The United Kingdom’s House of Commons has just passed legislation that allows for the creation of babies from three people (two females, and one male) using IVF.
Yes, the age gaybies being the only kids with two moms is over. With the landmark vote (382 in favor, 128 against), soon the DNA will be used from two women and one man in order to stop the passage of lethal genetic diseases from mother to child.
The BBC is reporting that very soon we could be seeing up to 150 three-person babies born per year, though one more vote still needs to pass in the House of Lords. But how you ask can a baby have the DNA of three parents? Well, it’s all about the cell powerhouse and mitochondrial DNA.
The method, which was developed in Newcastle, should help women like Sharon Bernardi, from Sunderland, who lost all seven of her children to mitochondrial disease.
Ms Bernadi said was “overwhelmed” by the decision.
Mitochondria are the tiny compartments inside nearly every cell of the body that convert food into useable energy. They have their own DNA, which does not affect characteristics such as appearance.
Defective mitochondria are passed down only from the mother. They can lead to brain damage, muscle wasting, heart failure and blindness.
The technique uses a modified version of IVF to combine the DNA of the two parents with the healthy mitochondria of a donor woman.
It results in babies with 0.1% of their DNA from the second woman and is a permanent change that would be passed down through the generations.
1) Two eggs are fertilised with sperm, creating an embryo from the intended parents and another from the donors 2) The pronuclei, which contain genetic information, are removed from both embryos but only the parents’ are kept 3) A healthy embryo is created by adding the parents’ pronuclei to the donor embryo, which is finally implanted into the womb
1) Eggs from a mother with damaged mitochondria and a donor with healthy mitochondria are collected 2) The majority of the genetic material is removed from both eggs 3) The mother’s genetic material is inserted into the donor egg, which can be fertilised by sperm.
DNA and genetic manipulation is always a hot topic in politics. On the one hand you have scientist advocating for this revolutionary method of saving lives, and on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got folks worried about the implications of altering human DNA.
“This is world leading science within a highly respected regulatory regime.
“And for the many families affected, this is light at the end of a very dark tunnel.”
Fiona Bruce, the MP for Congleton, countered: “[This] will be passed down generations, the implications of this simply cannot be predicted.
“But one thing is for sure, once this alteration has taken place, as someone has said, once the gene is out of the bottle, once these procedures that we’re asked to authorise today go ahead, there will be no going back for society.”
The debate in Commons also repeatedly struggled with whether the move would constitute “genetic modification”.
Robert Flello, who represents Stoke-on-Trent South, said he feared “families will be let down tragically” due to the uncertainties in the technique and that society would be “up in arms” if this was a proposal for genetically modified crops.
But Frank Dobson, a former former health secretary, argued uncertainty was “the nature of medicine and science” and that IVF would not have gone ahead if absolute certainty was needed.
I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see the policy makers in the UK applying intelligence to policy making, unlike here in the US. Stateside we’ve got a Congress who’s completely unwilling to accept climate change, even though it’s SCIENTIFIC FACT, and not something you can choose to have an opinion on, and we have a nationwide measles outbreak due to stupid fucking parents who are willing to endanger not only their only kids but other kids either too young to get vaccinated or kids with weakened immune systems…just yesterday this video of an actual doctor surfaced, where he talks about how he’d have a clear conscience if his non-vaccinated kids were the reason a child too young to get vaccinated died.
Oh, did I mention that same Congress is now trying to blame the measles outbreak on illegal aliens? I’ll say this now because I know most of you are probably thinking the complete opposite: I am in fact a registered Republican, contrary to what you may think. I just don’t fucking deny science like our the fear-mongering politicians who use the topics to gain and hold power. And for what it’s worth, all of these opinions are mine and mine alone. They do not reflect on BroBible and/or any of my co-workers.
But I just want to wish a hearty congratulations to the forward thinking minds of the UK’s House Of Commons! We need more of this, and less of the shit I just got completely off topic ranting about.
For more on this you can head on over to BBC News, or Laughing Squid.