New Idea for Healthy Babies: Three Parents

It could be possible in 3 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2010 4:05 PM CDT
New Idea for Healthy Babies: Three Parents
An embryo with three parents might be possible in three years.   (Shutterstock)

UK researchers have grown embryos that combine the DNA of one man and two women, a development that could help babies avoid genetic defects. In broad strokes, it works like this: Parents at risk of passing on a genetic disorder fertilize an egg, and the healthy material is extracted and put into the "shell" of an egg from another woman. Junior would still look like his two natural parents.

Which is, of course, a gross simplification of the process, kind of like how the lead researcher at Newcastle University described it: “What we’ve done is like changing the battery on a laptop." The technique could be available in 3 years, along with a fresh debate over designer babies. The London Times has details here and the Telegraph here. (More genetic disorders stories.)

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