It Takes Three Parents to Make This Kind of Baby

dna
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What scientists have found is that they can go into the mother and take an egg cell from a her ovaries, remove the corrupt, or “bad” genes, replace them with the “good” genes from the egg cells of another woman, and then fertilize the reconstructed egg with the father's sperm, planting the finished product back into the mother.

No, I'm not talking about what you may think I'm talking about. I'm talking about mom, dad, and a female donor. Does this mean that we can choose the absolute best genes from each of the females and make a perfect egg and have the male fertilize it, creating a perfect child? Just think of the possibilities! You could find the best male specimen and two of the best female specimens and have a super model athlete with a side of ultimate intelligence.

Well, the answer to the question of creating a perfect child is maybe, but that's not what this study is for. The purpose of this type of “breeding” is not to create goddesses that would walk the earth. The purpose behind the procedure it to eliminate the chance of children being born with mitochondrial diseases. The article that details the upcoming steps of this sort of breeding mentions that it could wipe out illnesses like Melas syndrome—a condition that “causes a person to have continuing small strokes that damage their brains, leading to vision loss, problems with movement, dementia and death,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

{ MORE: Embryo Adoption }

What scientists have found is that they can go into the mother and take an egg cell from a her ovaries, remove the corrupt, or “bad” genes, replace them with the “good” genes from the egg cells of another woman, and then fertilize the reconstructed egg with the father's sperm, planting the finished product back into the mother.

As was mentioned before, this is specifically designed to save children from being born with mitochondrial diseases. Although the chances of a child being born with a mitochondrial disease is pretty slim (1 in 4000), imagine that one baby who is having to deal with continuous strokes. One stroke causes enough problems, so if scientists can find a way to save a person from having to deal with such a terrible condition, they feel like it is worth it.

Here's the kicker:

It's only been successful in monkeys.

Scientists organized the births of four monkeys through this procedure of gene swapping (meaning that 8 female monkeys and four male monkeys were involved), and all four of the monkeys that were products of this procedure have lived to the age of three and are still alive. And they are completely healthy, might I add. 

{ MORE: Gene Therapy and Children }

This type of procedure has been tried on human egg cells in the past, but only half of them survived long enough to be evaluated. Those that did survive were not placed back into the woman, but were only allowed to develop for about five days, for observation.

So yes, science is looking into completely eradicating some of the most devastating conditions. I mean, if you want to have the best product possible, you must start with the best ingredients. 

Makes sense.

But is it ethical? I want to hear what you guys have to say. Will this be a step closer to absolute health, or will it be a real-life example of the movie I Am Legend?

Let me know!

What do you think?

It Takes Three Parents to Make This Kind of Baby

Jace Whatcott is a self-diagnosed introvert who loves crossword puzzles, golf, and reading. Despite being a male contributor—one of the few on this particular website—he is not in unfamiliar territory. Because he is an English major, 90% of his classmates are females, so he’s not too worried about being a fish out of water. One of his favorite things to do is to raid local thrift stores for used books. He’s always looking for something to read, or for something to put on his endless to-r ... More

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5 comments

  1. Profile photo of betsy betsy says:

    so, is there a test which shows that the egg has these “bad” genes to begin with??????

  2. Profile photo of Ros Ros says:

    I find it interesting

  3. Profile photo of Casey Kerver Casey Kerver says:

    defiantly something to consider

  4. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    “Eradication” concept is complicated and would bring up controversies.

  5. Profile photo of LIZ says:

    very interesting article to help with very “bad” genes

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