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Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Sarkozy’

IB imageSnapshots of law, gender and sexuality news from the past couple of weeks.

UK to legalise ‘three-parent babies’

Catherine Ravenscroft, Durham University

The UK is poised to become the first country in the world to legalise the creation of IVF embryos via so called ‘three-parent babies’. This IVF procedure involves the combination of genetic material from two different egg cells, with the aim of preventing the transmission of mitochondrial diseases. Such diseases are caused by defective mitochondria in the eggs of the mother and it is suggested that by replacing these with the mitochondria of a healthy donor egg these conditions could be eradicated.

However the new procedure is not welcomed by all. Professor Evan Snyder, chair of the scientific panel advising the US Food and Drug Administration on mitochondrial transfer, insists it still too early to legalise. While conceding the need for eradication of these diseases, he contends the treatment should not be allowed until extra research is completed. This is because, he says, “we don’t know whether these changes will be passed on to future generations.”

Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College, has also expressed concern that the procedure could lead to “developmental or physiological malfunctions”. Such things are already symptoms of the diseases which this treatment seeks to prevent. Any such side effects would, therefore, be detrimental to the aim behind any legislation by Parliament.

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