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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Three-parent babies are potential human offspring that will have three genetic parents.[1][2][3][4] They are the subject of considerable controversy in the field of bioethics. Scientists have already produced pregnancies in which the fetuses contain DNA from three parents, but none have yet been brought to term.[5] The process is currently prohibited in the United States, but is being actively researched in China.[6][7]

Technique

The process of producing a three-parent baby involves taking the nucleus of one egg and inserting it into the cytoplasm of another egg, which contains mitochondrial DNA, and then fertilizing the hybrid egg with a sperm.[8]

Ethics

Supporters argue that three-parent babies hold out the promise of eradicating mitochondrial genetic diseases and can empower non-traditional families, such as lesbian couples, by allowing them to produce offspring with genetic material from both mothers.[9] Bioethicist Jacob Appel has written that "a slew of other non-traditional parenting relationships might generate offspring by this mechanism: sisters who wished to share a baby, couples in poly-amorous relationships, etc. In the rare and heartbreaking cases where sperm is harvested from comatose or dying husbands, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law might each offer part of an egg for fertilization."[10] New York University researcher James Grifo, a critic of the American ban, has argued that society "would never have made the advances in treating infertility that we have if these bans had been imposed 10 years" earlier.[11]

Opponents argue that scientists are "playing God" and that children with three genetic parents may suffer both psychological and physical damage.[12] These critics include Alison Cook of Great Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, who argues that bans were "written to protect the welfare of the embryo and the child."[13]

References

  1. ^ Keim, Brandon, Three-Parent Children: Reality or Technicality?, Feb 5, 2008.
  2. ^ Appel, Jacob M. Toward a three-parent baby, Providence Journal, December 13, 2009
  3. ^ Alleyne, Richard.'Three parent babies' take a step closer to reality, The Telegraph, Nov. 12, 2009.
  4. ^ Randerson, James. Scientists seek to create 'three-parent' babies The New Scientist]] Oct. 19. 2004
  5. ^ Frith, Maxine. Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby, The Independent, October 14, 2003
  6. ^ Frith, Maxine. Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby, The Independent, October 14, 2003
  7. ^ Now, a three-parent baby
  8. ^ Frith, Maxine. Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby, The Independent, October 14, 2003
  9. ^ Appel, Jacob M. Toward a three-parent baby, Providence Journal, December 13, 2009
  10. ^ Appel, Jacob M. Toward a three-parent baby, Providence Journal, December 13, 2009
  11. ^ Frith, Maxine. Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby, The Independent, October 14, 2003
  12. ^ Check, Erika. Gene study raises fears for three-parent babies. Nature, November 2005
  13. ^ Frith, Maxine. Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby, The Independent, October 14, 2003
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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Three-parent babies are potential human offspring that will have three genetic parents. They are the subject of considerable controversy in the field of bioethics.

Sourced

  • We would never have made the advances in treating infertility that we have if these bans had been imposed 10 years ago.
  • Lesbian couples have long found creative and fulfilling ways to share the reproductive process — such as pregnancies in which one mother supplies the ovum and the other provides the womb. This new process lets them both provide a genetic contribution. A slew of other non-traditional parenting relationships might generate offspring by this mechanism: sisters who wished to share a baby, couples in poly-amorous relationships, etc. In the rare and heartbreaking cases where sperm is harvested from comatose or dying husbands, mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law might each offer part of an egg for fertilization.
  • Three-parent nuclear families are actually nothing new. The Judeo-Christian tradition traces its roots to the three-parent clan of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. What will set a future generation of tri-parental babies apart is the grounding of their familial relationships in biology

External links

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