Friday, 11 March 2011

Playing God

The Today programme this morning reported on the work at Newcastle Uni on 3-parent IVF. Very clever and very worthy. Basically, where there are risks of genetically associated defects/diseases in babies linked with mitochonrial DNA (i.e. heart failure, musclar problems), the mitochondrial DNA (carried on the female line) can be obtained from another woman, with the rest of the genetic material coming from the mother and the father. Apparently the amount of genetic material in mitochondrial DNA is very small - 13 protein producing genes versus 23,000 genes inherited from the parents.

However, an ethical debate has arisen about the 'third parent' and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has been asked to assess the technique. I have to say, as much as I marvel at science and reserach like this... I do wonder whether this is taking one step too close to playing God.

No comments:

Post a Comment