F.D.A. Weighs Fertility Procedure: Fears of ‘Designer Babies’ Arise

Greg Holt FEATURED ARTICLES, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, U.S. NEWS 0 Comments

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is weighing a controversial fertility procedure that involves combining the genetic material of three people to make a baby free of certain defects, a therapy that critics say is an ethical minefield and could lead to the creation of designer babies.

The agency has asked a panel of experts to summarize current science to determine whether the approach – which has been performed successfully in monkeys by researchers in Oregon and in people more than a decade ago– is safe enough to be used again in people.

Photo

Launch media viewer
A sperm cell is inserted into an egg in the labs at the Mount Sinai Hospital department of reproductive endocrinology. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Scientists have already experimented with combining genetic material from cells of three people. In 2001, researchers in New Jersey did so using material from the cytoplasm, the material that surrounds the nucleus of the egg and directs its development after fertilization, from healthy women into the eggs of infertile women. More than 17 babies have been born this way in the United States.

The practice sparked controversy and eventually led the F.D.A. to tell researchers that they could not perform such procedures in humans without getting special permission from the agency. Since then, studies have been confined to animals.

Engineered Humans?

Dr. Alan Copperman, director of infertility at Mount Sinai Hospital, in his office in New York on Tuesday. Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

But a researcher in Oregon, Shoukhrat Mitalipov , has performed the mitochondrial procedure in monkeys successfully and has said it is ready to try in people.

“Every time we get a little closer to genetic tinkering to promote health — that’s exciting and scary,” said Dr. Alan Copperman, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. “People are afraid it will turn into a dystopian brave new world.”

He added that the current meeting and discussion was an attempt at “putting together a framework for us to prepare for this genetic revolution.”

“The most exciting part, scientifically,” he said, “is to be able to prevent or fix an error in the genetic machinery.”

SOURCE: The New York Times

Please help us to continue the fight against liberalism and the removal of God in this country. Our costs are considerable, and NO one is paid on this site. Donate today - any amount helps.

Donation options

Don't forget to follow The Olive Branch Report on Facebook and Twitter. Now available on your Amazon Kindle Device. Please help spread the word about us, share our articles on your favorite social networks.

Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report

Since 2014, Christian news magazine The Olive Branch Report has featured the insightful writing and reporting of Greg Holt. His writing has been featured on American Prophet, American Clarion, Eagle Rising, Capitol Hill Outsider, Sons of Liberty Media, Rev. Austin Miles, and others. Greg is also the Publisher and Editor of Inspirational Christian Blogs.

Share your Thoughts