Heather Has Two Mommies...

tellner

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...One Daddy, Five Geneticists and a Petri Dish

Human embryo created with material from three people

LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists have created human embryos with three parents in a development they hope could lead to effective treatments for a range of serious hereditary diseases within five years.


Researchers from Newcastle University, in northern England, presented their findings at a medical conference at the weekend, a university spokeswoman said on Tuesday.


The IVF, or test-tube, embryos were created using DNA from one man and two women.


The idea is to prevent women with faults in their mitochondrial DNA passing diseases on to their children. Around one in 5,000 children suffer from mitochondrial diseases, which can include fatal liver, heart and brain disorders, deafness, muscular problems and forms of epilepsy.


If all goes well, researchers believe they may be able to start offering the technique as a treatment in three to five years.
 

Empty Hands

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Technically this is true, but the contribution from the 2nd woman will be miniscule compared to the 1st. Mitochondrial DNA only has 13 protein coding genes, about 15-17000 base pairs. Each parental set of nuclear DNA on the other hand codes for about 30,000 protein genes, with about 3 billion base pairs.

Also, all of the mitochondrial DNA proteins expressed only have a role in energy production in those same mitochondria. The 2nd woman's DNA will have no influence on the usual markers of what we consider someone's identity, like brain patterns, height, skin color, personality, etc.
 
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tellner

tellner

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Emptyhands, you're right. I was speaking technically. Now, if we want to get even stranger you could have a kid with three mothers (technically) and no father if you use this new technology.

I don't think the legal system, let alone the "Traditional Family Values" Neanderthals are ready for the possibilities.

Oh, upnorthkyosa, you are never going to get a chance to breed. Just thought you should know :)
 
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tellner

tellner

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Technically this is true, but the contribution from the 2nd woman will be miniscule compared to the 1st.

That's not completely clear. We used to think that the nucleus was where all the action was. "Cytoplasmic factors" weren't important. That seems to be less and less the case every year. I'm sure that the female nucleus donor will have more influence than the egg donor, but we're not all base-pair cowboys anymore.
 

Big Don

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This is where science gets sticky(For lack of a better term). Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean it is either worth doing, or that you should do it. We're martial artists here, we could walk down the street beating down people of opportunity, but, that doesn't mean we should.
 

Empty Hands

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Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean it is either worth doing, or that you should do it.

What are the potential negative consequences of this technology? We already know the upside - eradication of certain metabolic disorders in the children of affected women. What would you stack against that unalloyed good?
 
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tellner

tellner

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For one thing, he'd have to wrestle with something that isn't addressed by his religion or political Party. Conservatives tend to be very uncomfortable with answers that aren't simple, pat, and from some source of Unquestionable Authority. This is outside the comfortable categories, contains very new ideas and challenges assumptions about concepts like parentage, family and the primacy of the authoritarian pater familias. That makes it suspect at best, probably immoral and quite possibly anathema.
 

Cryozombie

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This is never gonna fly.

The Uber-Cons are gonna ban it like cloning or Stem Cell research faster than you can say "Mary Mac's Mother's Making Mary Mac Marry Me"
 

Makalakumu

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If we ban it here, someone will do it somewhere else and probably make money off of it. Probably learn how to use the technology to better humanity. This sort of thing has precedent. Other countries have banned science they disagreed with and its come back to bite them in the butt.
 

crushing

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upnorth,

Oh no you dit int!!! LOL!



I feel another Hallmark Holiday is on its way.

I'd like to take this chance to say
You have a way with your DNA
 

CoryKS

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...One Daddy, Five Geneticists and a Petri Dish

Human embryo created with material from three people

Big deal, I can do it with two.
icon6.gif
 

arnisador

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What are the potential negative consequences of this technology? We already know the upside - eradication of certain metabolic disorders in the children of affected women. What would you stack against that unalloyed good?

Barring some unexpected defects found in the embryo, I don't see the objection unless one wants to argue that with overpopulation we don't need more ways of making new people.
 
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