Saturday, April 17, 2010

More on 3 Parent Babies

CMR has a great post to follow-up on the my 1 Dad 2 Mom post.

3 Parent Embryo's (Mary Meets Dolly)
Previously, I blogged about 3 parent monkeys that were created to "cure" mitochondrial disease. I warned that there was a push to create 3 parent human embryos for the same purpose. Well less than a year later, scientists in the UK announced they have created human embryos with 3 genetic parents.

Why would scientists want to engineer an embryo with the genetic material from 3 people? To "prevent" the inheritance of mitochondrial disease. Not all of our DNA that we inherit is in the nuclei of the egg and sperm that join at conception. In the cytoplasm of our mother's egg are mitochondria. Mitochondria have their own DNA called mtDNA. We inherit our mtDNA only from our mother because sperm's mitochondria are dumped at conception. There are genetic mutations that cause disease in mtDNA and a woman with a such a mutation cannot help but pass this mutation on to her children.

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