Researchers at Newcastle University in Britain claim that they are only two years away from being able to create babies from three parents.
Through the use of controversial in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques, researchers at Newcastle University have found a way to replace potentially problematic aspects of the mother’s gene code (specifically her mitochondria) with the chosen elements of a donor’s egg. Effectively, this means the child born would have two mothers and a father.
The Daily Mail reports, “the UK fertility regulator said there was no evidence that the controversial technique would be unsafe, but called for extra checks before approving it for use.”
The researchers behind this project claim that this technology should be used to create healthy babies and to reduce the likelihood of a miscarriage.
While these methods have not been found to be unsafe, there are members of the scientific community - and the public at large - who find such techniques to be crossing an ethical line.
Most agree that this use of IVF is innocuous enough, assuming it is used only to ensure the health of the unborn child. However, many fear that these methods could be used to create genetically modified humans for the sake of endowing children with specific traits.
This slippery slope argument points out that the use of such methodology is, in its own way, a way of ethnically cleansing a population over time.
Dr. David King, of the group Human Genetics Alert, says that such techniques “open the door to a designer baby future."
Be that as it may, this breakthrough could very well change the face of childbirth, parenthood and the health of future babies around the world.
Sources: Daily Mail