Thursday, March 30, 2017

Three-Person Baby

The IVF method, a technique designed to prevent offsprings from inheriting incurable genetic diseases, has been approved for clinical use last December of 2017. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority gave Newcastle Fertility Centre the license to perform the IVF method due to the fact that the Newcastle centre are fully equipped to perform the mitochondrial replacement therapy. The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation described the mitochondrial replacement therapy as  a technological innovation and expansion of IVF rather than a genetic manipulation where a healthy mitochondria from a donor is used to replace the mutated mitochondria of the woman to free the offspring from mitochondrial diseases. 

One might wonder what the resulting baby would look like? It was mentioned in a news article by Michelle Roberts that the baby would still inherit the mother and father's trait since the mother's genetic material is inside the donor's egg containing the healthy mitochondria hence, only 0.1% of the donor's DNA is present in the resulting offspring. 

Performed through IVF technique

The creation of babies with DNA coming from three people serves as a good idea with promising advantages especially for those suffering from rare genetic conditions; however, I believe that it is too early to utilize this method. More scientific studies must be performed and ethical issues must be taken into consideration as well as its long-term effects on the offspring. It is always good to have a vast amount of options in preventing mitochondrial diseases but the decision of whether the person wants to undergo this certain therapy lies on the parent's hands.


  1. The IVF method sounds like a precursor to full chromosome replacement.

  2. This is a very scary thought to think that we can just manipulate humans like this. It feels as if these scientists are attempting to play God, instead of letting nature work as it is intended. This reminds me a lot of a horror film from the 1980's that is coming true today!