An apparent breakthrough has been made in the treatment of serious diseases with a British lab claiming that it has made up to 10 embryos from two women and one man. If all goes well it could lead to the eradication of inheritable diseases by lowering the chance of women passing those genes on to their children.
The Newcastle University team believe the technique could help to eradicate a whole class of hereditary diseases, including some forms of epilepsy.
The embryos have been created using DNA from a man and two women in lab tests.
It could ensure women with genetic defects do not pass the diseases on to their children.
The technique is intended to help women with diseases of the mitochondria – mini organelles that are found within individual cells.
They are sometimes described as “cellular power plants” because they generate most of the cell’s energy.
Faults in the mitochondrial DNA can cause around 50 known diseases, some of which lead to disability and death.
About one in every 6,500 people is affected by such conditions, which include fatal liver failure, stroke-like episodes, blindness, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and deafness.
At present, no treatment for mitochondrial diseases exists.
All I can say is “wow!”. This is major. Critics of the research are toting out the “designer baby” argument, but I think that’s bunk. What’s so bad about eradicating biological diseases such as diabetes and muscular dystrophy to name just a few things that appear to be inherited from our mothers?