Heather Has Two Mommies *And* A Daddy

From the BBC:

Scientists believe they have made a potential breakthrough in the treatment of serious disease by creating a human embryo with three separate parents.

Ahem. Does anyone besides Terry Mattingly and I see the religious ghosts haunting the science in this story? With the emphasis on the potential to cure genenic diseases, the BBC certainly doesn’t seem to notice.

The Newcastle University team believe the technique could help to eradicate a whole class of hereditary diseases, including some forms of epilepsy.

What exactly have they done here?

The Newcastle team have effectively given the embryos a mitochondria transplant.They experimented on 10 severely abnormal embryos left over from traditional fertility treatment.

Within hours of their creation, the nucleus, containing DNA from the mother and father, was removed from the embryo, and implanted into a donor egg whose DNA had been largely removed.

So they’ve created some sort of hybred human, and they don’t recognize the implications? Oh, yes, they do, down there at paragraph 22 (of 27).

However, but the Newcastle work has attracted opposition.Josephine Quintavalle, of the pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said it was “risky, dangerous” and a step towards “designer babies”.

“It is human beings they are experimenting with,” she said.

“We should not be messing around with the building blocks of life.”

Mrs Quintavalle said embryo research in the US using DNA from one man and two women was discontinued because of the “huge abnormalities” in some cases.

Dr David King, of Human Genetics Alert, expressed concern about a “drift towards GM babies”.

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