier there is a 1 in 4 chance of each child getting the condition.

Hence you might find that some mothers (and fathers) with "damaged" DNA (in one strand, not both, hence carrier not affected) would still like to have children!! For many conditions you simply have to procreate and hope for the best. If you've ever sat waiting for 8 weeks for a CVS test to tell you if your next child will die, then I'd consider you qualified to comment.

So yes, any research like this that might stop children dying is valuable in my opinion - I don't value yours. On the plus side we do have two healthy kids now - thanks to research that let us know if they were going to be affected or not and giving us the opportunity to make a decision not to terminate the pregnancy. Of course we did have the choice whether to go for adoption as well, and that's a perfectly valid choice too. We wanted our own children though.

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To Gareth Tansey

My deepest sympathies to you and your wife over your lost children.

But let me just clarify the origins of your two healthy children: so you essentially concieved with your fingers crossed, and then waited a number of weeks to then decide whether to ABORT the foetus?? Because you "wanted our own children".

So who exactly is the idiot here?

FYI I was adopted at just a few weeks old, so I owe most of who I am to a) the lack of easy termination options, and b) adoptive parents who were happy enough with "someone elses".

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Back to David Cornes

David - enough "deep sympathy" to flame without reading my original post it would seem.

If you think I'm an idiot for wanting my own children, then I suspect you have never been (or decided to try to be) a parent. Fair enough, your choice. But are you abusive to everyone who makes a different choice?

I said in my original post that adoption was a choice we had and that it's a perfectly valid choice for some people. We're not all the same David, and it wasn't the option we went for. Don't think for one moment we didn't consider it and I really don't see why you think I'm insulting you or anyone else who is either adopted or who adopts.

Personally I respect the choices of others - it's called live and let live. The reason I posted was because Ian didn't respect other people's choices - he'd rather dictate that anyone who'd discovered a possible genetic problem should "get over themselves" and be forced to adopt. (It's Ian's choice to post and mine to flame in response...)

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Paris Hilton

mmmmm.....

so you could remove or add 'gay' DNA. if I remember correctly of chromosome 10.

or have blond kids....

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>>genetic diseases are 'recessive' and are not passed on to every child

That's the point of the article though, it's nothing to do with the father's DNA and chance.

Mitochondrial DNA always comes from the mother and does not have a chance to be paired with the father's DNA.

This yields two concequences:

1. If a mother has a disease linked to mitochondrial DNA then the child is 100% sure of having it, since the egg's mitochondia IS the mothers

2. m-DNA doesn't mutate via sex, the disease will not 'bred' out of the population - it ranomly mutates at a much slower rate

The reason this is significant is that m-DNA doesn't alter the charaterastics of the person (in terms of looks, build, eye colur). And so man has crafted a way of ensuring the survival of the mother's defining genes, inspite of a faulty (hard to repair through natural selection) mechanism.

>>so you could remove or add 'gay' DNA

No - there's no such thing as gay mitochondria

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Pirate

Ian Vs Gareth

Gareth I think the point Ian was trying to make is that research in this area is not as beneficial to the advancement of the human race as a whole as would be the development of solutions to problems such as the impending energy crisis, global warming, long distance space travel etc.

Viewed in a very cold light, we have a huge and very robust human breeding stock and don’t have a pressing need to maximize fertility rates, quite the reverse on the global scale in fact.

You ask people to respect choices but you must understand that your insistence on raising your personal genetic stock rather than an adoptee is a choice that benefits nobody but yourself and your partner, so it’s actually quite selfish. You could advance the argument that there exists a right to bear children but given the tendency towards overpopulation and scarcity of resources I would disagree.

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Alert

Ueeeehhehehehehee

That's pretty cool...

the mad scientist in me wants to know if it's possible to do this with any other body cell, e.g. would any other cell with it's nucleus removed still be able to act as an egg if you put an egg nucleus into it, then fertilised it?

or conversely one egg with two fathers' sperm nuclei (filtered to get at least one X... though the mad scientist again wants to see if a YY embryo is viable and what happens if so).

The guy-whos-worked-in-a-hospital in me who's therefore seen all kind of developmental tragedy is ambivalent on it. It could be an awesome idea for fixing all manner of genetic ailments. But if it's not done well and things go wrong, there could be even more horrors in store.

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