Research looks at creating embryos free of genetic mutations
(WJLA) - Every parent’s prayer is that their child is born healthy. Now, there is research looking at taking the DNA of two women to create an embryo free of genetic mutations.
By using the DNA from two women and one man, doctors could potentially wipe out incurable inherited diseases.
"The idea that you could fix before a baby is born so a couple can have a healthy baby is terrific," says Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News.
Some call it 3-parent IVF.
The way it works is this: If there is a problem with the mitochondrial DNA in the mother’s egg, doctors can remove the nucleus with all of the necessary genes intact, and implant it in a healthier donor egg.
The father’s sperm can then fertilize the egg in a lab, and from there, regular IVF continues.
The technique was tested on monkeys in Oregon successfully, and while some preliminary tests have been done on humans, it is still considered a controversial process and has not yet been approved for human trials.
There are other, larger concerns as well -- such as, could making changes like this possibly lead to a birth defect we aren't yet ware of or a problem in the next generation?
Some also fear this could lead to designer babies, but others hope this technique could prevent diseases from taking hold in future generations.