Comments about ‘FDA weighs risks of 3-person embryo fertilization’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 9:16 a.m. MST

Updated: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 9:16 a.m. MST

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I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

"scientific, technologic and clinical"

Yes, because ethics, moral value, philosophy and religion simply have no place in our society. Why think when you can simply 'do'?

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Everyone interested in this would do well to read 2 books- The authors both shove down-to-Earth perspective in your face on economical, scientific, legal, and moral grounds. You simply can't escape how adequately they illustrate how wrong we can go with genetics and how easily.

1) Jurassic Park
2) The Case Against Perfection (Michael Sandel)

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

The age-old conundrum for science rears its ugly head again: Just because you can do it, does that mean you should do it?

jsg
Mapleton, UT

This technology isn't as creepy some might think. The main human genome (in the nucleus of our cells) is about 3.3 billion base pairs, while the DNA in our mitochondria (different cellular location than the nucleus) is a mere 16 thousand base pairs. Some women have defects in that mitochondrial DNA that they are guaranteed to pass on to their children. The proposal here is to have a mother and father be the source of the normal DNA in the nucleus, but to recruit a mitochondria donor to provide the 0.0005% of the human genome that is defective in the mother. No DNA splicing. It's more like an organ transplantation, but at a sub-cellular level. The "third parent" would provide only 0.0005% of the DNA; otherwise, the offspring would have two parents like the rest of us.

All of that said, it is interesting what humans go through to ensure the survival of our own personal genes. For couples dealing with infertility or genetic disorders, it seems like adoption is a more reasonable alternative, as long as they are willing to betray their own DNA and transfer loyalty to a child in need of capable and loving parents.

Eliot
Genola, UT

There are a variety of human diseases which can be attributed to mutations in mitochondrial DNA. If a woman has defective mitochondrial DNA and wants to have children, she must deal with the fact that all of her children will inherit her defective mitochondria. The technology described in this article will allow a woman to have children while avoiding the trauma of passing her genetic disease on to those children. I believe this is a reasonable approach to helping people with mitochondrial diseases have healthy children. I am not comfortable relying on works of science fiction to inform public policy.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

I don't believe that mitochondrial DNA affects height, eye color, intelligence, or any other physical characteristic usually targeted by genetic engineering. It sounds like this is a therapy for correcting a disease of the ovum, very much like a transplanted organ in this gamete cell.

This isn't a panecea for all diseases inherited from parents, but it would certainly be a blessing for those where the mother's gametes are all afflicted with the same malady.

gee-en
Salt Lake City, UT

I think the answer to the doctor's question is in the form of another question...If 3 person embryo fertilization is ok, then why not 5 person embryo fertilization? And would not 10 person embryo fertilization be even better? and would not 50 or 100 or 1000 be even the greatest? Thereby attempting to create a species of genetically perfect humans?
I think the point of morals and philosophy and religion is to show the drawbacks of a society driven solely by scientific achievement.

UT Brit
London, England

@I know it. I Live it. I Love it.

Yes Jurassic Park would be the perfect book to read regarding this issue. I was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar yesterday as a study on humanities over consumption of its natural resources.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

jsg,

Sorry, but your comparison isn't adequate. Imagine getting all your organs transplanted. Now your brain.

1 - At what point do you become so artificial that you have lost what it means to be a human being who came from two parents. Is there no value in this?

2 - When you alter the legos that our brain is built off of, and you don't even understand the legos fully, then are you willing to take the consequences, even prison time, if you mess up?

As Michael Crichton points out so well, people love doing experiments, but want others to pay the real costs of it.

3 - You change the legos, which changes an infants personality which now looses characteristics of the child's mother and father. Countless studies, all long-standing, have shown that parents understand their kids better than others... why? Because the kid CAME from their parents own DNA make-up.

4 - Lastly, all of these points haven't begun to touch on what kind of society we'd become (as Michael Sandel so well argued).

I rest my case... a comparison of organ translates is inadequate and neglect humanity and morality (creepiness is irrelevant).

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