Babies with three parents OK in UK

❝ Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK’s fertility regulator…The historic and controversial move is to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases.

Doctors in Newcastle – who developed the advanced form of IVF – are expected to be the first to offer the procedure and have already appealed for donor eggs.

The first such child could be born, at the earliest, by the end of 2017.

❝ Some families have lost multiple children to incurable mitochondrial diseases, which can leave people with insufficient energy to keep their heart beating.

The diseases are passed down from only the mother so a technique using a donor egg as well as the mother’s egg and father’s sperm has been developed.

The resulting child has a tiny amount of their DNA from the donor, but the procedure is legal and reviews say it is ethical and scientifically ready…

❝ Clinics can now apply to the HFEA for a licence to conduct three-person IVF…

The team at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University is expected to be the first to be granted a licence…

❝ NHS England has agreed to fund the treatment costs of the first trial of three-person IVF for those women who meet the HFEA criteria, as long as they agree to long-term follow up of their children after they are born.

OK for the UK. Anyone think it will be legal anytime soon in OK? Har.

RTFA for details about the procedure. Yes, this can lead to a slippery slope of cures that panic True Believers and the whole brigade of anti-science whiners.

While opposition to scientific progress hasn’t especially grown since, say, the Victorian era, it boggles the mind how spooky, sanctimonius bible-thumping scares the crap out of purportedly modern politicians.

The trial that will determine our genetic future


US Patent and Trademark OfficeAlan Kotok

❝ Arguments in a trial to determine ownership of CRISPR, a gene editing technology, started Tuesday the 6th in Virginia. The outcome will determine who gets ownership of an incredibly lucrative and incredibly powerful tool that has the potential to “treat” genetic disease.

Two groups are contending for the editing technology patent: on one side is MIT’s Broad Institute and Harvard University, and on the other is the University of California, Berkeley…

❝ Billions of future revenue is at stake in the trial in the US Patent and Trademark Office — essentially a patent court — in Alexandria, Virginia. CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology could be used to genetically modify crops, animals and even fetuses, scientists promise. Previous gene-editing tools have already existed, but none appear to work as quickly or promise such versatility as CRISPR.

And based on the advances so far, CRISPR’s potential is mind-blowing. It could be used to change crop strands to be drought-resistant, or to change disease-carrying parasites to stop the spread of illnesses like malaria. And scientists are hoping it will be able to eliminate genetic disease like cystic fibrosis.

Ethical questions are inevitable – as are the number of scientifically-unqualified “experts and consultants” who will offer their expertise in the years to come. Legitimate science will be represented in the overall discussion by the broad range of researchers from academia to the narrowest of corporate purveyors.

RTFA to get up to speed. The discussion is getting underway.