Every person on the planet has two biological parents a mother and a father. Right? Even people conceived in relatively new, modern ways still have two biological parents: children of sperm donors, those carried by surrogate mothers or conceived with donor eggs. But this could soon change. Britain is considering approving a revolutionary fertility treatment designed to eliminate certain hereditary diseases, with which a child would technically have three biological parents.
Britain's health minister, Andrew Lansley, asked the UK's fertility watchdog the HFEA to take a closer look at this new treatment and make a recommendation about its approval. Scientists said that they "mastered" the three-parent invitro fertilization method with the use of cloning technology. It would require the use of two fertilized eggs and shifting the DNA around at will to remove so-called mitochondrial DNA that can cause a wide variety of health problems including heart conditions, liver failure, weak muscles and blindness.
Alison Murdoch, one of the doctors working on the project said: "As doctors we have a duty to treat disease and where possible to prevent disease. With diseases for which there are no treatments the imperative to develop new treatments is even greater." Remember the cloned sheep, Dolly? The new treatment is a variation of the technique used to create her. Of course, everyone wants to prevent and treat diseases!
But am I the only one a bit scared by this news? Will cloning-like techniques really relieve the human race of genetically passed on conditions that could be fatal or impact the quality of our lives or will they create a whole set of new problems that we'll only know about once it is already too late? Are we really knowledgeable enough to mess with things like this? And do we have a right to? Also read how to stop embryo mix-ups from happening to you? if you are interested in IVF.