No side effects, but what happens when you play GOD?

NEW YORK – Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women, using a provocative technique that could someday be used to prevent babies from inheriting certain rare incurable diseases.
The researchers at the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) said they are not using the embryos to produce children, and it is not clear when or even if this technique will be put to use.
But it has already stirred a debate over its risks and ethics in Britain, where scientists did similar work a few years ago.
The British experiments, reported in 2008, led to headlines about the possibility someday of babies with three parents. But that is an overstatement. The DNA from the second woman amounts to less than 1 per cent of the embryo’s genes and it is not the sort that makes a child look like Mum or Dad. The procedure is simply a way of replacing some defective genes that sabotage the normal workings of cells.
The British government is asking for public comment on the technology before it decides whether to allow its use in the future. One concern it cites is whether such DNA alteration could be an early step down a slippery slope towards “designer babies” – ordering up, say, a petite, blue-eyed girl or tall, dark-haired boy.
Questions have also arisen about the safety of the technique, not only for the baby who results from the egg, but also for the child’s descendants.
In June, an influential British bioethics group concluded that the technology would be ethical to use if proven safe and effective. An expert panel in Britain said last year that there was no evidence that the technology was unsafe but urged further study.
Dr Laurie Zoloth, a bioethicist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, said that safety problems might not show up for several generations.
She said she hopes the United States will follow Britain’s lead in having a wide-ranging discussion of the technology.
While the kind of diseases it seeks to fight can be terrible, “this might not be the best way to address it”, Dr Zoloth said.
Over the past few years, scientists have reported that such experiments produced healthy monkeys and that tests in human eggs showed encouraging results. The Oregon scientists reported yesterday that they have produced about a dozen early human embryos and found the technique is highly effective in replacing DNA.
The genes they want to replace are not the kind most people think of, which are found in the nucleus of cells and influence traits such as eye colour and height. Rather, these genes reside outside the nucleus in energy-producing structures called mitochondria. These genes are passed along only by mothers, not fathers.
About one in every 5,000 children inherits a disease caused by defective mitochondrial genes. The defects can cause many rare diseases with a host of symptoms, including strokes, epilepsy, dementia, blindness, deafness, kidney failure and heart disease.
The new technique would allow a woman to give birth to a baby who inherits her nucleus DNA but not her mitochondrial DNA.
Doctors would need unfertilised eggs from the patient and a healthy donor. They would remove the nucleus DNA from the donor eggs and replace it with nucleus DNA from the patient’s eggs. So, they would end up with eggs that have the prospective mother’s nucleus DNA, but the donor’s healthy mitochondrial DNA.
In a report published online yesterday by the journal Nature, Dr Shoukhrat Mitalipov and others at OHSU report transplanting nucleus DNA into 64 unfertilised eggs from healthy donors. After fertilisation, 13 eggs showed normal development and went on to form early embryos.
The researchers also reported that four monkeys born in 2009 from eggs that had DNA transplants remain healthy, giving some assurance on safety.
Dr Mitalipov said that the researchers hope to get federal approval to test the procedure in women, but that current restrictions on using federal money on human embryo research stand in the way of such studies.
The research was funded by the university and the Leducq Foundation in Paris.
Dr Douglass Turnbull of Newcastle University in Britain, whose team has transplanted DNA between eggs using a different technique, called the new research “very important and encouraging” in showing that such transplants could work.
But “clearly, safety is an issue” with either technique if it is applied to humans, he said. AP

There is no side effects, what remains is a ethical question when trying to play God, DNA has it’s purpose to retain it’s characteristics for survival of the fittest, but when you mess with nature, and there is wide spread use, one day there will be consequences which can wipe out the entire race of human beings, it is alrite if it is only use to save a precious life, it should be strictly controlled and ethical questions need to be answered to save a life. In future there will be a walk around where you do not need to merge 3 embryos, where it is possible to replace the mutant DNA and use it to cure diseases without a cut and paste method, by re-creating the portion from scratch, without affecting the ethical question with messing the order of nature by playing God.
– Contributed by Oogle.


Author: Gilbert Tan TS

IT expert with more than 20 years experience in Multiple OS, Security, Data & Internet , Interests include AI and Big Data, Internet and multimedia. An experienced Real Estate agent, Insurance agent, and a Futures trader. I am capable of finding any answers in the world you want as long as there are reports available online for me to do my own research to bring you closest to all the unsolved mysteries in this world, because I can find all the paths to the Truth, and what the Future holds. All I need is to observe, test and probe to research on anything I want, what you need to do will take months to achieve, all I need is a few hours.​

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