Britain Authorises ‘Three-Parent’ Babies

Medical Xpress, February 3, 2015

Britain on Tuesday became the first country in the world to allow the creation of babies with DNA from three people after MPs voted for the controversial procedure.

Lawmakers at the House Commons voted by 382 to 128 in favour of allowing the creation of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) babies with DNA from three people, a move aimed at preventing serious inherited diseases being passed on from mother to child.

Under the change to the laws on IVF, as well as receiving the usual “nuclear” DNA from its mother and father, the embryo would also include a small amount of healthy so-called mDNA from a woman donor.

“Families who know what it is like to care for a child with a devastating disease are best placed to decide whether mitochondrial donation is the right option for them,” said Jeremy Farrar, director of health charity Wellcome Trust.

“We welcome this vote to give them that choice.”

The bill is expected to be rubber-stamped by the House of Lords, the upper chamber of parliament, later this month, paving way for the procedure to begin next year.

The change could apply to up to 2,500 women of reproductive age in Britain with hereditary mitochondrial diseases but opponents say it opens the way to the possibility of “designer babies” in future.

Mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) is passed through the mother and mitochondrial diseases cause symptoms ranging from poor vision to diabetes and muscle wasting.

Mitochondria are structures in cells which generate the energy that allows the human body to function.

Health officials estimate around 125 babies are born with the mutations in Britain every year.

‘Invaluable choice’

The law will allow Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to authorise the procedure and a pioneering research centre in Newcastle is expected to be the first where it would take place.

Genetic disease charities celebrated the historic vote.

“We have finally reached a milestone in giving women an invaluable choice, the choice to become a mother without fear of passing on a lifetime under the shadow of mitochondrial disease to their child,” said Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

{snip}

The Roman Catholic Church is firmly opposed to the move, pointing out that it would involve the destruction of human embryos as part of the process.

The Church of England has also said that ethical concerns “have not been sufficiently explored”.

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  • The sepulcher of the unholy has been opened.

    • Anna Tree

      Yes, it can be scary. Here someone who researched it seems the dangers:
      ipscell com 2012/12/my-concerns-about-nature-paper-on-genome-transfer-for-mitochondrial-disease/

      But at the same time, this can become a tool to make European DNA more European (or at least an idea for a book): what I mean is that for example, we know that centuries of jihad in Spain. Italy, Greece. Romania, France etc, has bring non-European DNA there (in a lesser scale maybe, also centuries of colonization for the British, Dutch and again France, Portugal etc) This method can help return the time wheel backwards. Similarly, as I believe that each European nation should also celebrate and preserve their own DNA between each others, this can be done at that level too.

      • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

        Anna, you seem to have some liberal views. Do you sleep with black men to taste their BBC? We do not allow miscegenation of whites with non whites particularly with blacks. So keep your liberla trash to yourself and see the light.

        • Anna Tree

          No I don’t, I am happily married with a white man.
          I am against miscegenation.
          I had in mind people like John Derbyshire and I brought this issue of a few mixed children ONLY because this article bring the possibility of genetic cleaning. I am not sure if mixed children would want to clean one parent dna away anyway, but if some wants…
          But mostly I was talking about pro-white with a long ago non-European ancestor, they may not even know about. Would you reject them to die, out of the future white countries, because they are 90% white?

          And again, this is not me to decide, the leaders, philosophers and other great minds of the future white nations will decide.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Oh good. I do not mind slightly Arab or asian blood, but not too much of it. However no black blood should be permitted. Are you pure white and do you have kids??? If you and your husband are pure white, I hope you have many pure white kids.

          • Anna Tree

            Thank you AmericaAndTheWest.
            I wish I could have more white kids, but malchance striked. In our family, children are above everything: I don’t mind to be poor and I prefer to be at home with my family.

            The good news is that the ones I have are perfect and aware of my opinions, appropriately to their age.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Great. So am I right to assume that you are pure white? How many kids do you have if you do not mind me asking?

          • Anna Tree

            I have read some saying that only Nordic are whites; Anyway, I am a Southern European, from French and Italian ancestry.

            I have more kids than the average and that was and still is not enough for me for motherly and race realist reasons. But I am already conditioning my kids for many White race realist grand-kids to catch up for me.
            I believe that White diversity is beautiful and a strength (No to the EU!), is the only diversity we need and must be preserved and promoted. I wrote more on this European diversity issue in my post here:
            amren com/features/2014/05/what-eastern-europe-can-teach-the-west/#comment-1369963394

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Well, you are white to me. Who cares what some nordic idiot says.
            Good that you are conditioning your kids to keep the family pure. I have some new found respcect for you. But at no point compromise on keeping your blood line pure.
            I too hate the EU. I will take a look at your link to your post and comment on it.
            Now please do me the favor and tell me how many kids you have. Give me a number and not some lame answer like ‘more kids than average’. I expect a much better reply since we are talking.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Did you see the above comment asking you how many kids you have and if you are pure white??

        • propagandaoftruth

          She can spew her “liberla trash” all she wants.

          She’s been posting here a long time and has seldom been modded, which means she’s a nice girl. Disagree all you want but show some respect.

          Seriously, Anna is my Amren gf. Liberla trash indeed.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Well good for you both. I guess you guys are meant for each other.

          • propagandaoftruth

            Hey look, I like you. I don’t want to run you off. Last thing I want to do.

            I like your fire, the scrappiness. We need that. Seriously.

            Are you a fairly recent convert to race realism? One phase that lasts a long time is often intense anger and meanness. Believe me – I was angry and mean long before I became my own version of Paul.

            But ultimately nothing made sense, and the never reconcilable contradictions of perception and knowledge only served to make me miserable and pathetic. Much nastier.

            Now I’m mean and nasty but I’m very OK with that. It makes me happy. And I love thick skinned types – takes much more effort to pee off than a whiney boohoo baby, you understand?

            But you have to remember who your friends are and who your enemies are, and if you are here, you are among friends. Mostly.
            People post a lot of musings and gut level reactions here, test out ideas, bounce things off. People also sometimes get rude.

            I never get rude.

            Just mean and ornery. Welcome to the trollpit.

          • Anna Tree

            Maybe in another dimension heehee. I am not his girlfriend, Propaganda likes to rattle my chain about this, that said he is a knight and will come to stand up for the people he respects/likes. It’s honorable.

            Another honorable act was your last post that starts with “Oh good”. Not only because we agree. I post to exchange ideas. I am open-minded and I am ready
            to change my mind with the right argumentation/rebuttal. I just follow
            rationalism and search for the truth. I ask to be challenged. I have
            everything to gain and nothing to lose by being tested.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            Thanks. Only thing I am worried is that you like a typical woman will change your mind to the far left and then that will open a Pandora’s box.

          • Anna Tree

            I was never far left. Even when I was “liberal”, I always was proud of the Western civilization and White race and our heritage and saw myself as a traditionalist and family oriented.
            Don’t worry, I am not a typical woman anyway: I can be emotional, it’s in a female evolutionary by-product, but I am lucky to have become a very rational and realist person, you’re welcome to check for yourself by reading my posts. Of course you may not agree with all what I think but I believe you could be surprised by a few of my opinions and found yourself more liberal than I am in many issues.

            Infighting has always been a primary obstacle to the success of patriotic movements. Don’t generalize, especially with the Amrener women: we are as white race realist are you guys. And don’t forget, there is no white race without white women the same way that there is no white race without white men. Be proud of us like we Amrener women are proud of Amrener men!

          • Spikeygrrl

            BRAVA!

  • Front row.
    Season tickets.
    Orca Wimpy.

  • Mommy, daddy and a spare.

    OTOH, extra cousins can’t be all bad.

  • David Ashton

    Genetic improvements could be passed on to future generations. Oh dear, oh dear.

  • MekongDelta69

    What is this? – A British version of a threesome?!

  • Alexandra1973

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Anna Tree

      There are hundreds of 20 years old or less, who are the product of this method. I will try to post the link to the American article on the subject.

      • Alexandra1973

        I’m just saying that by nature we have two parents. Any time you mess around with nature there’s a price to be paid.

        • Anna Tree

          Oh yes I agree. It wasn’t clear in my post I apologize, but I said the same in other posts here or in other threads, like in the following, already 4 months ago:
          amren com/news/2014/10/report-from-budapest/#comment-1622831573
          “I wonder about their future children and other things.
          The US has banned the procedures, but the UK is still doing it.”

  • dd121

    Leftists don’t have an anchored set of ethics, therefore that’s not a concern to them.

  • Liberals are weird . . . deviant . . . destructive . . . and blind. Did I mention weird?

  • IstvanIN

    If this allows a couple to have healthy children, why not? The genie is long out of the bottle, so to speak, and every technology has it good and bad uses. Why deny a woman and her husband to have normal, healthy children?

    The downside would be the inability to track maternal lineage accurately through the mitochondrial DNA.

    • Sick of it

      “The downside would be the inability to track maternal lineage accurately through the mitochondrial DNA.”

      Another downside is that this is one way to get people to stop procreating naturally. Notice that all of this takes place outside of the human body. Rather than designer babies, such a path shall lead us to multiethnic test tube babies, people engineered to be homosexuals, and other odd things. Who knows, perhaps one day they will engineer a collective hive mind and get rid of that pesky individuality. Bunch of freaks.

      • IstvanIN

        It doesn’t take place entirely outside the body, a woman must still carry the child and give birth. As for people engineered to be homosexual, I would think exactly the opposite would happen. As for making multiethnic children, that already happens, look at Obama.

        As for stopping people from procreating naturally, ovum collection is not the easiest or most pleasant process, nothing like sperm collection. Since the mother is going to have to be pregnant anyway, I doubt many women would undergo the procedure just for the heck of it.

        • GeneticsareDestiny

          I agree, if anything the advances in reproductive technology should slow down or reverse the trend towards miscegenation among white women. There’s a lot of white women who would be willing to reproduce naturally with a black man but who, if they instead had the chance to choose exactly which father they wanted for their child out of a handbook full of sperm donors, would be more likely to choose a white man (and the best one they can find, too). That’s because this process removes the woman’s choice in reproductive partner from the mental realm of “he’s hot, I want to have sex with him,” to a more rational consideration of all the pros and cons of reproducing with an individual man.

          Anyone who has ever read up on sperm banks can tell you that black sperm doesn’t sell. Virtually no one wants to buy it. When white women come in to get donor sperm, they preferentially choose intelligent, healthy white men with blonde hair and blue eyes. This is not to say that there are no exceptions, but they are few. Most women who do buy black donor sperm are at least partially black themselves.

          And if it ever becomes possible to choose whether your child will end up being gay, that will be the end of homosexuality on this planet. No one will purposefully choose to have a child who will never in turn be able or willing to provide grandchildren for them, no matter how liberal and tolerant they are towards homosexuals. And anyone who did do so would soon have their ultra-pro-homosexual lineage wiped out due to their gay child not reproducing.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    This is a positive move. Human DNA has 3.2 billion “base pairs.” I don’t know how many of those DNA base pairs are involved in the production of mitochondria, but it has to be a tiny fraction of the intended mother’s full genome. Borrowing a healthy segment of mitochondrial DNA from a donor female and splicing it into the fertilized egg of the intended mother is a very good idea.

    Yes, extra embryos, as many as seven, will be produced in the process. One will be selected for implantation in the intended mother. The rest will be discarded. But what pain and suffering will be avoided for the family!

    • Sick of it

      A tiny fraction of DNA separates the white man from the black man. If you want to be something else, don’t expect the rest of us to accept you.

      • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

        “Tiny fraction” is a vague term. More than likely there is only one or two “base pairs” of difference between the DNA of healthy segment of mitochondrial DNA and the DNA of mutated/disease-causing segment of mitochondrial DN.A in an unfortunate woman — far, far less than DNA differences that separates race.

    • John Smith

      None of those bases are involved in coding for mitochondria, whose genome (and reproduction) is independent of the host and resembles that of purple non-sulfur bacteria.

      • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

        Thank you, John. There are “gaps” in my knowledge of genetics after pouring through 18 of 24 lectures on genetics from Great Courses. I was unaware that MtDNA was entirely separate from the host DNA. Do you have any knowledge of the procedure used to replace and implant new MtDNA in a host (intended mother) egg?

        • John Smith

          I’d imagine it involves implanting a different line of cultured and harvested mitochondria themselves after removing the mother’s own from the ovum.

  • JustJeff

    Ugh who would they have pissed off by voting no? Come on.

  • The Dude

    You gotta love science!

  • Anglo

    Why stop with only eliminating diseases? Why not other altered forms of life? Why not super intelligence? Even people who could be part animal or part machine? Many scientists have embraced the Singularity theory. They believe that technology is the only way to solve the world’s problems and allow people to control their evolutionary process.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    • Anna Tree

      I would advice to read Lawrence Sanders’s “The Tomorrow File” and Michael Crichton “Next” if you didn’t already.
      The priest class, the aristocrat class, the military class, the corporate class, now the media class. The scientific class will be as bad I fear, as scientists today are not the more ethical scientists of yesteryears…

      • Anglo

        No, they are not.

  • LHathaway

    I had a friend suggest two men would be able to make babies. It seemed kind of unlikely, at the time. If this were to happen any time soon they would at least need to borrow a woman for her womb. Women have a use for something . . .

    • Anna Tree

      I think they can do this method only with women. I think for the same reasons that only female animals can do parthenogenesis.

      • LHathaway

        it is apparently only a matter of time . . .

  • Pelayo

    If it leads to healthier babies and more Western births I have no issue with this. They need to get that artificial womb worked out too so that vain or career women can have children.

  • guest

    And the deterioration continues.

  • Michael North

    Once IVF was accepted, there could be no holding back this sort of of abomination.

  • haroldcrews

    My opinions on mitochondrial donation is mixed.

    On one hand I don’t easily dismiss the concerns of the Church. The approval of this procedure is indeed a step, albeit a small one, down the slippery slope.

    But on the other hand as others have mentioned mitochondrial dna is not nuclear dna. It does not change nuclear gene expression except for perhaps epi-genetically through eliminating the risk of some diseases. Mitochondria are inherited solely from the X chromosome. Every person until perhaps now has received their mitochondria from his or her mother. The mitochondria genetic material is not affected by sexual reproduction. Instead the only genetic changes that take place in mitochondria are random mutation. There is very little difference between human mitochondria particularly if examined from the same ethnicity.

    I would hope and expect that most mitochondrial donors would be either blood female family members of the mother who do not have the defect. This would assure that the only difference in mitochondrial dna would be the elimination of the defect. If this isn’t possible then the other reasonable option would be to seek a donation of mitochondria from a blood female family member of the father. In time it may be possible to use mitochondria directly from the father. Which would eliminate the third “parent” problem altogether.

    • Ellis Kurtz

      “Mitochondria are inherited solely from the X chromosome.” No, they are present in the ovum prior to fertilization, but lie outside the nucleus. The ovum is actually created from a normal precursor cell in the mother’s body. The ovum has only half the nuclear DNA of a normal cell (ie is “haploid”) but retains the normal maternal mtDNA. Precursor sperm cells are similarly haploid but contain no mtDNA. So the fused egg and sperm contains nuclear DNA from both parents in equal proportion, but mtDNA only from the mother.