UK may approve creating babies with DNA from 3 people - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

UK may approve creating babies with DNA from 3 people

Posted: Updated:

Britain may allow a controversial technique to create babies using DNA from three people, a move that would help couples avoid passing on rare genetic diseases, the country's top medical officer says.

The new techniques help women with faulty mitochondria, the energy source in a cell, from passing on to their babies defects that can result in such diseases as muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, heart problems and mental retardation. About one in 200 children is born every year in Britain with a mitochondrial disorder.

For a woman with faulty mitochondria, scientists take only the healthy genetic material from her egg or embryo. They then transfer that into a donor egg or embryo that still has its healthy mitochondria but has had the rest of its key DNA removed. The fertilized embryo is then transferred into the womb of the mother.

Some groups oppose artificial reproduction techniques and believe the destruction of eggs or embryos to be immoral. British tabloids jumped on the procedure when it was first announced in 2008 and labeled it the creation of a three-parent baby -- the mother, the donor and the father -- a charge scientists claim is inaccurate because the amount of DNA from the donor egg is insignificant.

"Scientists have developed ground-breaking new procedures which could stop these diseases being passed on," Britain's chief medical officer, Dr. Sally Davies, said in a statement on Friday. "It's only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can."

Similar research is going on in the U.S., where the embryos are not being used to produce children.

Earlier this year, the U.K.'s fertility regulator said it found most people supported the new in vitro fertilization methods after a public consultation that included hearings and written submissions. Critics have previously slammed the methods as unethical and say there are other ways for people with genetic problems to have healthy children, like egg donation or tests to screen out potentially problematic embryos.

In a response to the public consultation, the charity Christian Medical Fellowship said the techniques were unethical. "We do not consider that the hunt for `therapies' that might prevent a small number of disabled children (with mitochondrial disease) being born justifies the destruction of hundreds if not thousands of embryonic human lives," the group said. It also said there were lingering concerns about the safety of the techniques.

British law forbids altering a human egg or an embryo before transferring it into a woman, so such treatments are currently only allowed for research. The government says it plans to publish draft guidelines later this year before introducing a final version to be debated in the U.K. Parliament next year. Politicians would need to approve the use of the new techniques before patients could be treated.

If British lawmakers agree, the U.K. would become the first country in the world where the technique could be used to create babies. Experts say the procedures would likely only be used in about a dozen women every year.

"Many of these (mitochondrial) conditions are so severe that they are lethal in infancy, creating a lasting impact upon the child's family," said Alistair Kent, director of the charity, Genetic Alliance U.K., in a statement. "An added option for families at risk of having a child with such a condition is welcome."

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/28/uk-may-ok-creating-babies-with-dna-from-3-people/#ixzz2XVCNHtYX

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Mail carrier says she was assaulted over missing mail, but DC police tell different story

    Mail carrier says she was assaulted over missing mail, but DC police tell different story

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:52 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:52:12 GMT
    A U.S. Postal Worker says she was assaulted by two women in a dispute over missing mail, but D.C. police tell a different story. They say she was the aggressor and the suspect instead, and that she may have called friends for help before officers arrived.
    A U.S. Postal Worker says she was assaulted by two women in a dispute over missing mail, but D.C. police tell a different story. They say she was the aggressor and the suspect instead, and that she may have called friends for help before officers arrived.
  • Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:40:07 GMT
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
  • New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:39:19 GMT
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices