Scientists in Oregon have published a paper [abstract]
that explicitly challenges the legal and procedural system that forbids
genetic experiments on future generations. And much of the media didn't
seem to notice how radical the proposal is. Just look at these
- DNA-swap technology almost ready for fertility clinic (Nature News)
- Exchange of DNA Between Egg Cells May Help Prevent Mitochondrial Diseases (Science Now)
- New gene therapy method replaces mitochondrial DNA, study says (Los Angeles Times)
- Genetic Diseases May Be Fixed Pre-Conception in Eggs, Study Says (Bloomberg)
- DNA Switch Shows Promise Against Genetic Disease (Wall Street Journal)
These articles are by respected journalists (who, to be fair, may
not have written the headlines) in serious journals and newspapers. And
they appear to ignore the implications of the title of the peer-reviewed paper they are discussing:
Towards germline gene therapy of inherited mitochondrial diseases
Shoukrat Mitalipov (pictured above) and colleagues deserve some
credit for being forthright. They created "three-parent" blastocysts
(essentially as discussed here) and tested them by generating embryonic stem cells. Three years ago, they used the same process in monkeys, and produced four live offspring.
If the same procedure were to be used to generate human babies, as they
propose, it would constitute germline intervention — changing the genes
of future people — which has been off limits for years.
Read more ...
Posted in A "Post-Human" Future?, Global Governance, Inheritable Genetic Modification, Media Coverage, Medical Gene Transfer, Pete Shanks's Blog Posts, US Federal
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