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Thread: Human GMO: First GM Babies Born in US

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    Human GMO: First GM Babies Born in US



    Thirty healthy babies have reportedly been born in the US after a series of manipulations that included genetic alterations. The disclosure has sparked a furious ethics debate in the medical community.

    *Fifteen of those children were born in the past three years as a result of an experimental program run by the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St. Barnabas in New Jersey, the Daily Mail reports. The babies were born to women who had problems conceiving. In his article in the Human Reproduction journal, the research group, led by Professor Jacques Cohen, says that this is “the first case of human germline genetic modification resulting in normal healthy children.”

    Cohen and his colleagues diagnosed that the women were infertile due to defective mitochondria in their egg cells. These tiny structures are present in most human cells (except for red blood cells, for example) and are often called cellular "power plants", because they generate most of the cell’s supply of energy. Quite crucially, mitochondria contain DNA, and therefore genes, of their own.

    The research team took healthy mitochondria from donor eggs and injected them it into eggs from the women who wanted to conceive. Because mitochondria contain their own genetic material, the resulting embryo inherits the DNA both of its parents, as well as mitochondrial genes from the second woman.

    These extra genes from a female donor were inserted before the eggs were fertilized in order to increase chances of successful fertilization. Two of the babies have already been tested and have been found to contain genes from all three “parents” – two women and one man. The fact that the children have incorporated these genes into their germline means that they will be able to pass them along the maternal line to further generations.

    Many fear, however, that manipulations of this kind could be used in the future to create new races of humans with extra characteristics, such as strength or higher intelligence. Some experts have criticized the experiments.

    “One has tremendous sympathy for couples who suffer infertility problems. But this seems to be a further illustration of the fact that the whole process of in vitro fertilization as a means of conceiving babies leads to babies being regarded as objects on a production line,” said John Smeaton, a national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

    The newspaper also cites a spokesman for the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which regulates “assisted reproduction” technology in the UK. He said his organization would not license such technique because it involved altering the germline.

    Jacques Cohen is one of the founders of Reprogenetics – an independent service in preimplantation genetic diagnosing based in New Jersey, as well as a director of Tyho-Galileo Research Laboratories. He is as successful an embryologist as his is a controversial figure, having made a name for himself by pushing the boundaries of assisted reproduction technologies. Last year, Professor Cohen said that his expertise would allow him to clone children. The idea is a nightmare for the mainstream scientific community.

    http://www.rt.com/news/babies-gmo-genetic-ethics-132/

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    Shock horror! Isn't that something Hitler would do?

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    So now, if a kid tells me they have two mommies I'll have to stop and think about this article and how they may really have two mommies (and a daddy.)
    I applaud those to go out of their way for the sake of their children, but for me this is a bit too far.
    I don't think I could stomach knowing that my children had another woman's mitochondrial DNA, or that a child that wasn't technically mine had my mtDNA. What happens, when years upon years later a descendant decides to do a genetic test to learn their heritage? Their mtDNA may throw them for a loop, depending on whose they used they could be 100% Euro genetically, but have East Asian mtDNA, and think they have and East Asian or Native American ancestor when in reality it's only their mitochondria that does.
    The only way this would be acceptable for me, personally, is if the donor-woman was a direct-maternal relative and we already shared the same mtDNA anyway. Same if I chose to donate, I would only donate to a direct-maternal relative.
    Just my two cents.
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    23andme V3 update awaiting use, got a kit for mom too.

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    Ever seen the film 'Gattaca'

    I wouldn't be surprised if aspects of that film come close to reality in the near future.

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