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  • BioEdge: Nature backs mitochondrial transfer
    on the verge of clinical use says Nature The UK parliament is due to vote on the measure later this year If it is approved scientists will be able to create embryos destroy them by removing the nucleus and add the nucleus to an egg with healthy mitochondria They will also be taking the momentous step of changing the human genome or as the tabloids describe it creating designer babies Because of serious health and ethical obstacles legalisation is fiercely opposed in the UK An international coalition of scholars and bioethicists has argued that mitochondrial replacement is a kind of eugenics which would open the door to further genetic alterations of human beings with unforeseeable consequences However scientists who support it have fought back with an emotional public relations campaign As Nature points out The researchers have made patients stories such as the plight of the Bernardi family central to their appeals They have compared mitochondrial replacement to changing the batteries in a camera a poor analogy some other scientists say and they argue that mitochondrial DNA makes up a tiny fraction of the overall genome with little influence over a person s defining traits This is not a slippery slope in my view one scientist says This isn t designer babies This is about preventing serious life threatening disabling diseases This is not quite true of course It is about preventing babies with those serious life threatening disabling diseases The diseases themselves cannot be cured MORE ON THESE TOPICS mitochondrial disease mitochondrial replacement three parent embryos This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial purposes following these guidelines If you teach at a university we ask that your

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/nature_backs_mitochondrial_transfer/10984 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: the latest news and articles about bioethics
    the UK s plans to legalise three parent embryos have not given up Three parent children in UK possible after HFEA report Michael Cook 06 April 2013 Comments tags eugenics HFEA mitochondrial disease mitochondrial replacement The UK is moving closer to three parent children after the fertility regulator informed the government that the public would back a controversial embryo treatment 3 person embryo consultation launched in UK Michael Cook 22 September 2012 Comments tags IVF mitochondrial disease UK The UK s fertility watchdog has launched a public consultation on the ethics of IVF based techniques designed to avoid serious mitochondrial diseases UK to consider three parent IVF Jared Yee 28 January 2012 Comments tags mitochondrial disease three parent embryos UK The controversial practice known as three parent IVF has drawn one step closer in the UK with the government s announcement of public consultation into its acceptability The Wellcome Trust has also announced that it would allocate extra funds to expand research into the technique which uses genetic material from 3 parents 2 women and a man to build a baby The procedure which currently banned is a response to mitochondrial disease defects in the small frameworks called mitochondria which

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/tag/mitochondrial+disease (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: “Mitochondrial transfer” is a misnomer: Stuart Newman
    He believes that the technique is being used as a stalking horse for genetically engineered children once the transfer of an entire haploid i e one parent s set of chromosomes into a woman s egg is considered acceptable transfer of a smaller number of chromosomes or genes will be a much easier sell Professor Newman says that proponents of the technique which is being described as a way of helping women with defective mitochondria to have healthy children are underselling the importance of the egg In a column in the Huffington Post he writes The egg is essential because in addition to its mitochondria it contains hundreds of different protein and RNA molecules it incorporates during its formation in the egg producer s ovary This information directs the use or expression of the transferred genes at the early stages of the embryo s development From the standpoint of the woman who contributes this one non redundant ingredient the extent of genetic engineering of her egg in MST is massive To use the emotive term mother only for the donor of the maternal set of chromosomes downplays the unique biological role of the egg and of the woman who contributes it It has the further effect of endorsing the false assertion of MST s advocates that the procedure comes down to the transfer of a few ie the mitochondrial genes What is actually being transferred are 20 000 or so genes provided by the chromosome donor MORE ON THESE TOPICS mitochondrial replacement This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial purposes following these guidelines If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation Commercial

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/mitochondrial_transfer_is_a_misnomer_stuart_newman/10896 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: “Mitochondrial transfer” is dangerous: Maureen Condic
    biological state She also disputes the ethics of the extra RAM approach The embryo produced by this procedure is not just the original child of the parents moved to a new cytoplasmic environment This would only be true if a human being were nothing more than his or her DNA which is clearly not the case While our unique DNA clearly determines many aspects of our individual characteristics we are also greatly influenced by the specific non genetic composition of the egg that produced us There are also serious concerns about the health of the resulting embryo All three methods of mitochondrial transfer are highly likely to be unsafe for the resulting children even the ones that are not deliberately destroyed and are not damaged by the procedure itself Mitochondrial heteroplasmy or the persistence of some mitochondria from both the mother and the donor egg is a significant risk to any children produced by these techniques In general heteroplasmy is not a good thing and in this case it could also cause reappearance of the disease in the offspring of any woman produced by the three parent approach due to mitochondrial founder effects in oogenesis Even a few bad mitochondria can become the dominant type in any one egg causing the mitochondrial disease to recur in any child produced from that egg Finally the technique could create another serious inheritable problem We know that in nature mtDNA and nuclear DNA co evolve to work with each other in an efficient manner In some species incompatibility between the mitochondrial and nuclear genome significantly compromises the health of the individual All of the proposed methods of treating mitochondrial disease introduce a permanent and unnatural mismatch between the nuclear and the mitochondrial genome that will be inherited by all subsequent generations MORE ON

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/mitochondrial_transfer_is_dangerous_maureen_condic/10895 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: US must debate “mitochondrial transfer”: Thomas H. Murray
    at IVF embryo selection on the basis of sex and other traits Sex selection of embryos for non medical purposes is prohibited in 36 countries but not in the United States There is no federal prohibition on reproductive human cloning And the Food and Drug Administration is yet to decide whether it will authorize clinical trials of mitochondrial manipulation technologies Discussion of the ethics of mitochondrial manipulation cannot be postponed indefinitely Murray wrote This is a task for the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to pursue given that its mission is to ensure that scientific research health care delivery and technological innovation are conducted in a socially and ethically responsible manner MORE ON THESE TOPICS artificial reproduction mitochondrial replacement This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial purposes following these guidelines If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees Some articles on this site are published under different terms Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus comments

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/us_must_debate_mitochondrial_transfer_says_leading_ethicist/10894 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: Grave concern about the safety of new IVF procedure
    empty nucleus but the donor s good mitochondrial DNA remains It is intended to ensure bad genes from mothers are not passed on The British fertility watchdog the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority have declared MRT to be safe However when the procedure was carried out in mice Altered respiratory metabolism and reduced performance learning and exploratory capacity in males were reported Similarly when carried out on fruit flies males were discovered to be infertile and had an altered aging process The reason for the side effects according to the authors is that mitochondrial nucleus interaction is seriously altered by slight mismatches in DNA The authors of the new paper aim to draw attention to this unacknowledged series of studies We believe that this body of research needs careful deliberation by the relevant authority before any decision is made about applying this technique to the clinic said co author Damian K Dowling MORE ON THESE TOPICS mitochondrial replacement This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial purposes following these guidelines If you teach at a university we ask that

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/grave_concern_about_the_safety_of_new_ivf_procedure/10693 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: Three-parent children in UK possible after HFEA report
    expressed grave reservations It would be the first time such intentional genetic modifications of children and their descendants were expressly permitted and would open the door to further genetic alterations of human beings with unforeseeable consequences they wrote Germline manipulation is banned under a number of international agreements to which the UK is a signatory Intentional germ line interventions are prohibited in every national jurisdiction that has considered the issue said the bioethicists They are also banned under a number of international legal instruments such as the Council of Europe s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine which prohibits the genetic modification of spermatozoa or ova for procreation The California based Center for Genetics and Society suggested that the HFEA had misrepresented the level of public support which was based on an on line survey polls focus groups and discussion groups Taking a closer look at the on line survey it found that a majority actually opposed the introduction of mitochondrial replacement Clearly this report is meant to advance rather than simply document public reaction it said The picture of public support that the HFEA is now painting is misleading at best Despite widespread support for allowing donor conceived children to know the identities of sperm and egg donors the HFEA insists that the resulting child should not have a right to identifying information about the donor although information exchange and contact could be arranged locally by mutual consent Media coverage of the HFEA s announcement was largely benign But the Huffington Post featured a scathing column by Stuart A Newman professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at New York Medical College which accused the HFEA of promoting eugenics The ironic lesson of the new drive toward DNA based eugenics of which the mitochondrial replacement techniques would be the thin

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/three_parent_children_in_uk_possible_after_hfea_report/10458 (2016-02-18)
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  • BioEdge: Bioethicists push “3-parent embryos” in US
    other scientists he contends that it is not eugenics and will not lead to eugenics The mitochondria play an insignificant role in determining personality Transplanting mitochondria is not going to be the method used to create enhanced babies Traits like height intelligence strength balance and vision don t reside in the battery part of our cells And in the Wall Street Journal the head of a master s program in bioethics at Columbia University Robert Klitzman argues that three parent embryos are to be welcomed Its opponents are scaremongering he argues It is an ethically straightforward procedure like organ transplantation As biotechnology continues to advance and improve human health we need to beware of applying frightening metaphors when they do not fit and only distort and mislead MORE ON THESE TOPICS three parent embryos This article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non commercial purposes following these guidelines If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees Some articles on this site are published under different terms

    Original URL path: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/bioethicists_push_3_parent_embryos_in_us/11323 (2016-02-18)
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