View Full Version : MPs say yes to three-person babies

02-04-2015, 01:43 PM
BBC News (Wed 03 Feb 2015):

"MPs say yes to three-person babies"



"MPs have voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and one man, in a historic move.

The UK is now set to become the first country to introduce laws to allow the creation of babies from three people.

In a free vote in the Commons, 382 MPs were in favour and 128 against the technique that stops genetic diseases being passed from mother to child.

During the debate, ministers said the technique was "light at the end of a dark tunnel" for families.

A further vote is required in the House of Lords. It everything goes ahead then the first such baby could be born next year.

Proponents said the backing was "good news for progressive medicine" but critics say they will continue to fight against the technique that they say raises too many ethical and safety concerns.

Estimates suggest 150 three-person babies could be born each year.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We're not playing god here, we're just making sure that two parents who want a healthy baby can have one.""

(continues ... )


02-04-2015, 01:56 PM
The Guardian (03 Feb 2015):

MPs vote in favour of 'three-person embryo' law

In historic debate Commons votes for controversial change to genetics law to allow mitochondrial transfer



Guardian 'Opinion' article:

Three-parent IVF can produce babies free of disease, so let’s welcome it - Tom Solomon



02-04-2015, 03:55 PM
Interesting how they are emphasizing on the mitochondrial disease. Well! down the line we will have some babies with "perfect genetic makeup" I suppose. Oh! my hooman race...

Little bit
02-04-2015, 09:50 PM
In answer to the critics, proponents offered this:

"Less than a tenth of one per cent of the genome is actually going to be affected. It is not part of what makes us genetically who we are.

"It doesn't affect height, eye colour, intelligence, musicality."

LOL, that concept would be a hard sell on 23andme and FTDNA's forums. If you read those many threads, you'd think your mtdna, and Y DNA, account for most of one's genetic and genealogical identity.

Clinton P
02-05-2015, 10:11 AM
Breaking News: Man regrets suggesting three person baby making session with wife and her sister. More soon.

Clinton P

02-05-2015, 12:46 PM
I have some friends who have a very nice little girl -- young woman now, actually -- with a mitochondrial disorder known by the acronym of MELAS. I remember her from before her symptoms started while she was in middle school. She'd been a very bright and talented girl who loved community theatre.

Then the symptoms began. It took quite a while to get a diagnosis, but I can recall very clearly how relieved her dad was when the neurologist ruled out a brain tumor ... but she continued to get worse. When they finally got the diagnosis of MELAS, they couldn't even describe it to their friends. They just told us the name, and said we could look it up on the internet.


Because it's a mitochondrial disorder, it also had potential implications for the mom and another daughter. But these two apparently tested negative for the mutation*, and the younger sister is now older than her sister was when symptoms first appeared.

Anyway, if there is a way to avoid mitochondrial disorders, I'd find it difficult to argue against. It is, after all, chiefly our nuclear DNA that makes us who we are. MtDNA is important, but more that it works properly, and less for anything else.

(For anyone who doesn't want to look it up, imagine something like Alzheimers in a young teenager. It affects not only the brain, but the muscles, heart, vision, and more.)

*EDIT: I may not be remembering correctly, but I think they have to be periodically retested. Although they did not detect the mutated form of the mitochondrial DNA, both the mutated and non-mutated forms can exist at the same time. The problem sets in when the ratio of mutated to non-mutated mtDNA reaches some critical point. But again, that's just my recollection from "looking it up" at the time.