Three-person babies IVF technique ‘safe’


The use of an IVF technique involving DNA from three people to create a baby has moved a step closer with a study that shows it is safe.

Scientists at Newcastle University are trying to help women who are at risk of passing on serious genetic disorders to have a healthy child.

Last year the UK approved laws to permit the procedure, which involves using donor DNA from a second woman.

The study in Nature found the technique will lead to normal pregnancies.

The process, known as “early pronuclear transfer” involves removing the parents’ key genetic material from an embryo within hours of fertilisation, leaving behind the woman’s faulty mitochondria.

The parental DNA, which contains all the key genes responsible for character and appearance, is then transferred into a donor woman’s embryo, which has its nucleus removed but contains healthy mitochondria.

Last year the UK became the first country to approve laws to permit the procedure.

A study involving more than 500 eggs from 64 donor women found that the new procedure did not adversely affect embryo development and significantly reduced the amount of faulty mitochondria being passed on.

Prof Doug Turnbull, director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Disease at Newcastle University and a co-author of the study, said: “This study using normal human eggs is a major advance in our work towards preventing transmission of mitochondrial DNA disease.”

Prof Mary Herbert, also from the centre, added: “We are optimistic that the technique we have developed will offer affected women the possibility of reducing the risk of transmitting mitochondrial DNA to their children”.



It may be safe, but not moral.



“Safe” is a big deal for the secular world. Not having a sense of sin or virtue, they substitute a secular version of prudence which includes “safe / unsafe”, “politically correct / incorrect”, and so on.


We all know it’s definitely immoral, but I’m wondering what are the metaphysical ramifications of this? Would the baby’s soul be from the embryo that originally had the parental DNA, or from the donor embryo that supplies the mitochondria? :confused:


A vague analogy might be a Chinese power company building power stations in the UK; everything about it is actually ‘British’ (the staff, etc), but they happen to have been put there in the first place by the Chinese. Or that’s how it seems to me with a markedly unscientific background!

My understanding is that the mitochondrial donor is just providing a ‘shell’ (the mitochondria, which one needs for the rest of the cell to work), but the actual genetic content otherwise is of the parents. So I imagine the answer is that it’s no different from an ordinary embryo in that sense.

However the fact that anyone needs to ask the question at all as anything other than a thought experiment, is rather horrifying.


What about the impact on the health of children born who were conceived through the IVF process? There have been some studies that have come out that have linked IVF conceived children to various health problems. There have also been studies that have not shown health problems for IVF conceived children - but these are people’s lives that are being dealt with, and I don’t know if it’s fully known what the long term impact could be on these lives and what about this “three-person” IVF? They may honestly believe it’s a “safe” procedure, and they take the element out which could cause disorder, but what in turn could be the long term impact on the health of such babies? Can they know that now?

Good point made by Jospeh3.


I often wonder how long God will “put up” with mankind trying to play god and make his own rules about everything. God help us. God Bless, Memaw


Not only that, he hasnt even sent any major warnings about these things…?? Heck when it came to sexual sin in the past, he destroyed 2 entire cities in dramatic fashion for all to see, I guess the question is, how long did those 2 cities go on in their sins until God acted, maybe that would give us a general time line on how long it takes before God does something?


So in a generation or two we wont have to continue the debate, eh? Evolution or Intelligent Design.


Memaw, I was thinking the exact same thing. When people play God there can be nothing good that comes from it

Why do I imagine people paying money for this service and then suing someone when the baby is not perfect without any defects.

How sad.

Deliver us from evil…


closed #11

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