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Embryos with two mums to remove the risk of hereditary diseases: new research

January 12, 2016

But under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2009, it is currently illegal to create babies using embryos which have been manipulated in the laboratory. But Charities last night called on the Government to allow further tests before implementation of this technique. The Act however does have the provision to allow such a technique only if the Health Secretary provides a secondary legislation. There are lot of debates on playing with nature that have been raised before and there is a potential for serious ethical issue on this experiment too.

Quotes for & against

This study has been supported by Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council. Philip Butcher, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, said: ???These findings will be a ray of hope for people affected by mitochondrial diseases who can often be left with the heartbreaking decision of whether to have children who may be born with a serious illness??. We have an honest prospect of taking these diseases out at the knees??.I would urge the (regulators) to permit fertility treatment using these techniques as soon as the method is proved to be effective and safe in humans.???

Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust also said, ???This is exciting research that could lead to the major clinical advance of preventing devastating mitochondrial diseases by curing the disease in fertilised eggs.???

However skeptic believe differently. Josephine Quintavalle, from campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, who oppose research on embryos, said: ???In terms of experiments this is the worst that anyone has come up with??It is completely distorting the natural process. We have no clue what the long-term consequences will be.??? The Department of Health also said via a spokesperson, ???In addition to issues of safety and efficacy, there are serious ethical considerations to be taken into account??.Any proposed regulations would be subject to significant public consultation and Parliamentary debate before they could become law.???