Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby

  1. Oct 14, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=453121
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2003 #2

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, first of all.. it is not really three genetic parents.. maybe a little..

    Basically what happens is that the wife has eggs with bad cytoplasm, that is why they go to a donor and get a healthy egg. They then take out the chromosomes of that donor egg, put in the chromosomes of the future dad and mom and let the egg develop.

    The genetic contribution of the donor is the mitochondrial DNA. I think I once saw a documentary of a child born in this way??


    I don't really see what is so controversial about this that they have banned it?? I mean, miscarriges happen, so do multiple births, especially after IVF. There must be another reason.. exactly which countries banned it?
     
  4. Oct 15, 2003 #3

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ah!!! Maybe I know why they want to ban this. This technique allows gay couples to get children of their own! Two males can get their own genetic baby for instance.

    I think it is really interesting why they banned this, anyone knows more details??
     
  5. Oct 15, 2003 #4

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Oh, I didn't realize there was a complete article link underneath that little header, I just read it, here is why it was banned and where:

    Just how could this lead to human cloning that IVF doesn't??

    Oh, common, that is the same thing that was said against IVF..

    I don't see any objections to the technique perse. The question is, what happens to the integrity of the DNA when it is transferred from one egg to the other, and is all the donor genomic DNA taken out completely? Or could by sheer stress parts break off and cause genetic defects by gross chromosomal abnormalities?
     
  6. Oct 15, 2003 #5

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    How well is the purpose of mitochondria understood?

    I don't know anything about them, except that they are passed from the mother.

    Normally, a child gets half of its nuclear DNA from the mother, and all of its mitochondrial DNA. Is it possible that there needs to be a certain amount of compatibility between the two? Perhaps evolution has assured that the mitochondria can always do their job correctly provided the mother's DNA is present in the nucleus, but it will fail if the DNA is radically different? I also considered that the mitochondria might have to match the body providing nourishment, but the success of surogate mothering rules this out I guess.

    Just guessing wildly,
    Njorl
     
  7. Oct 15, 2003 #6

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Good question, but I would highly doubt that there is a connection. Mitochondria are the energy-producing machines in the cell, they work autonomiously (sp?). And besides that, after every generation the contribution of the original mother halves.. IF there is not a tight correlation.. I have never seen any literature on the subject.
     
  8. Oct 15, 2003 #7

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well, I've exhausted my ideas for possible objections. You may proceed :wink:

    Njorl
     
  9. Oct 15, 2003 #8

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    hehe, ok, I will. But remember that I'll point my finger towards you if anyone finds out.
     
  10. Oct 15, 2003 #9

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I'm pretty sure the mitochondtria would create no problems. They are highly conserved and basically the same in ever human on earth.

    These sorts of reactions really annoy me. Particularly when the reaction is cries of "Playing God". Nothing bothers me more. I think the only reason people say this, is because they heard someone else say it, and seems to carry weight behind it (probably because it sounds like God disagrees with it), but if you then ask them what exactly 'Playing God' means...they normally don't have a clue. its just a common used catchphrase.

    I doubt very highly, that these people even know what God wants.
     
  11. Oct 15, 2003 #10

    Njorl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yeah, I doubt many real cowboys objected to me playing cowboy when I was a kid. Why should God care who's playing him?

    Njorl
     
  12. Oct 16, 2003 #11
    Is there some sort of benefit to this sort of thing?
     
  13. Oct 16, 2003 #12

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    well, apparently so. They did it to help someone have a kid who otherwise couldn't. They take someone elses egg, and change the DNA in it.
     
  14. Oct 16, 2003 #13
    DUH!! Never mind, dude, I am too tired to read, apparently!
     
  15. Oct 16, 2003 #14

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I still don't understand why the article implies that this would get us one step closer to cloning??

    In fact it takes us one step further away from it, since we would have another technique to join the list to be tried before resorting to cloning..

    I DO think it is kinda cool that two guys would be able to get kids of their own :P
     
  16. Oct 16, 2003 #15

    LURCH

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    This is just a guess, but perhaps it was banned because of the unprecedented genetic makeup the offspring would have. I know the article goes on to say that it was banned because of fears related to cloning, but I think this was merely the reporter's opinion being expressed. It seems to me that the real concern most folks would have is the fact that, as far as we know, no human being has ever been the product of 3 different genetic contributors. Because the current definition of "species" is largely a genetic one, this could raise questions as to whether such an individual is truly human, or some new creature. Still a bit silly, if you ask me.
     
  17. Oct 16, 2003 #16

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Right, you are kidding me, right? Let me count my genetic contributors, mom, dad, dads mom, moms dad, moms mom, dads dad, dads dad dad, moms mom dad. Get the point?

    The only thing that stays constant in vertical transmission is the mDNA that is passed on from female to offspring and the y-chr that is passed on from dad to son. The rest is all strange people contributing their share of genetic information.

    Actually, it is not even THAT sure that sperm doesn't contribute in mDNA, some recent research has shown that sperm in fact DOES transfer it mDNA.. only a small percentage of the total amount though.
     
  18. Oct 16, 2003 #17

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member



    Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock Future shock

    I thought I was impervious but this one surprises me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2003
  19. Oct 16, 2003 #18

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Funny though, isn't it? I'm betting all my money on it, this is why it is getting banned.
     
  20. Oct 17, 2003 #19

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    You are forgetting imprinting though.

    Trying to create an embryo from just male DNA, or just Female DNA means that they would have identical imprinting (Gene silencing etc) and so you would end up with a lot of disorders. This needs to be fixed before we will be able to do that.
     
  21. Oct 17, 2003 #20

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Good one Another God!!! I forgot imprinting!!!
    I should have thought of that myself..
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Ban on scientists trying to create three-parent baby
  1. Unborn babies (Replies: 16)

  2. Hurricane babies (Replies: 2)

  3. Baby's brain (Replies: 2)

Loading...